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The Democratic Accountability of the European Central Bank: A Comment on Two Fairy‐tales

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  • Jakob De Haan
  • Sylvester C.W. Eijffinger

Abstract

The European Central Bank (ECB) is widely considered to be (legally) independent. Buiter (1999) critizes the ECB for its lack of democratic accountability, which he does not define in a very precise way. Issing (1999) replies to some of the points raised by Buiter and argues that the ECB is both accountable and transparent. We first outline the concept of democratic accountability of central banks, before we comment on some of the disagreements between Buiter and Issing. Furthermore, we compare the legal accountability of the ECB with those of some other central banks (Bank of Canada, Bank of Japan, Bank of England and the Federal Reserve System).

Suggested Citation

  • Jakob De Haan & Sylvester C.W. Eijffinger, 2000. "The Democratic Accountability of the European Central Bank: A Comment on Two Fairy‐tales," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(3), pages 393-407, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jcmkts:v:38:y:2000:i:3:p:393-407
    DOI: 10.1111/1468-5965.00227
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