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Central banks 19 Jun 2018

20th anniversary of the ECB: A look back

As the European Central Bank celebrates its 20th anniversary, we take a look back at some of its defining milestones. Not in vain, the ECB has been the guarantor of the euro’s survival and, since 2014, the central axis of the euro area’s financial system. Since the onset of the 2008 financial crisis, the ECB took on a role that was pivotal for a huge part of the recovery. However, “it cannot act alone”: “further strengthening of Europe´s institutional and legal framework is necessary to construct a more united and resilient Europe to face future challenges.”

These are the words used by José Manuel González-Páramo, currently Executive Member of the Board, Head of Global Economics, Regulation and Public Affairs at BBVA, during a recent debate on the future of the ECB in London. González-Páramo, who served as member of the Executive Board and the Governing Council of the European Central Bank between 2004 and 2012, reminded that, despite the progress achieved in overcoming the financial crisis, “there is still work to be done.”

And to conclude his presentation, he borrowed the words of Jean Monnet, one of the Founding Fathers of the EU:  “Europe will be forged in crises, and will be the sum of the solutions adopted for those crises.”

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