The Eurosystem is the monetary authority of the eurozone, the collective of European Union member states that have adopted the euro as their sole official currency. The European Central Bank (ECB) has, under Article 16 of its Statute,[1] 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.

The Eurosystem consists of the ECB and the national central banks (NCB) of the 20 member states that are part of the eurozone. The national central banks apply the monetary policy of the ECB.[2] The primary objective of the Eurosystem is price stability.[3] Secondary objectives are financial stability and financial integration.[4] The mission statement of the Eurosystem says that the ECB and the national central banks jointly contribute to achieving the objectives.[5]

The Eurosystem is independent. When performing Eurosystem-related tasks, neither the ECB, nor an NCB, nor any member of their decision-making bodies may seek or take instructions from any external body. The Community institutions and bodies and the governments of the member states may not seek to influence the members of the decision-making bodies of the ECB or of the NCBs in the performance of their tasks.

The Eurosystem is distinct from the European System of Central Banks (ESCB), which comprises the ECB and the central banks of all 27 European Union member states, including those that are not part of the eurozone.


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

The basic tasks carried out by the Eurosystem are (art. 127 TFEU):

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

In addition, the Eurosystem contributes to the smooth conduct of policies pursued by the competent authorities relating to the prudential supervision of credit institutions and the stability of the financial system.

The ECB has an advisory role vis-à-vis the Community and national authorities on matters within its field of competence, particularly where Community or national legislation is concerned. The ECB, assisted by the NCBs, has the task of collecting the necessary statistical information either from the competent national authorities or directly from economic agents to enable the ESCB to perform its tasks.

Current members

Eurozone members (Eurosystem)
State Central Bank Governor[6] Website
Eurozone European Central Bank Christine Lagarde
 Austria Oesterreichische Nationalbank Robert Holzmann
 Belgium National Bank of Belgium Pierre Wunsch
 Croatia Hrvatska narodna banka Boris Vujčić
 Cyprus Central Bank of Cyprus Crystalla Giorkatzi
 Estonia Eesti Pank Madis Müller
 Finland Suomen Pankki Erkki Liikanen
 France Banque de France François Villeroy de Galhau
 Germany Deutsche Bundesbank Joachim Nagel
 Greece Τράπεζα της Ελλάδος (Trapeza tis Ellados) Yannis Stournaras
 Ireland Banc Ceannais na hÉireann Gabriel Makhlouf
 Italy Banca d'Italia Ignazio Visco
 Latvia Latvijas Banka Mārtiņš Kazāks
 Lithuania Lietuvos Bankas Gediminas Šimkus Archived 18 September 2004 at the Wayback Machine
 Luxembourg Banque centrale du Luxembourg Gaston Reinesch
 Malta Central Bank of Malta Edward Scicluna
 Netherlands De Nederlandsche Bank Klaas Knot
 Portugal Banco de Portugal Mário Centeno
 Slovakia Národná banka Slovenska Peter Kažimír
 Slovenia Banka Slovenije Boštjan Jazbec
 Spain Banco de España Pablo Hernández de Cos

See also


  1. Statute of the ECB (PDF) Archived 15 April 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  2. "European Central Bank/Eurosystem, Organisation". Archived from the original on 14 September 2008. Retrieved 30 July 2008.
  3. "Price stability: Year-on-year increase in the Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices for the euro area of below 2%." Source: FACTS presentation: Monetary policy Archived 20 May 2017 at the Wayback Machine
  4. "The mission of the Eurosystem". Archived from the original on 16 July 2013. Retrieved 30 July 2008.
  5. "FACTS presentation: Organisation". Archived from the original on 20 May 2017. Retrieved 30 July 2008.
  6. Most common name for post, also used: President, Chairman or General Secretary
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