Christine Lagarde: Jointly shaping Europe's tomorrow

Introductory remark by Ms Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank, at the the Franco-German Parliamentary Assembly, Frankfurt am Main, 21 September 2020.

The views expressed in this speech are those of the speaker and not the view of the BIS.

Central bank speech  | 
21 September 2020

I'm honoured to be here to sign the euro banknotes, something that has become a customary ritual for the beginning of each ECB presidency. Before I pick up my pen, however, I would like to say a few words on the importance of this occasion.

The great economist John Kenneth Galbraith once said, "When money is bad, people want it to be better. When it is good, they think of other things".

His point was that we want sound money not as an end in itself, but because it frees people to do more useful things with their lives: to work, to innovate, to invest.

And this, ultimately, is why the ECB exists - to secure that trust in money so that people can focus on what really matters to them. This is why our mandate and our main objectives reflect the well-known "functions of money".