We need you, as the representatives of EU citizens, to channel their concerns to us and help explain our policies to them.
The ECB is an independent institution that has full discretion to use its instruments, as necessary, to carry out its tasks and fulfil its mandate. Accountability is the necessary counterpart to that independence.
The ECB is accountable for its actions to the European Parliament as the body composed of the elected representatives of the EU’s citizens.
Our accountability framework
Under Article 284 (3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, the ECB is primarily accountable to the European Parliament, where the interests of EU citizens are represented. But it also has to report regularly to the Council of the EU, which represents the governments of all EU Member States. This is also reflected in the Statute of the European System of Central Banks (ESCB).Article 15(3) of the Statute
We have developed a strong and comprehensive accountability framework over the years, which goes well beyond the requirements of the Treaty.
The dialogue between the ECB and the European Parliament is of key importance in this respect. It allows the ECB to explain its actions and policies in detail to the elected representatives of EU citizens, and to listen to their concerns. In this way, EU citizens and their representatives can form a judgement on the ECB’s performance in view of its primary objective to maintain price stability, as laid down in Article 127(1) of the Treaty.
Common understanding and effective cooperation
To promote continued common understanding and effective cooperation, the accountability arrangements between the ECB and the European Parliament in the area of central banking are clarified in the form of an Exchange of Letters.
ECB Banking Supervision and accountability
The ECB’s accountability for its supervisory tasks is subject to a specific regime laid down in the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) Regulation.
How the supervisory accountability requirements are to be fulfilled in practice is clarified in:
- an Interinstitutional Agreement between the European Parliament and the ECB
- a Memorandum of Understanding between the Council of the EU and the ECB