Two sides of the same coin?

Raphaël Kergueno
1 March, 2017

Independence and accountability of the European Central Bank

Tuesday, 28 March 2017, 12:15 – 15:30

Location: Residence Palace, Brussels

Register here

The ECB has emerged as the main actor keeping the single currency together. It was able to take drastic action due to its independence and its status as the sole truly supranational institution in Eurozone governance.

But big questions about its democratic accountability continue to dog its actions. From its expansion into banking supervision, to ‘bailout’ reform surveillance and unconventional monetary stimulus, the ECB’s activities warrant greater scrutiny. Transparency International EU’s in-depth study assesses the trade-off between independence and accountability, its transparency, and integrity provisions.

The event will address these issues with Benoît Cœuré, Member of the ECB Executive Board, Bruegel Director Guntram Wolff, Financial Times Frankfurt Bureau Chief Claire Jones, the European Parliament’s ECB rapporteur Ramon Tremosa, the European Ombudsman’s Rosita Hickey and the study’s author Benjamin Braun, Harvard University.

The session will be followed by the first roundtable meeting of the informal watchdog network on EU economic governance, convened together with Finance Watch. The launch follows previous reports on the EIB and the ESM.

Register here

12:15 – 13:00 LIGHT LUNCH
13:00 – 13:10



Carl Dolan, Director, Transparency International EU

13:10 – 13:30







“Study of the ECB’s independence, accountability, transparency and integrity”

Dr. Benjamin Braun, Harvard University
Leo Hoffmann-Axthelm, Transparency International EU

Case study: Fine-tuning Greece: Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA)

13:45 – 15:30








“ECB transparency and accountability”

Moderated by Carl Dolan, Transparency International EU

Benoît Cœuré, Executive Board Member, European Central Bank
Ramon Tremosa MEP, ECB-rapporteur, European Parliament
Claire Jones, Frankfurt Bureau Chief, Financial Times
Rosita Hickey, Head of Strategic Enquiries, European Ombudsman
Guntram Wolff, Director, Bruegel
Benjamin Braun, Harvard University

Q & A

16:00 – 17:30








Setting up an economic governance watchdog
(network meeting convened by Finance Watch & Transparency International EU)

Open invite for all interested civil society, academia & think tanks

Leo Hoffmann-Axthelm, Transparency International EU
Katarzyna Hanula-Bobbitt, Finance Watch
David Rinaldi, Centre for European Policy Studies
Joost Mulder, Better Europe


Related Projects

Eurozone Economic Governance

How transparent are they institutions which govern the Euro?


Two sides of the same coin? Independence and accountability of the European Central Bank

Transparency International EU’s in-depth study looks into the ECB’s balance between its expanded mandate, its unrivaled independence, and its accountability. It analyses the transparency provisions, which may compensate a lack of democratic control, and the ECB’s integrity framework, making far-reaching recommendations.

Investing in Integrity? Transparency and democratic accountability of the European Investment Bank

This report looks into the independence, transparency, integrity and accountability of the EIB, looking at both the legal provisions and their practical application. It also makes a number of recommendations to improve the EIB’s governance.

From crisis to stability: How to make the ESM transparent and accountable

Transparency International EU’s in-depth study is the first analysis of the governance and accountability at the ESM, the newest European economic governance institution, and makes a number of concrete recommendations. To make the ESM accountable, more transparency is in order, about where decisions are taken and who calls the shots.