The European System of Central Banks (the ESCB) consists of the European Central Bank and the central banks of 28 EU Member States.

The European System of Central Banks is often confused with the Eurosystem. The difference is that the Eurosystem consists of the European Central Bank and the national central banks of the countries that have adopted the euro. The European System of Central Banks also includes the central banks of the EU Member States that have not yet adopted the euro. The European System of Central Banks and the Eurosystem continue to co-exist as long as there are EU Member States that have not joined the euro area.

Within the European System of Central Banks, all countries engage in close cooperation in several different areas. For instance, they work on matters regarding the development and usage of the single payment system (TARGET2). Furthermore, all countries collect statistical data. The central banks of the Member States that belong to the Exchange Rate Mechanism ERM II cooperate with the Eurosystem in the field of monetary and exchange rate policy. Internal cooperation in the European System of Central Banks is organised by the ECB’s General Council.