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European System of Central Banks


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The European System of Central Banks (ESCB) is composed of the European Central Bank (ECB) and the national central banks (NCBs) of all 27 European Union (EU) Member States. Since not all the EU states have joined the euro, the ESCB could not be used as the monetary authority of the eurozone.


For this reason the Eurosystem (which excludes all the NCBs which have not adopted the euro) became the institution in charge of those tasks which in principle had to be managed by the ESCB. In accordance with the treaty establishing the European Community and the Statute of the European System of Central Banks and of the European Central Bank, the primary objective of the Eurosystem is to maintain price stability (in other words control inflation).

Without prejudice to this objective, the Eurosystem shall support the general economic policies in the Community and act in accordance with the principles of an open market economy.

Basic Tasks of European System of Central Banks:

   to define and implement the monetary policy of the eurozone;
   to conduct foreign exchange operations;
   to hold and manage the official foreign reserves of the Member States; and
   to promote the smooth operation of payment systems.

In achieving the tasks above, ESCB commits itself to providing effective support functions through a sound banking and financial control system, appropriate information system and the development of competent and qualified staff.

European Central Bank HQ Location Map

European System of Central Banks
HQ Address: Eurotower (Main building)
Kaiserstrasse 29
60311 Frankfurt am Main
Telephone: +49 69 13 44 0
Facsimile: +49 69 13 44 60 00
Currency: Euro
Banking Hours:
Monday - Friday : 8:30 am - 5:30 pm


Since June 1998, the ECB as the 'captain' of the Eurosystem team, the central banking system of the euro area has been conducting monetary policy for the countries in the currency union. Its primary objective is price stability over the medium term, because stable prices form the basis for sustainable economic growth and prosperity in Europe.
List of EU States joined European System of Central Banks:
Austria Austria Germany Germany Netherlands Netherlands
Belgium Belgium Greece Greece Portugal Portugal
Cyprus Cyprus Ireland Ireland Slovakia Slovakia
Estonia Estonia Italy Italy Slovenia Slovenia
Finland Finland Luxembourg Luxembourg Spain Spain
France France Malta Malta  

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