International affairs

International affairs

The ECB is a key institution in international economic and financial affairs. It is the central bank of the world’s second-largest economy, the euro area, and issues the second-most-used international currency, the euro.

It is also at the heart of European banking supervision, making it one of the world’s largest banking supervisors.

The euro area is highly integrated into the global economy so its prosperity also depends on the international environment. In turn, economic developments and policies in the euro area can affect third countries.

A good understanding of the global economy and the international monetary and financial system is essential for formulating monetary policy and safeguarding financial stability in the euro area. To this end, the ECB:

  • monitors and analyses global economic and financial developments, the international financial architecture and the international role of the euro
  • participates in international institutions and fora dealing with economic, financial and monetary affairs
  • maintains relations with central banks around the world to exchange views and expertise and explain its policies