The Democratic Accountability of Central Banks: A Comparative Study of the European Central Bank

The Democratic Accountability of Central Banks: A Comparative Study of the European Central Bank

By: Fabian Amtenbrink (author), Hugo Hahn (foreword_author)Hardback

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Description

The signing of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) propelled the Member States into the European Monetary Union (EMU) leading directly to the transfer of authority over monetary policy to the European System of Central Banks (ESCB),leaving Central Banks in the Member States to implement its decisions. This vital shift has led to calls for a fresh assessment of the independence status of the ECB. The question of central bank independence and its impact on economic performance has been extensively studied, but the equally important question of democratic accountability has been largely ignored. The study offers an explanation of what the concept means in the context of central banks, and suggests criteria by which the democratic accountability can be evaluated. The present system of democratic accountability in a number of central bank systems is scrutinized, and contrasted against possible future models for the ECB. The author asks whether and to what extent the ECB will be democratically accountable, to what extent reinforcement might be required, what influence will this have on monetary policy, and the extent to which existing democratic mechanisms in the Member States are likely to remain applicable. In the course of this study six national central bank systems are analysed, including the Bank of England, the Banque de France, the Deutsche Bundesbank, the Nederlandsche Bank, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, and the Federal Reserve System (Fed), and the ESCB and ECB. Fabian Amtenbrink is a Lecturer in European and Economic Law, and an associate of the CRBS at the University of Groningen.

About Author

Dr Fabian Amtenbrink is a Lecturer in European and Economic Law,and an associate of the CRBS at the University of Groningen.

Contents

Part 1 Introduction: context; objective; approach; structure. Part 2 Democratic accountability and central bank independence and theoretical background: central bank independence - the evaluation of central bank independence, conclusions; the democratic accountability of central banks - the case for democratic accountability, defining democratic accountability for central banks, conclusions; on the relationship between central bank independence and democratic accountability. Part 3 The central banks - an overview: Bank of England - historic development, institutional structure, tasks; Banque de France - historic development, institutional structure, tasks; Deutsche Bundesbank - historic development, institutional structure, tasks; De Nederlandsche Bank NV - historic development, institutional structure, tasks; the European system of central banks and the European Central Bank: historic development, institutional structure, tasks; the Reserve Bank of New Zealand - historic development, institutional structure, tasks; Federal Reserve system - historic development, institutional structure, tasks. Part 4 Evaluating the democratic accountability of central banks: legal bias - constitutional recognition of central banks, act of parliament, a constitutional recognition of member states' central banks in ESCB?; monetary objectives - central banks with an indistinct monetary objective; central banks with a primary monetary objective, central banks with a statutory quantified monetary objective; the relationship with the executive branch of government - central bank statutes with an explicit reference to independence, central bank statues without an explicit reference to independence; appointment and dismissal procedures - appointment and reappointment, dismissal; override-mechanism - central bank systems precluding an override mechanism, the limited override mechanism of the Bundesbank, central bank systems incorporating a full override mechanism; relationship with parliament - institutionalised relationship between the central bank and parliament, central banks without an institutionalised relationship with parliament; transparency - transparency in the decision-making procedures of the central banks, transparency through publicity; budgetary accountability - budgetary independence, limited budgetary independence. Part 5 Democratic accountability - quo vadis?: conditions for democratic accountability - introducing a yardstick, creating an arena; instruments of democratic accountability - threat of change - the constraining effect of the legal basis, collegiate principle v. personal responsibility - the (re-) appointment and dismissal procedures, the stick behind the back - the override mechanism, checking where the money goes -budgetary accountability; the status quo and the future of the democratic accountability of the ECB - the subsidiary role of democratic accountability, a new approach for a democratically accountable ECB (Part Contents).

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9781841130422
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 456
  • ID: 9781841130422
  • weight: 890
  • ISBN10: 1841130427

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