The European Central Bank (ECB) is an official EU institution at the heart of the Eurosystem that performs a range of tasks in close cooperation with the national central banks within the Eurosystem and, for banking supervision, with the national supervisors within the Single Supervisory Mechanism.
Established in 1988, the European Council confirmed the objective of the progressive realization of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). More than 3,500 staff from all over Europe work at the ECB headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany.
The ECB’s President is Christine Lagarde and the Vice-President is Luis de Guindos. The main decision-making body is the Governing Council, which consists of the six members of the Executive Board plus the governors of the central banks of the 19 Euro area countries.
– To adopt the guidelines and make the decisions necessary to ensure the performance of the tasks entrusted to the ECB and the Eurosystem;
– To formulate monetary policy for the Euro area, including those related to monetary objectives, key interest rates, the supply of reserves in the Eurosystem, and the establishment of guidelines for implementation of those decisions;
– In the context of responsibilities related to banking supervision, to adopt decisions relating to the general framework under which supervisory decisions are taken, and to adopt the complete draft decisions proposed by the Supervisory Board under the non-objection procedure.