Face to face with the facts, it’s difficult not to conclude that the European Central Bank has become the most successful institution of the euro system.
It certainly has been the most prepared to launch initiatives meant to counter economic stagnation in Europe.
These covered a truly pan-European perspective and not just a national one.
Which made them harder to decide; more difficult to get agreement about; and even more difficult to implement and assess.
Under the Bank’s current president, but also his predecessor, the Bank took decisions that provided leadership to the eurosystem.
Some were controversial — still are.
But they needed to be taken.
I am one of those who agree with the decisons of the past few years.
However it has become obvious that the European Central Bank has accumulated substantial political power, even if it restricts itself to technocratic discourse.
One could claim that this power exceeds the mandate given to it under the existing treaties.
That power will be widening as a result of the responsibilties entrusted to the Bank under the provisions of the banking union.
Nor do the Bank’s leaders have to deal with a countervailing power having the same strnegth as the U.S. Treasury in the dollar monetary system.
The quality of the ECB’s decision making is not the issue.
But it is a question of asking whether a power vacuum has been allowed to develop in euro monetary decision making; whether this has been occupied by the European Investment Bank; whether this is a good idea; and whether we should seek to balance better the political power secured by the European Central Bank, in the interests of democratic accountability.

Maltese Version

Wiċċ imb’wiċċ mal-fatti, hu diffiċli li ma tikkonkludix li l-Bank Ċentrali Ewropew qed isir l-aktar istituzzjoni ta’ suċċess fis-sistema tal-ewro.
Ċertament qed ikun l-aktar korp imħejji biex ivara inizjattivi maħsuba ħalli jilqgħu għall-istaġnar ekonomiku fl-Ewropa.
Dawn tassew qed jittellqu minn perspettiva sħiħa Ewropea u mhumiex maqbuda f’xi linja nazzjonali.
Għalhekk id-deċiżjoni dwarhom kienet aktar iebsa; aktar diffiċli biex tlestiha; u aktar diffiċli biex twettaqha u tkejjilha.
Taħt il-president attwali tal-Bank, imma wkoll taħt il-predeċessur tiegħu, il-Bank ħa deċiżjonjiet li pprovdew tmexxija lis-sistema tal-ewro.
Uħud kienu u għadhom kontroversjali.
Imma kellhom jittieħdu.
Jien wieħed minn dawk li jaqblu mad-deċiżjonijiet tal-aħħar snin.
Madankollu, saret ħaġa ċara li Bank Ċentrali Ewropew ġemma’ fi ħdanu poter politiku sostanzjali, anki jekk jibqa’ fil-limiti ta’ diskors teknokratiku.
Wieħed jista’ jifhem li dal-poter jeċċedi l-mandat mogħti lilu mit-trattati eżistenti.
Hu poter li se jkompli jinfirex b’riżultat tar-responsabbiltajiet mgħoddija lill-Bank taħt il-provedimenti tal-unjoni bankarja.
Fl-istess ħin, il-mexxejja tal-Bank mhux qed jaffaċċjaw xi poter ieħor li jista’ jibbilanċja lil tagħhom, bħal fil-każ ta-Dipartiment tat-Teżor (Amerikan) fis-sistema monetarja tad-dollaru.
Il-kwistjoni mhijiex dwar il-kwalità tad-deċiżjonijiet li qed jieħu l-Bank Ċentrali Ewropew.
Hi dwar jekk ħallejniex jidħol vojt ta’ poter fil-mod kif jittieħdu d-deċiżjonjijiet dwar l-ewro; jekk dal-vojt hux qed jimtela mill-Bank Ċentrali Ewropew; jekk din hijiex idea tajba; u jekk għandniex infittxu li nibbilanċjaw aħjar il-poter politiku li kiseb il-Bank Ċentrali Ewropew, u dan fl-interess ta’ kontabilitità demokratika.