Central Bank
0 On DEsite
1 General
2 Pillar structure
3 Bodies
  • European Parliament
  • Council
  • The Commission
  • The Court of Justice
  • Court of Auditors 
  • Economic and Social Committee
  • Committee of the Regions
  • Central Bank
  • Coreper
  • Miscellaneous
  • 4 Decision-making
    5 Lobby groups
    6 Case histories
    7 Information and publications

    Logo ECB

    The European Central Bank was established on the basis of the Maastricht Treaty (Articles 8 and 105-115 EC).


    The European System of Central Banks (ESCB) consists of the European Central Bank and the national central banks (Art. 107 EC). The ESCB is managed by the Executive Board and the Management of the ECB (107 EC). The management consists of a president, a vice-president, and four other members. At the moment, Willem Duisenberg is president, with Lucas Papademos as vice-president. Together, the presidents of the national central banks form the executive board of the ECB (112 EC).

    The president, the vice-president, and the remaining members of the Management are appointed in mutual agreement by the governments of the Member States, on the recommendation of the Council, which has consulted the European Parliament and the Executive Board of the ECB (Art. 112 EC). The people involved must be nationals of the Member States and have an acknowledged reputation and professional experience in the monetary field or the banking business. They are appointed for an eight-year period and cannot be re-appointed.

    Tasks and internal decision making

    The ECB is responsible for the monetary policy of the Community. In this field, it has the authority to make regulations and take decisions, and to make recommendations and deliver opinions. The latter two are non-binding. The regulations and decisions must be motivated and published in the Official Journal of the EC. The ECB has the authority to impose sanctions on companies that do not obey the regulations and decisions (Art. 110 EC).

    In addition, the ECB cooperates with the institutions. For example, the president of the Council and a member of the Commission can participate, without the right to vote, in the meetings of the executive board of the ECB. On the other hand, the president of the ECB is invited to attend the Council´s meetings in which matters pertaining to the aims and tasks of the ESCB are discussed. The president of the ECB and the other members of the management can, either at their own or at the European Parliament´s request, also be heard by the authorised parliamentary committees.

    Every year, the ECB draws up a report on the activities of the ESCB and on monetary policy. The Council and the Parliament discuss this in a general debate. But since the ESCB is free to act completely independently, they cannot exert any influence on the policy adopted.


    Regulations and decisions of the European Central Bank are published in the Official Journal, Series L. Recommendations, opinions, and announcements can be found in the Official Journal, Series C.

    Every year, the ECB reports on the activities and presents an overview of the economic and monetary developments in the European Union. The text of this annual report is published in book form and on the Internet site of the European Central Bank under ´publications´.

    Articles about monetary policy and statistical data are published in the journal Monthly Bulletin of the European Central Bank, which since 1999 is also published in electronic form on the Internet. In addition, the Central Bank annually publishes a so-called convergence report in which it reports on the extent to which the Member States have made progress in meeting the obligations assumed in the framework of the establishment of the European Monetary Union. The most recent report is on the web page.