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Financial bodies

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The European Central Bank

The European Central Bank (ECB) was established in 1998 under the European Union Treaty. Its headquarters are located in Frankfurt, Germany. Its main task is to manage the euro – the single currency of the EU. The European Central Bank is also responsible for establishing and implementing the economic and monetary policies of the EU.

In the performance of its tasks, the European Central Bank cooperates with the European System of Central Banks (ESCB), which includes all twenty-seven EU member states. The fiftteen countries which have already adopted the euro constitute what is known as the ‘Eurozone’, while their respective banks, together with the European Central Bank, form the ‘Eurosystem’.

The European Central Bank is entirely independent in its operations. Neither the ECB nor the national central banks of the Eurosystem, nor any member of their decision-making bodies may ask other bodies for instructions or follow such instructions. EU institutions and national governments must respect this principle and may not try to influence the European Central Bank or the national central banks.

The European Central Bank, in close cooperation with national central banks, drafts and implements decisions taken by the decision-making bodies of the Eurosystem – the Governing Council of the ECB, the Executive Board of the ECB and the General Board of the ECB. 

In November 2003, Jean-Claude Trichet was appointed president of the European Central Bank.

Official website of the ECB external link

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The European Investment Bank

The European Investment Bank (EIB) was established in 1958 under the Treaty of Rome. Its main task is to provide loans for capital investment in projects furthering European Union policy objectives (such as rail and road networks, airports or environmental protection projects), especially in the less wealthy regions of the EU, candidate countries and developing countries. They also offer loans for small business investments.

The projects supported by the EIB are carefully selected according to the following criteria:

  • Pursuing EU objectives: increase in the competitiveness of European industry and small enterprises, establishing trans-European networks (transport, telecommunications, energy); strengthening the information technology sector; protecting natural and urban environments; improving medical and educational services
  • Benefits for the most disadvantaged regions
  • Attracting other financing sources

EIB also supports sustainable development in Mediterranean countries, Africa, the Caribbean, the Pacific, and projects in Latin America and Asia.

Official website of the EIB external link

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The European Investment Fund

The European Investment Fund (EIF) was created in 1994 in order to provide financial support for small enterprises. Its majority shareholder is the European Investment Bank.

The EIF provides venture capital for small and medium enterprises (SME’s), primarily new enterprises and those dealing with the area of technology. It also offers guarantees to financial institutions in the coverage of loans to small and medium enterprises.

The EIF is not a lending institution: it does not grant loans or subsidies to enterprises, nor does it invest in any companies. Instead, it operates via various banks and other financial intermediaries. It manages its own funds or funds entrusted to it by the EIB or the European Union.

The Fund is active in European Union member states, as well as in Croatia, Turkey and three EFTA countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway).

Official website of the EIF external link



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Date: 14.01.2008