A single currency is all very well, but someone has to care for it.
Article 7 of the Treaty establishing the European Community (TEC) mentions the institutions of the Community: the European Parliament, the Council, the Commission, the Court of Justice and the Court of Auditors.
The European Central Bank is not mentioned among the Community institutions.
Article 8 TEC (ex Article 4a) sets out the main institutional rules for monetary policy, with the establishment of the European system of central banks and the European Central Bank (in the latest consolidated version of the treaties, OJ 29.12.2006 C 321/47):
Article 8 TEC
A European system of central banks (hereinafter referred to as ‘ESCB’) and a European Central Bank (hereinafter referred to as ‘ECB’) shall be established in accordance with the procedures laid down in this Treaty; they shall act within the limits of the powers conferred upon them by this Treaty and by the Statute of the ESCB and of the ECB (hereinafter referred to as ‘Statute of the ESCB’) annexed thereto.
Article 107 TEC (ex Article 106) lays out the basic structure of the European System of Central Banks (ESCB) and the European Central Bank (ECB), OJ 29.12.2006 C 321/88:
Article 107 TEC
1. The ESCB shall be composed of the ECB and of the national central banks.
2. The ECB shall have legal personality.
3. The ESCB shall be governed by the decision-making bodies of the ECB which shall be the Governing Council and the Executive Board.
4. The Statute of the ESCB is laid down in a Protocol annexed to this Treaty.
5. Articles 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 17, 18, 19.1, 22, 23, 24, 26, 32.2, 32.3, 32.4, 32.6, 33.1(a) and 36 of the Statute of the ESCB may be amended by the Council, acting either by a qualified majority on a recommendation from the ECB and after consulting the Commission or unanimously on a proposal from the Commission and after consulting the ECB. In either case, the assent of the European Parliament shall be required.
6. The Council, acting by a qualified majority either on a proposal from the Commission and after consulting the European Parliament and the ECB or on a recommendation from the ECB and after consulting the European Parliament and the Commission, shall adopt the provisions referred to in Articles 4, 5.4, 19.2, 20, 28.1, 29.2, 30.4 and 34.3 of the Statute of the ESCB.
Next, this blawg, founded on the rules of law, is going to take a closer look at the current Article 107 TEC.