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

Jakob de Haan () and Sylvester Eijffinger ()

Journal of Common Market Studies, 2000, vol. 38, issue 3, 393-407

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).

Date: 2000
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