European Central Bank (ECB) - The central bank of the euro zone, as well as the currency regulator, which monitors the credit and monetary policy of the region and controls the stability of the euro. Its decisions are awaited by traders every first Thursday of the reporting month, as it has a particular impact on the rates of EUR and other major currencies in the foreign exchange market.
History and objectives of the ECB
The ECB was created on June 1, 1998, the logical conclusion of a long negotiation by European officials, who throughout the second half of the 20th century sought continental unification at the financial level. In fact, the Central Bank of Europe had already existed for four years, bearing the name of the European Monetary Institute. The functionaries decided to organize a central bank on its basis, making the main financial center of Europe from German Frankfurt am Main, where the main building of the ECB is located.
The key task of the ECB is to maintain stable prices in the euro area, whose growth should not exceed the level of 2%. In addition to controlling InflationThe European Central Bank issues the euro, manages foreign exchange reserves, and sets the interest rate range. In order to perform these functions, the regulator participates in foreign exchange operations and provides stabilization loans.
The European Central Bank supports liquidity in the eurozone money market through short-term measures, such as granting overnight loans and opening deposits for the same period of time, in which temporarily free funds are placed.
Structure and functions of ECB members
The European Central Bank is managed directly by the members of the Executive Board and the Governing Council, headed by the President of the ECB. The Governing Council approves the composition of the Directorate, which has six members, four of whom traditionally represent the central banks of the four largest eurozone economies - Germany, France, Italy and Spain.
The candidate for president or head of the ECB is proposed by the Council of the European Union, which must then be approved by the European Parliament. The manager is appointed to his position for a period of 8 years.
The main function of the head of the ECB is to implement the monetary policy determined by the Governing Council. Also the president of the European Central Bank has a great influence when approving quantitative easing programs and asset purchases. That's why currency traders closely follow his statements and speeches.
The ECB is formally independent in its activities. However, every year it is obliged to report to the European Parliament, the European Commission, the Council of the European Union and the Council of Europe.