The central bank of the European Union (EU) area. Responsible for planning and rolling out the EU money-management polices. Organized January 1, 1999. This bank is independent from all EU countries and financial entities. Its operations determine the short-term interest rates and Euro bank rates. It is not, however allowed to deal with debt issues of the member states. A six-member executive board chosen by member states couples with the governors of the national central banks to comprise the ECB leadership council.