ABSTRACT. The paper first takes a brief look at the economic and judicial justification for the independent status of central banks in general and will thereby also illustrate the different manifestations of independence that need to be distinguished. Recent developments will then form the initial point for a detailed analysis of the concrete range of the ECB’s independence. This analysis will end with a positive conclusion. Until today its independent status has not been violated by any of the analysed measures. Possible threats, however, continue to exist. Safeguarding the independent status of the ECB thus remains an important mission not only for legal scholars.
JEL codes: E58; G21; G33

Keywords: monetary policy; ECB; independence; democratic theory; bond-purchase; judicial control

How to cite: Thiele, Alexander (2018). “The Independence of the ECB: Justification, Limitations and Possible Threats,” Journal of Self-Governance and Management Economics 6(1): 98–121.

Received 7 January 2018 • Received in revised form 9 March 2018
Accepted 11 March 2018 • Available online 28 March 2018


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