NBS in the Eurosystem

The Eurosystem comprises the European Central Bank and the national central banks of the 19 countries that have adopted the euro. Národná banka Slovenska joined the Eurosystem upon entering the euro area on 1 January 2009. The Eurosystem consists of the following countries: Belgium, Germany, Spain, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Finland, Greece, Slovenia, Cyprus, Malta, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

The European System of Central Banks (ESCB) comprises the ECB and national central banks of all EU Member States irrespective of whether or not they have adopted euro. Besides the euro area countries, the ESCB includes also the national central banks of countries with special opt-outs from euro area membership (Denmark and United Kingdom) and countries with a derogation from euro area membership (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Sweden). EU countries with special opt-outs or a derogation from euro area membership still have their own national currency, conduct their own monetary policy and their central banks have so far retained independence in monetary policy matters.

The Eurosystem and the ESCB will exist in parallel until all EU Member States become members of the euro area (excluding countries with a special status).

European Central Bank

The legal basis for the single monetary policy of the euro area is the Treaty establishing the European Union and the Statute of the European System of Central Banks and of the European Central Bank. Based on this statute, the ECB and the ESCB were founded on 1 June 1998. The legal personality of the ECB is in accordance with international public law. The creation of the euro area and its new multinational institution - the ECB - was a major milestone in the long and complicated process of European integration.

The ECB has been responsible for conducting monetary policy in the euro area since 1 January 1999, when it assumed responsibility for monetary policy from the national central banks of 11 EU Member States (Belgium, Germany, Spain, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Austria, Portugal and Finland). Other EU countries have since progressively entered the euro area: Greece in 2001, Slovenia in 2007, Cyprus and Malta in 2008, Slovakia in 2009, Estonia in 2011, Latvia in 2014 and Lithuania in 2015.