Research Handbook on Central Banking
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Research Handbook on Central Banking

Edited by Peter Conti-Brown and Rosa M. Lastra

Central banks occupy a unique space in their national governments and in the global economy. The study of central banking however, has too often been dominated by an abstract theoretical approach that fails to grasp central banks’ institutional nuances. This comprehensive and insightful Handbook, takes a wider angle on central banks and central banking, focusing on the institutions of central banking. By 'institutions', Peter Conti-Brown and Rosa Lastra refer to the laws, traditions, norms, and rules used to structure central bank organisations. The Research Handbook on Central Banking’s institutional approach is one of the most interdisciplinary efforts to consider its topic, and includes chapters from leading and rising central bankers, economists, lawyers, legal scholars, political scientists, historians, and others.
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Chapter 9: New tasks and central bank independence: the Eurosystem experience

Chiara Zilioli and Antonio Luca Riso

Abstract

This chapter focuses on the scope of the principle of central bank independence in the legal framework of the European Union, which has established such principle at constitutional level for both the European Central Bank (ECB) and the national central banks (NCBs) to ensure the highest level of legitimacy. On the depth of central bank independence, the chapter offers a review of the debate between those who are concerned that monetary policy decisions have been taken out of democratic control, and those arguing that only a central bank that is independent from political power can maintain a stable currency for the benefit of the citizens and that the ECB’s accountability has been ensured through several legal requirements and practices . With regard to the scope of central bank independence, this chapter analyses the question whether this principle extends to additional tasks which have been conferred, in particular after the crisis, upon the NCBs and the ECB, including in particular micro-prudential supervision, and whether the conferral of these new tasks could jeopardize central bank independence.

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