EBI is happy to announce a contribution of Seraina Grünewald (Radboud University Nijmegen) and Jens van ‘t Klooster (University of Amsterdam) in the EBI Working Paper Series No. 139. Their paper entitled “New strategy, new accountability: The European Central Bank and the European Parliament after the strategy review” was published on 17 April 2023.
A striking asymmetry defines the European Central Bank (ECB)’s approach to democratic accountability. Today’s ECB makes choices of a more complex and discretionary nature than originally envisaged for it by the 1992 Maastricht Treaty. At the same time, the central bank continues to hew closely to the Treaty’s scarce democratic accountability provisions. In this paper, the authors document the dramatic changes to ECB decision-making by comparing the policy frameworks informing Governing Council deliberations according to the 1998, 2003 and 2021 strategies. The authors show that the transformation of the ECB’s monetary policy strategy has not been matched with enhanced accountability arrangements between the ECB and the European Parliament. The paper concludes with ambitious, but concrete policy proposals – both in substance and form – for new ways of informing the public about monetary policy, instruments to improve accountability and coordinating monetary policy with other European policymakers.