The European Central Bank and the Eurosystem
Carol C. Bertaut
European Central Bank ; Banks and banking, Central - Europe ; Monetary policy - Europe
The Eurosystem comprises the European Central Bank at its center as well as the national central banks of the twelve countries currently participating in monetary union. The European Central Bank was established in July 1998, six months before the beginning of Stage Three of economic and monetary union. Although decisions regarding monetary policy are made centrally by the Governing Council of the Eurosystem, the operational aspects of monetary policy-including open market operations, administration of the minimum reserve system, and management of the standing facilities-are undertaken in a decentralized fashion at the twelve national central banks. The main features of the Eurosystem's operating procedures are similar in many respects to those employed by the Bundesbank and other national central banks in the euro area in recent years.