The European Central Bank is one of the most important central banks in the world, taking responsibility for the monetary policy of the 13 countries of the Eurozone. The ECB was set up on June 1, 1998 and its headquarters are situated in Frankfurt, Germany. It is one of the components of the European System of Central Banks (ESCB) and also the national banks of all 27 member states of the European Union.
The primary objective of the European Central Bank is the ‘maintenance of price stability’ by keeping inflation low with the inflation target at about less than 2 percent. The bank must also support the economic policies of the European Union, which was established in order to sustain high employment levels and non-inflationary economic growth.
In order to fulfill these objectives the ECB maintains monetary policy through main financing operations, deposit facility, marginal lending facility, the conduct of foreign exchange and the promotion of the smooth operation of payment systems. Further tasks in which the ECB is involved in include the issuance of banknotes within the Euro area, collecting statistical information, the smooth conduct of policies which maintain the stability of the financial system and finally working with relationships with relevant institutions of the in the European Union and the international community.
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