Dr Menelaos Markakis receives EUR Fellowship
Dr Menelaos Markakis, Assistant Professor at the Department of International and European Union Law, has been awarded an EUR fellowship by Erasmus University Rotterdam to work on a two-year research project on the accountability of the European Central Bank. The project examines how the European Central Bank could be held accountable, politically and legally, across its main domains of action.
The European Central Bank
The European Central Bank (ECB) has acquired great power but is often unaccountable for its actions. It is not only responsible for monetary policy in the Eurozone, but since the Great Financial Crisis the ECB is also responsible for the supervision of the most important banks. It further monitors the economic policies of Member States receiving financial assistance. Major events, such as Brexit and the COVID-19 crisis, have led to a further expansion of its role and powers.
The research project examines the accountability of the ECB across the range of its tasks. It develops a general theoretical framework for the ECB’s accountability, setting out the key requirements and instruments of accountability for its diverse tasks. The key question is: what is the appropriate level, type and degree of accountability for the ECB’s actions? The project assesses the existing accountability and transparency arrangements against the standards developed in the theoretical framework, in order to identify gaps. It focuses on political accountability (to parliaments or other political fora) and legal accountability (to courts), as well as other forms of accountability (financial, social) where appropriate. It further develops a theory of judicial review of the ECB’s actions, thereby setting out the appropriate standard and intensity of review. The project will form proposals for enhancing the ECB’s transparency, accountability and –ultimately– democratic legitimacy, distinguishing between reforms that could be implemented without changing the EU Treaties, and those that would require a Treaty revision. The inquiry is directly relevant to one of the big issues discussed between the EU leaders: the Eurozone reform. It links to the ongoing debate on legitimacy and accountability in the Eurozone, where independent financial institutions and agencies are major players.