One of the objectives of this blawg is to suggest reading materials for students of history, politics, economics and law on EU law and related subjects, here the European System of Central Banks (ESCB) and the European Central Bank (ECB), as well as European economic policy and the euro currency more widely.
An introductory brochure of a general nature, available in 23 EU languages, is ‘The European Central Bank, the Eurosystem, the European System of Central Banks’ (2nd edition, April 2008). It presents the history of economic and monetary union, the structure and tasks of the European System of Central Banks, monetary policy, the Target2 System, the euro banknotes and coins and banking supervision, and it offers a handy glossary for the general reader. The English version is available at the website of the European Central Bank:
Hanspeter K. Scheller: The European Central Bank ─ History, role and functions (2nd revised edition, 2006). The book is available in 13 languages; for the English version, go to:
The ‘Legal framework of the Eurosystem and the ESCB. ECB legal acts and instruments’ (July 2008), which “contains summaries of the legal acts and instruments constituting the legal framework of the Eurosystem and the ESCB. The publication presents the main legal acts and instruments in a readable form, with references to the official acts, which have been adopted by the ECB and published since the ECB’s establishment in June 1998 up to the end of 2007.”
In other words, this publication contains legal material at a deeper level than the treaty provisions, in the form of readable summaries. Go to:
If you need the (internal) institutional provisions, you might profit from having a handy publication. The ECB’s booklet ‘Institutional provisions’ contains the Statute of the ESCB and the ECB, the Rules of procedure of the Executive Board of the ECB and the Rules of procedure of the General Council of the ECB:
‘Legal aspects of the European System of Central Banks ─ Liber amicorum Paolo Zamboni Garavelli’ (2005) is a hefty compilation of articles about various legal aspects of European monetary policy:
European Central Bank: How the euro became our money. A short history of the euro banknotes and coins (unknown date ; 94 pages).
This illustrated history of the euro banknotes and coins is available at:
Werner Becker: Der Euro wird zehn (EU Monitor 57, Deutsche Bank Research, 17. Juni 2008; 44 pages), is a detailed analysis, in German, of the successes and disappointments of nearly a decade of the single currency, since 1 January 1999 The strengths and weaknesses of the euro, the potential second world currency, are detailed in the face of approaching financial turmoil, which is going to be the first hard test of the Eurozone.
‘10th Anniversary of the ECB’ is the theme of the Special edition of the Monthly Bulletin (29 May 2008; 158 pages), with a comprehensive overview of monetary policy within the euro area. The English version is available at:
The European Central Bank: The monetary policy of the ECB (2004; 128 pages), available at:
There are a number of useful publications on the ECB’s web pages, from the Monthly Bulletin and the handy Monthly Statistics Pocket Book to various specialist books and research papers. Look for Publications at:
The latest ECB Monthly Bulletin with economic and monetary developments, articles and euro area statistics (October 2008) is available at:
The latest Statistics Pocket Book with macroeconomic data (October 2008):
Both long term decisions and the current financial turmoil are reflected in the European Central Bank’s press releases, available at:
The legal framework of the European Central Bank in its entirety can be accessed through:
There is a helpful User Guide and links for detailed search.
For a quick recap of history, la Banque de France offers a convenient calender of events on the road to monetary union ‘Principales dates de l’Europe monétaire ─ et calendrier prévisionnel’:
The Banque de France article ‘Le statut juridique de la monnaie unique’ (an extract from Bulletin de la Banque de France No 108, December 2002) presents an overview of the legal framework of the euro currency:
Deutsche Bundesbank, the national central bank of Germany, has published a fairly detailed overview of economic and monetary union, especially monetary policy. The 83 page publication ‘Die Europäische Wirtschafts- und Währungsunion’ (April 2008) is available at:
The new Eurosystem entrant Malta presents ‘The law of the euro: Constitutive, institutional and external aspect’, by Ken Mifsud Bonnici (published by the Central Bank of Malta, 2008; 34 pages):
Michael Palmer offers a historical perspective in ‘The Banque central du Luxembourg in the European system of central banks’ (2001), with both national and European ingredients. The book, which contains a portrait of Pierre Werner (of the Werner Plan), is available at:
The legal framework of the national central bank of Luxembourg is presented in Étienne de Lhoneux at al. ‘La Banque central du Lxembourg’:
One example of interlocking national and European legislation is the Bank of Finland publication ‘Legal Provisions’ (2006):
Some readers may be interested in the introduction of the euro currency in new entrants to the Eurosystem. Slovakia is going to be in the news during the last days of this year and at the beginning of 2009. You could start with the Slovakian government’s press release ‘Government approved the National Euro Changeover Plan’ (7 July 2005), with links to Part I and Part II of the Changeover Plan:
You can then monitor further developments and updated plans by looking at the web page on the introduction of the euro at the National Bank of Slovakia.
You can also look for (official legal) opinions of the European Central Bank on various aspects concerning the euro changeover in Slovakia, or more generally at the web pages dedicated to the euro changeover.
Documents on the recent euro changeover (1 January 2007) in Slovenia are found on:
Banco de España presents future perspectives in its conference report S. Fernández & F. Restoy (eds.) ‘Central Banks in the 21st Century’ (2006):
Next, this legal blog is going to return to the treaty and other provisions on the European System of Central Banks and the European Central Bank.