European Central Bank, ECB

European Central Bank (Photo: EU Commission)

The Central Bank for the Economic and Monetary Union, EMU. Is part of the European System of Central Banks, ESCB. The ECB is headed by the ex-governor of the Bank of France, Mr. Jean-Claude Trichet.

Its executive board is appointed by agreement with the Member States and the European Council after consultation with the EU Parliament. Governors of national central banks are also members of the board.

Became fully operational on 1st January 1999. It takes responsibility for the European monetary policy, is independent of national governments and has the exclusive right to authorise the use of Euro bank notes.