The European Central Bank President Mario Draghi is expecting the euro zone recovery to be gradual, yet fragile, he said on Wednesday, pointing to continued downside risks to growth.

Draghi stuck to the ECB's mantra that the euro zone economy would start to improve in the second part of the year.

"We see a gradually recovery picking up by the year end and continuing next year... The risks are still on the downside," Draghi told committees in the French lower house of parliament.

"Our baseline scenario sees a recovery, a gradual but fragile recovery with risks on the downside," said Draghi.

He added that the ECB would look "with great attention to the potential volatility consequences that financial markets have undergone in the past few weeks".

(Reporting Ingrid Melander and Leigh Thomas, writing by Eva Kuehnen; Editing by Toby Chopra)