Bini-Smaghi, Lorenzo and Gros, Daniel (2001) "Is the ECB Accountable and Transparent?". In: UNSPECIFIED, Maastricht, The Netherlands.
Rightly or wrongly the ECB is widely perceived as in-transparent. Our analysis suggests that on formal criteria the ECB is more transparent and accountable than most other central banks. What could be done to improve the transparency of the ECB? The best way to make the ECB more accountable is to engage it in substantive discussions about its policy where it is pressed to provide the relevant information about the background analysis that have led to policy decisions. For example, the ECB should be pressed to make its inflation forecast public and it should be more open about the arguments, both pro and con, that shape the debates that precedes decisions. Accountability cannot be ensured by the ECB alone. An important role has to be played by its counterparts, such as the European Parliament, the Council of EU Finance Ministers and the public at large. Publication of detailed minutes of the ECB Governing Council meetings would not be useful. This would only result in shifting the true debate to informal meetings of the Governing Council, so that the formal meetings would only record pre-packaged consensus with no or little discussion.
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