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ECB glossary

legal convergence

The process of adaptation by EU Member States of their legislation, in order to make it compatible with the Treaty on European Union, the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and the Statute of the European System of Central Banks and of the European Central Bank for the purposes of: i) integrating their national central banks into the European System of Central Banks, and ii) adopting the euro and making their national central banks an integral part of the Eurosystem. See also European System of Central Banks (ESCB), Eurosystem, national central bank (NCB), Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU)


A present obligation of the enterprise arising from past events, the settlement of which is expected to result in an outflow from the enterprise of resources embodying economic benefits.


The ease and speed with which a financial asset can be converted into cash or used to settle a liability. Cash is thus a highly liquid asset. Bank deposits are less liquid, the longer their maturities. The term “liquidity” is also often used as a synonym for money.

Lisbon strategy

A comprehensive agenda of structural reforms aimed at transforming the EU into “the most dynamic and competitive knowledge-based economy in the world”, launched in 2000 by the Lisbon European Council. It has been replaced by the Europe 2020 strategy.