The European Central Bank celebrates its 25th anniversary as it struggles to contain inflation

The ECB president Christine Lagarde
The ECB president Christine Lagarde   -  Copyright  Kai Pfaffenbach/AP
By Mark Armstrong  with EBU

Hundreds were in attendance in Frankfurt to mark 25 years of the ECB. Today the euro is the world's second currency, used by almost 250 million Europeans in 20 countries.

Two hundred guests attended an event at the European Central Bank in Frankfurt to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the institution. 

Among those present at the glass and steel ECB HQ in Frankfurt were the current ECB president, Christine Lagarde, and two of her predecessors, Jean-Claude Trichet and Mario Draghi.

In the last 25 years, the eurozone, overseen by the ECB, has grown from 11 to 20 members. Today the euro is the world's second currency after the dollar and is used by almost 250 million Europeans in 20 countries.

Speaking at the celebration, the European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, made it clear the project is far from over as she spoke about the future. 

"Together with the ECB, we are working on a digital version of the euro to complement our trusted banknotes and coins," she outlined. "We never forget who it is meant to serve: our citizens. It is the trust of citizens and businesses that the digital euro needs to earn. In this spirit, the Commission will shortly put forward a proposal for a legal framework for Europe’s digital currency."

But the ECB's first priority right now is to curb inflation, and it is struggling. In April it reached  7%, driven by food prices, while energy prices recorded a significant decline.

The ECB's work and tasks were first defined in the Maastricht Treaty in 1992; since the Lisbon Treaty in 2007, it has formally had the status of an EU institution.

 In 2014, the ECB was additionally entrusted with the supervision of systemically important banks in the euro area under the Single Supervisory Mechanism.

Its headquarters are located in Frankfurt's Ostend district.

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