Research Handbook on EU Economic Law
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Research Handbook on EU Economic Law

Edited by Federico Fabbrini and Marco Ventoruzzo

This comprehensive Research Handbook analyses and explains the EU’s complex system of economic governance from a legal point of view and looks ahead to the challenges it faces and how these can be resolved. Bringing together contributions from leading academics and top lawyers from EU institutions, this Research Handbook is the first to cover all aspects of the Eurozone’s legal ecosystem, and offers an up-to-date and in depth assessment of the norms and procedures that underpin the EU’s economic, monetary, banking, and capital markets unions.
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Chapter 6: The institutional architecture and tasks of the European Central Bank

Phoebus L. Athanassiou

Abstract

Chapter 6 presents the institutional role of the ECB, as well as the new functions it has acquired since the beginning of the euro-crisis. The author explains the organization and independence of the ECB and the national central banks comprising the Eurosystem and details the ECB powers in conducting the single monetary policy of the Eurozone. Moreover, the author underlines the new tasks that were assigned to the ECB in response to the euro-crisis - notably the functions of micro- and macro-prudential supervision in the framework of the Single Supervisory Mechanism - and discusses the impact on its mandate and independence. At the same time, the author reviews the role that the ECB played in managing financial support programmes as part of the so-called troika. As this chapter points out, the ECB emerged as one of the most powerful institutions of EMU in the aftermath of the crisis, acting as the stop-gap to remedy the design flaws of the EMU, but with great power comes greater responsibility, and it is therefore unsurprising that its action are increasingly subject to judicial scrutiny.

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