PRESS RELEASE

ECB asks European Court of Justice to clarify Latvian case

6 April 2018
  • ECB seeks ruling on whether security measures imposed on Governor Rimšēvičs comply with Union law
  • Central bank has also applied for interim measures and expedited procedure for main proceedings

The European Central Bank (ECB) has referred a case regarding the suspension of a national central bank Governor to the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ). The ECB is requesting a ruling on whether Latvian authorities have breached European Union law by imposing certain security measures on the Governor of Latvijas Bankas, Ilmārs Rimšēvičs, which prohibit the Governor of Latvijas Bankas from holding office at the Latvian central bank and exercising his functions as a member of the ECB’s Governing Council.

Article 14.2 of the Statute of the European System of Central Banks (ESCB) and the ECB states that “a Governor may be relieved from office only if he no longer fulfils the conditions required for the performance of his duties or if he has been guilty of serious misconduct”.

In addition, the ECB has submitted a request for interim measures in order to preserve the normal functioning of its decision-making until the ECJ’s ruling on its referral. Furthermore, the ECB has requested an expedited procedure to enable a ruling on the referral as soon as possible.

The referral to the ECJ is not meant to interfere with the criminal investigation by the Latvian Anti-Corruption Authority (KNAB).

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