What is the Eurosystem?

The Eurosystem, of which the National Bank has formed part since 1 January 1999, is composed of the European Central Bank (ECB), based in Frankfurt, and the national central banks of the Member States which have adopted the euro (the euro area). It is responsible for conducting monetary policy for the whole of this area.

The Eurosystem is unique of its kind. Its main decision-making body is the ECB Governing Council, composed of the members of the ECB Executive Board and  the governors of the national central banks (NCBs).

The national central banks retain an important role within the Eurosystem. According to the Maastricht Treaty, the ECB and the NCBs have the right to issue banknotes, for example, and they do so. The NCBs also participate in the preparation and execution of the Governing Council’s decisions.

But all the NCBs of the euro area also have various tasks which are not within the domain of the Eurosystem. Thus, the National Bank operates the Central Balance Sheet Office and the Central Credit Offices, performs a number of statistical duties and provides services for the financial sector and for the State.