ECB Needs More Scrutiny From European Parliament, Report Says

(Bloomberg) -- European lawmakers should play a bigger role in scrutinizing the European Central Bank and appointing its key officials, according to a report from the Positive Money Europe advocacy group.

The organisation, which wants a fairer banking system and opposes policies such as quantitative easing, recommends giving politicians more time to put questions to President Mario Draghi at his quarterly hearings and creating a sub-committee that will focus exclusively on overseeing the ECB.

Parliament should also be presented with a shortlist of at least two candidates during the selection of Executive Board members, instead of simply being expected to rubber-stamp decisions taken elsewhere.

“In the face of growing challenges, uncertainty and criticism, it is necessary to strengthen the ECB’s accountability now to ensure it has the legitimacy to act when the next crisis hits,” Stanislas Jourdan, one of the report’s co-authors, said in a statement. “Strong accountability is the ultimate line of defense for central bank independence.”

The call for greater transparency also addresses the ECB’s communications.

Releasing detailed transcripts of its policy meetings including voting records after 10 years would constitute “a key step toward enabling the ECB’s audiences to appreciate and oversee the ECB’s decision-making, especially throughout the last financial crisis,” according to the report.

ECB minutes are currently under wraps for 30 years. A summary of policy meetings is generally published with a four-week delay.

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