Europäische Zentralbank, EZB#
European Central Bank, ECB, institution of the Economic and Monetary Union (members: Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg Netherlands, Portugal and Spain) operative since June 1, 1998. Its basic tasks are: to define and implement, jointly with the national central banks (for Austria, the Oesterreichische Nationalbank) that form part of the European System of Central Banks (ESCB), the monetary policy of the Euro area (i.e. to conduct foreign exchange operations, to hold and manage official foreign reserves of the member states and to promote the smooth operation of payment systems etc.). Part of the currency reserves (up to a maximum of 50 billion Euro) is directly administered by the ECB.