On 1 June 1998, the ECB replaced the European Monetary Institute (EMI), whose President, Willem Frederik Duisenberg, became the first President of the ECB, which was seen as a sign of continuity. The ECB inherited both an extensive body of preparatory work and the whole infrastructure of the EMI, including staff who were prepared to undertake their duties at the ECB. Nevertheless, the organisational structure of the ECB differed from that of the EMI in many respects, and has been subject to changes since then.
The EMI’s preparatory work helped establish the ECB, and significant milestones include the introduction of the euro as a deposit currency on 1 January 1999 and the euro cash changeover by 1 January 2002.
The ECB historical records include files related to meetings of the ECB decision-making bodies, legal acts and instruments, records of the European System of Central Banks’ committees and other records of an operational or administrative nature.