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Níl an t-ábhar seo ar fáil i nGaeilge.

ECB glossary




European Court of Auditors




Economic and Financial Affairs Council. See

Ecofin Council


economic analysis

One pillar of the European Central Bank’s framework for conducting a comprehensive analysis of the risks to price stability, which forms the basis for the Governing Council’s monetary policy decisions. The economic analysis focuses mainly on the assessment of current economic and financial developments and the implied short to medium-term risks to price stability from the perspective of the interplay between supply and demand in goods, services and factor markets at those horizons. Due attention is paid to the need to identify the nature of shocks affecting the economy, their effects on cost and pricing behaviour, and the short to medium-term prospects for their propagation in the economy. See also

Economic and Financial Committee (EFC)

A consultative EU body set up at the start of Stage Three of Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). The Member States, the European Commission and the ECB each appoint no more than two members of the Committee. Each Member State selects one member from among the senior officials of its national administration, and the second member from among the senior officials of its national central bank. However, the national central bank members only participate in EFC meetings when issues of their institution's particular expertise or competence are being discussed. Article 134(2) of the TFEU contains a list of the tasks of the Economic and Financial Committee.

Economic and Monetary Union (EMU)

The outcome of the process laid down in the Treaty establishing the European Community for harmonisation by EU Member States of economic and monetary policies and for introduction of the euro. Three stages were provided for: Stage One (1 July 1990 to 31 December 1993), removal of barriers to free movement of capital within the EU, better coordination of economic policies and closer cooperation between central banks, Stage Two (1 January 1994 to 31 December 1998), establishment of the European Monetary Institute (EMI) followed by preparations for introduction of the euro, avoidance of excessive deficits and enhanced convergence of policies (to ensure stable prices and sound public finances). Stage Three (from 1 January 1999) began with irrevocable fixing of exchange rates, transfer of monetary competence to the ECB and the introduction of the euro. The TFEU no longer refers to the three stages of EMU, as this progressive terminology is outdated. See also

economic approach

The accounting approach under which deals are recorded on the transaction date.























ERM II fluctuation margins

The mutually agreed floor and ceiling within which ERM II member currencies are allowed to fluctuate against the euro. See also









EU enlargement

The European Union currently has 27 Member States. In addition to the first six Member States of the EEC — Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands — 21 further countries are now members of the Union. These are: Denmark and Ireland (1973); Greece (1981); Spain and Portugal (1986); Austria, Finland and Sweden (1995); the Czech Republic, Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia (2004); Bulgaria and Romania (2007); and Croatia (2013). Albania, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey have the status of candidate countries. The United Kingdom was a member of the European Union from 1973 until its withdrawal in 2020.

EU Member State



The name of the European single currency adopted by the European Council at its meeting in Madrid on 15 and 16 December 1995.

euro area

The area formed by the EU Member States whose currency is the euro and in which a single monetary policy is conducted under the responsibility of the Governing Council of the ECB. The euro area currently comprises Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia and Finland.

euro overnight index average (EONIA)

A measure of the effective interest rate prevailing in the euro overnight market, calculated i) (up to 30 September 2019) as a weighted average of the interest rates on unsecured interbank overnight lending transactions denominated in euro, as reported by a panel of banks; and ii) (from 2 October 2019 until its discontinuation on 3 January 2022) as the €STR plus a fixed spread of 8.5 basis points, with the €STR reflecting the trading activity of the previous TARGET2 business day. See also

euro short-term rate (€STR)

A reference rate, based on money market statistical reporting data collected by the Eurosystem, reflecting the wholesale euro unsecured overnight borrowing costs of banks located in the euro area and first published by the ECB on 2 October 2019. The €STR is published on each TARGET2 business day on the basis of the previous day’s trading activity.


An informal gathering of the ministers of economics and finance of the euro area member countries, at which they discuss issues connected with their shared responsibilities in respect of the single currency. The European Commission and the ECB are invited to take part in the meetings. The Eurogroup usually meets immediately before an Ecofin Council meeting.

European Banking Authority (EBA)

An independent EU authority established on 1 January 2011 as part of the European System of Financial Supervision to ensure effective and consistent prudential regulation and supervision across the EU banking sector. Its main task is to contribute to the creation of the European single rulebook in banking, the objective of which is to provide a single set of harmonised prudential rules throughout the EU. See also

European Central Bank (ECB)

The ECB was established on 1 June 1998 in Frankfurt am Main as the body at the centre of the European System of Central Banks (ESCB) and the Eurosystem. Together with the national central banks of the EU Member States whose currency is the euro, the ECB defines and implements the monetary policy for the euro area. Since the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon on 1 December 2009, the ECB has been an EU institution. See also

European Commission

The EU institution established in 1967 (for the then three European Communities) that drafts proposals for new EU legislation (which it presents to the European Parliament and the EU Council for adoption), makes sure that EU decisions are properly implemented and supervises the way EU funds are spent. Together with the Court of Justice of the European Union, it ensures that legislation applying to all EU Member States is properly implemented and that the provisions of the TFEU are applied in full. See also

European Council

An EU institution that brings together the Heads of State or Government of the EU Member States, the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission to provide the European Union with the necessary impetus for its development and to define the general political guidelines thereof. See also

European Currency Unit (ECU)

Prior to Stage Three of EMU, the ECU was a basket currency made up of the sum of fixed amounts of 12 out of the then 15 currencies of the EU Member States. The value of the ECU was calculated as a weighted average of the value of its component currencies. The ECU was replaced by the euro on a one-for-one basis on 1 January 1999.

European Economic Area (EEA)

A free-trade area encompassing EU Member States and Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

European Financial Stabilisation Mechanism (EFSM)

An EU facility, based on Article 122(2) of the Treaty, that allows the Commission to raise up to €60 billion on behalf of the EU for lending to EU Member States experiencing, or being threatened with, exceptional circumstances beyond their control. EFSM lending is subject to strong conditionality in the context of joint EU-IMF programmes. See also

European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF)

A limited liability company established by the euro area countries, on an intergovernmental basis, for the purpose of providing loans to euro area countries in financial difficulties. See also

European Monetary Institute (EMI)

A temporary EU body established on 1 January 1994 to strengthen central bank cooperation and monetary policy coordination in Stage Two of Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and to carry out the preparations required for the establishment of the European System of Central Banks (ESCB), for the conduct of the single monetary policy and for the introduction of a single currency in Stage Three. It was replaced by the ECB on 1 June 1998.

European Monetary System (EMS)

An exchange rate regime established in 1979 to foster closer monetary policy cooperation between the central banks of the Member States of the European Economic Community (EEC) so as to lead to a zone of monetary stability in Europe. The main components of the EMS were the ECU (a basket currency made up of the sum of fixed amounts of currencies of EEC Member States), the exchange rate and intervention mechanism (ERM) and various credit mechanisms. It was replaced by ERM II (exchange rate mechanism II) at the start of Stage Three of Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) on 1 January 1999. See also

European Parliament

An EU institution that currently consists of 705 directly elected representatives of the citizens of the Member States. It plays a role in the EU's legislative process, although with differing prerogatives that depend on the procedures through which the respective EU legislation is to be enacted. Where monetary policy and the ESCB are concerned, the powers of the European Parliament are mainly consultative in character, although the TFEU provides for certain procedures with respect to the democratic accountability of the ECB vis-à-vis the Parliament (presentation of the ECB's Annual Report, including a general debate on monetary policy, and hearings before the competent parliamentary committees).

European Stability Mechanism (ESM)

An intergovernmental organisation established by the euro area countries on the basis of the Treaty establishing the European Stability Mechanism. It is a permanent crisis management mechanism for the euro area which issues debt instruments in order to finance loans and other forms of financial assistance to euro area countries. The ESM entered into force on 8 October 2012 and replaced both the European Financial Stability Facility and the European Financial Stabilisation Mechanism. ESM lending is subject to strict conditionality.

European System of Central Banks (ESCB)

The central banking system of the European Union. It comprises the ECB and the national central banks of all EU Member States (but the national central banks of EU Member States whose currency is not the euro are not involved in the conduct of the Eurosystem's monetary policy for the euro area because they retain responsibility for monetary policy under national law). See also

European System of Financial Supervision (ESFS)

The group of institutions in charge of ensuring the supervision of the EU’s financial system. It comprises the European Systemic Risk Board, the three European Supervisory Authorities (the European Banking Authority, the European Securities and Markets Authority and the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority), the Joint Committee of the European Supervisory Authorities, and the national supervisory authorities of the EU Member States.

European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB)

An independent EU body responsible for the macro-prudential oversight of the financial system within the EU. It contributes to the prevention or mitigation of systemic risks to financial stability that arise from developments within the financial system, taking into account macroeconomic developments, so as to avoid periods of widespread financial distress.




The Statistical Office of the European Union. It is part of the European Commission and responsible for the production of Union statistics.


The central banking system of the euro area. It comprises the ECB and the national central banks of those EU Member States whose currency is the euro. See also

excessive deficit procedure (EDP)

The provision set out in Article 126 TFEU and specified in Protocol No 12 on the excessive deficit procedure requires EU Member States to maintain budgetary discipline, defines the criteria for a budgetary position to be considered an excessive deficit and regulates steps to be taken following the observation that the requirements for the budgetary balance or government debt have not been fulfilled. This is supplemented by an EU Council Regulation on speeding up and clarifying the implementation of the excessive deficit procedure, which is one element of the Stability and Growth Pact.

excessive imbalance procedure

Refers to the corrective arm of the macroeconomic imbalance procedure, which is initiated when excessive macroeconomic imbalances are identified in an EU Member State, including imbalances that jeopardise the proper functioning of Economic and Monetary Union. The procedure includes issuing policy recommendations, the preparation of a corrective action plan by the Member State concerned, enhanced surveillance and monitoring requirements and, in respect of EU Member States whose currency is the euro, the possibility of financial sanctions in the event of a failure to take corrective action. See also

exchange rate mechanism II (ERM II)

The exchange rate arrangement established on 1 January 1999 that provides a framework for exchange rate policy cooperation between the Eurosystem and EU Member States whose currency is not the euro. Although membership in ERM II is voluntary, Member States with a derogation are expected to join. This involves establishing both a central rate for their respective currency's exchange rate against the euro and a band for its fluctuation around that central rate. The standard fluctuation band is ±15%, but a narrower band may be agreed on request. Foreign exchange intervention and financing at the margins of the standard or narrower fluctuation bands are, in principle, automatic and unlimited, with very short-term financing available. However, the ECB and the non-euro area national central banks participating in ERM II could suspend automatic intervention if such intervention were to conflict with their primary objective of maintaining price stability.

exchange rate volatility

A measure of the variability of exchange rates, usually calculated on the basis of the annualised standard deviation of daily percentage changes.

Executive Board

One of the decision-making bodies of the ECB. It comprises the President and the Vice-President of the ECB and four other members, all of whom are appointed by common accord by the Heads of State or Government of the EU Member States whose currency is the euro. See also