Opinion: The ECB must be held accountable

Author: | Published: 23 Apr 2019

"Accountability is the necessary counterpart to independence" – European Central Bank

Accountability is considered an essential element of any properly functioning democracy. It enables citizens to hold their representatives accountable for their decisions and actions, and it therefore serves as the basis for good governance and democratic legitimacy.

However, at the same time, accountability is also important for representatives to monitor the implementation of their decisions through public authorities. In some cases, it is necessary to establish independent authorities with a certain degree of discretion to achieve specific objectives. However, the power of independence and discretion requires clearly-defined objectives, defined instruments, and strong accountability arrangements. This is especially true in the context of the European Central Bank (ECB).

Established in 1998 as the central bank for the euro within the European System of Central Banks, the ECB's key target was to ensure price stability. In this function, the ECB enjoys a...