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European Central Bank (ECB)

The European Central Bank (ECB) is the central bank for Europe's single currency, the euro. Since 1 January 1999 the ECB has been responsible for conducting monetary policy for the euro area - the world’s largest economy after the United States.

The euro area came into being when responsibility for monetary policy was transferred from the national central banks of 11 EU Member States to the ECB in January 1999. Greece joined in 2001, Slovenia in 2007, Cyprus and Malta in 2008, Slovakia in 2009 and Estonia in 2011. The creation of the euro area and of a new supranational institution, the ECB, was a milestone in the long and complex process of European integration.


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