Towards Expansion of the European Central Bank
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Publication date: 2004-10-25
GNPJE 2004;195(10):43-64
The article presents certain drawbacks of the present decision-making system of the European Central Bank (ECB), in particular in the context of the possible entry of new countries into the euro area. It also illustrates the main scenarios of the ECB reform, as proposed in economic writings, pointing out their drawbacks and advantages. In this context, the official proposal of the reform, put forward by the ECB Governing Council is discussed, along with the progress of the legislative procedure involved with the reform. Besides, serious reservations about this proposals voiced by leading economists are taken account of. They cover, inter alia, the issues of transparency and accountability to democratic institutions, as well as the alleged lack of a serious improvement of the ECB decision-making process upon enlargement of the Economic and Monetary Union. The article also presents main theoretical considerations involved with the decision-making system of the central bank with a federal structure, in particular based on the theory of time inconsistency of decisions concerning monetary policy. The problem of making decisions within committees with a federal structure, composed of persons with heterogeneous preferences or skills, was addressed as well.
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