The members of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank and the central bank governors of the member states that have adopted the EUR. The decisions of the ECB governing council are usually prepared in advance at the working level in the approximately sixty (!!) bodies of the Eurosystem or the ECB. This is where the actual competition for the best proposals takes place. – It is an established fact of sociology that a smaller body produces better results than a larger one. In this respect, decision-making in the Governing Council is entirely appropriate to the tasks at hand. Externally, the Governing Council always speaks with one voice, even when opinions are divided within the body. Minority opinions have been known to date, but have not yet been made public. – The members of the Executive Board of the ECB are selected and appointed by the European Council by qualified majority voting in accordance with Article 283 TFEU and Article 16 TEU. Often they are deserving politicians, not necessarily economists, and at worst they have not even gained experience in a central bank in their home country. This is a way for politics to infiltrate the Governing Council: but that is the way it is supposed to be. – In crisis situations, such as in view of the high levels of government debt that have become evident in Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy or Cyprus, decisions in the Governing Council are taken very quickly and also – as in early August 2011, for example – in a teleconference. – In late summer 2011, Jürgen Stark, a German member of the Executive Board, resigned from his post in protest against the camp formation in the Governing Council. There, a northern front faced a southern front. The representatives of the stability-oriented northern countries demanded that the debtor countries adjust their expenditures to their revenues. The representatives of the southern countries ultimately demanded that the ECB make good the failures of fiscal policy by cranking up the printing press. – See committee mania, Becket effect, democratic deficit, one-vote principle, no-action principle, European Monetary Union, fundamental error, ECB minutes, publication, ECB meeting rhythm, ECB sin, rotation principle, southern front, redistribution, central bank-influenced. – Cf. Deutsche Bundesbank Monthly Report of March 2010, pp. 45 et seq. (explaining the most important changes compared with the Nice Treaty with regard to the economy and currency; p. 47: qualified majority under Article 16 TEU and Article 238 TFEU).
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University Professor Dr. Gerhard Merk, Dipl.rer.pol., Dipl.rer.oec.
Professor Dr. Eckehard Krah, Dipl.rer.pol.
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