|headquarters = Frankfurt, Germany
|president = Mario Draghi
|leader_title = President
|established = 1 June 1998
|currency = Euro
|currency_iso = EUR
|borrowing_rate = 0.05%〔(【引用サイトリンク】title=ECB: Key interest rates )〕
|deposit_rate = -0.20%
|website = (www.ecb.europa.eu )
The European Central Bank (ECB) is the central bank for the euro and administers monetary policy of the Eurozone, which consists of 19 EU member states and is one of the largest currency areas in the world. It is one of the world's most important central banks and is one of the seven institutions of the European Union (EU) listed in the Treaty on European Union (TEU). The capital stock of the bank is owned by the central banks of all 28 EU member states. The Treaty of Amsterdam established the bank in 1998, and it is headquartered in Frankfurt, Germany. the President of the ECB is Mario Draghi, former governor of the Bank of Italy, former member of the World Bank, and former managing director of the Goldman Sachs international division (2002–2005).〔 The bank primarily occupied the Eurotower prior to, and during, the construction of the new headquarters.
The primary objective of the European Central Bank, as mandated in Article 2 of the Statute of the ECB,〔(Statute of the ECB )〕 is to maintain price stability within the Eurozone. The basic tasks, as defined in Article 3 of the Statute,〔 are to define and implement the monetary policy for the Eurozone, to conduct foreign exchange operations, to take care of the foreign reserves of the European System of Central Banks and operation of the financial market infrastructure under the TARGET2 payments system and the technical platform (currently being developed) for settlement of securities in Europe (TARGET2 Securities). The ECB has, under Article 16 of its Statute,〔 the exclusive right to authorise the issuance of euro banknotes. Member states can issue euro coins, but the amount must be authorised by the ECB beforehand (upon the introduction of the euro, the ECB also had exclusive right to issue coins).
The ECB is governed by European law directly, but its set-up resembles that of a corporation in the sense that the ECB has shareholders and stock capital. Its capital is five billion euro held by the national central banks of the member states as shareholders. The initial capital allocation key was determined in 1998 on the basis of the states' population and GDP, but the key is adjustable. Shares in the ECB are not transferable and cannot be used as collateral.
The European Central Bank is the ''de facto'' successor of the European Monetary Institute (EMI).〔(【引用サイトリンク】title=ECB: Economic and Monetary Union )〕 The EMI was established at the start of the second stage of the EU's Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) to handle the transitional issues of states adopting the euro and prepare for the creation of the ECB and European System of Central Banks (ESCB).〔 The EMI itself took over from the earlier European Monetary Co-operation Fund (EMCF).〔(【引用サイトリンク】publisher=CVCE )〕
The ECB formally replaced the EMI on 1 June 1998 by virtue of the Treaty on European Union (TEU, Treaty of Maastricht), however it did not exercise its full powers until the introduction of the euro on 1 January 1999, signalling the third stage of EMU.〔 The bank was the final institution needed for EMU, as outlined by the EMU reports of Pierre Werner and President Jacques Delors. It was established on 1 June 1998.〔(【引用サイトリンク】title=ECB: Economic and Monetary Union )〕
The first President of the Bank was Wim Duisenberg, the former president of the Dutch central bank and the European Monetary Institute.〔 While Duisenberg had been the head of the EMI (taking over from Alexandre Lamfalussy of Belgium) just before the ECB came into existence,〔 the French government wanted Jean-Claude Trichet, former head of the French central bank, to be the ECB's first president.〔 The French argued that since the ECB was to be located in Germany, its president should be French. This was opposed by the German, Dutch and Belgian governments who saw Duisenberg as a guarantor of a strong euro.〔(【引用サイトリンク】publisher=CVCE )〕 Tensions were abated by a gentleman's agreement in which Duisenberg would stand down before the end of his mandate, to be replaced by Trichet.
Trichet replaced Duisenberg as President in November 2003.
There had also been tension over the ECB's Executive Board, with the United Kingdom demanding a seat even though it had not joined the Single Currency.〔 Under pressure from France, three seats were assigned to the largest members, France, Germany, and Italy; Spain also demanded and obtained a seat. Despite such a system of appointment the board asserted its independence early on in resisting calls for interest rates and future candidates to it.〔
When the ECB was created, it covered a Eurozone of eleven members. Since then, Greece joined in January 2001, Slovenia in January 2007, Cyprus and Malta in January 2008, Slovakia in January 2009, Estonia in January 2011, Latvia in January 2014 and Lithuania in January 2015, enlarging the bank's scope and the membership of its Governing Council.〔
On 1 December 2009, the Treaty of Lisbon entered into force, ECB according to the article 13 of TEU, gained official status of an EU institution.
In September 2011, when German appointee to the Governing Council and Executive board, Jürgen Stark, resigned in protest of the ECB's bond buying programme, Financial Times Deutschland called it "the end of the ECB as we know it" referring to its perceived "hawkish" stance on inflation and its historical Bundesbank influence.
On 1 November 2011, Mario Draghi replaced Jean-Claude Trichet as President of the ECB.
In April 2011, the ECB raised interest rates for the first time since 2008 from 1% to 1.25%, with a further increase to 1.50% in July 2011.〔(【引用サイトリンク】title=ECB: Key interest rates )〕 However, in 2012–2013 the ECB sharply lowered interest rates to encourage economic growth, reaching the historically low 0.25% in November 2013.〔 Soon after the rates were cut to 0.15%, then on 4 September 2014 the central bank reduced the rates by two thirds from 0.15% to 0.05%, the lowest rates on record.
In November 2014, the bank moved into its new premises.
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