The European Central Bank (ECB) is a key institution in international economic and financial affairs. It conducts monetary policy for the euro area. Together with the central banks of the countries that have adopted the euro, it forms the Eurosystem. It authorises the issuance of the world’s second most-used currency.
The euro area is an integral part of the world economy. The prosperity of, and prospects for, the euro area depend on the international environment. A good understanding of the global economy is, therefore, essential in order to formulate economic policies in the euro area that safeguard financial stability and promote prosperity. Economic developments and policies in the euro area can in turn affect the global economy, for example via trade, interest rates, capital flows and exchange rates.
The ECB plays a particularly influential role at global level because it is the central bank of the world’s second-largest economy and part of the Eurosystem, and because it issues the second most-used international currency.