News & Comments

We welcome short entries about relevant European or national developments for this News and Comments section. You are invited to use the contact form for this or to directly contact Thomas Beukers ( or Viorica Vita (

8 February: German and French Central Bank President plead for Eurozone Finance Ministry

February 8, 2016

In a joined op-ed in the Suddeutsche Zeitung, German Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann and French Central Bank President Francois Villeroy de Galhau have made a call for a Eurozone Finance Ministry to deliver sustainable growth, arguing that the ECB is not a position to deliver long-term growth.

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8 December: ECB extends (reduced) QE until end of 2017

December 8, 2016

The ECB Governing Council on 8 December decided to extend its asset purchase programme programme, broadly considered as the ECB version of quantitative easing (QE) until at least the end of 2017, although from April 2017 monthly purchases will be reduced from €80 billion to €60 billion. Read the ECB press release on its decision […]

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4 February: Statement on Third Post-Programme Surveillance mission to Portugal

February 4, 2016

Staff from the European Commission, in liaison with staff from the European Central Bank (ECB), visited Portugal from 25 January to 2 February to conduct the third post-programme surveillance (PPS) mission. On 4 February the institutions issued a joint statement: "Economic and financial conditions in Portugal have remained broadly stable since the conclusion of the second post-programme […]

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10 April: ECB monetary dialogue with European Parliament

April 10, 2017

Today, Vítor Constâncio presented the ECB Annual Report for 2016 to the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee of the European Parliament. Read the ECB Vice-President's statement here.

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5 February: ECB publishes ANFA agreement on limits to holdings of national central banks

February 5, 2016

The ECB has published its secret Agreement on Net Financial Assets with the national Central Banks after calls by Eurogroup President Dijsselbloem for more transparancy on the agreement. The agreement sets rules and limits for holdings of financial assets which are related to national tasks of the NCBs. For more information on ANFA, see the […]

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9 March: ECB continues asset purchase programme

March 9, 2017

Today the ECB Governing Council decided to keep its main interest rates unchanged and to continue to make purchases under the APP at the current monthly pace of €80 billion until the end of March and that, from April 2017, the net asset purchases were intended to continue at a monthly pace of €60 billion […]

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15 February: Draghi tells EP that ECB monetary policy worked

February 15, 2016

Questioned by the EP's Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee on Monday 15 February about the ECB's monetary policy, President Mario Draghi told MEPs: "Quantitative Easing and our monetary policy decisions worked. Almost half of the recovery over the last two years can be ascribed to our monetary policy. We have seen two years of gradual […]

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CALL FOR PAPERS: The New ECB in Comparative Perspective, 19-20 September, EUI

May 12, 2017

European University Institute (Law Department/ADEMU), 19-20 September 2017 Organisers: Giorgio Monti & Thomas Beukers Western democracies have been affected differently by the global financial crisis. Political and institutional responses have also varied greatly, including those of central banks whose policies have been more or less aggressive and proactive. While this is partly due to different […]

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16 February: ECB again defends OMT before German Constitutional Court

February 17, 2016

In his introductory statement, Member of the ECB Executive Board Yves Mersch focused on the European Court of Justice's judgment in the Gauweiler case of 15 June 2016, and on two points, which the Bundesverfassungsgericht had identified in its communication with the European Central Bank as being significant: 1) timeliness and modalities for the implementation […]

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10 May: Draghi visits Dutch Parliament

May 10, 2017

See the news coverage by the Financial Times, and Bloomberg. At hia visit to the Dutch House of Representatives, ECB President Draghi spoke the following introductory words; "Introductory remarks by Mario Draghi, President of the ECB, at the Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal, The Hague, 10 May 2017 Mr Chairman, Honourable Members of Parliament, This year, […]

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3 December 2015: ECB extends Quantitative Easing programme

December 4, 2015

The ECB Governing Council has decided to extend one of its non-standard monetary policy measure, the asset purchase programme (APP). The monthly purchases of €60 billion under the APP are now intended to run until the end of March 2017, or beyond, if necessary, and in any case until the Governing Council sees a sustained […]

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19 February: Heads of State and Government agree on principles governing relationship euro in’s and out’s

February 20, 2016

Following the UK's request for a New Settlement within the EU and in light of the British referendum on EU membership to be held on 23 June 2016, the Heads of State and Government during their European Council meeting of 18/19 February agreed (next to issues relating to for example social benefits and free movement, […]

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16 May: General Court decides on scope of ECB prudential supervision

May 16, 2017

On May 16 the General Court decided on the interpretation of the concept 'significant entity' under the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM), following an action of annulment by the Landeskreditbank Baden-Württemberg — Förderbank, which is regarded as a significant entity by the European Central Bank (ECB). As a consequence the bank was subject solely to ECB supervision rather than shared […]

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31 October 2015: Greek Parliament approves bank recapitalisation legislation

October 31, 2015

The Greek Parliament on 31 October adopted a bill allowing for the injection of funds into the financial sector. This coincided with the publication by the ECB of stress test results indicating that the 4 biggest Greek banks (National Bank of Greece, Piraeus, Alpha Bank and Eurobank) needed recapitalisation. See for detailed news coverage Reuters […]

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10 March: ECB announces new monetary policy measures

March 22, 2016

The Governing Council of the ECB took the following monetary policy decisions: (1) The interest rate on the main refinancing operations of the Eurosystem will be decreased by 5 basis points to 0.00%, starting from the operation to be settled on 16 March 2016. (2) The interest rate on the marginal lending facility will be […]

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General Court in Accorinti: loss of private holders of Greek bonds not attributable to the ECB

October 12, 2015

In its judgment of 7 October the General Court decided that the loss suffered in 2012 by private holders of Greek debt instruments in connection with the restructuring of the public debt of the Greek State is not attributable to the ECB, but to the economic risks ordinarily inherent in financial sector activities. By protecting […]

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23 March: ECB presents annual report on supervisory activities

March 23, 2016

Read the full report here.

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OMT’s Inevitable Legality. Comment on AG opinion – by Giorgio Monti (EUI)

February 24, 2015

OMT’s Inevitable Legality? Giorgio Monti (EUI) Two sets of considerations on the Advocate General’s Opinion delivered on 14 January 2015 in Case C-62/14, Gauweiler et al v Deutscher Bundestag. 1. Inevitable legality The first starts from the premise that there are certain cases when a court cannot but give one kind of answer. This can […]

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22 April: first programme review Greece discussed at Eurogroup

April 22, 2016

No agreement was reached yet on either the conclusion of the first review of the Greek programme or – with the IMF in particular – on debt sustainability. Instead it was agreed that in the coming days a special contingent package of additional measures should be negotiated, that would be implemented only if necessary to […]

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Europeanizing the Eurozone – by Tomas Dumbrovsky

July 31, 2015

Tomas Dumbrovsky (J.S.D. Candidate at the Yale Law School, Assistant Professor at Charles University in Prague and author of the Reports on the Czech Republic and Slovakia) (This comment first appeared on I-CONnect: The way the Greek debt crisis was handled in the last weeks has been a public relations nightmare. The more or […]

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7 April: ECB presents annual report in EP

April 7, 2016

Read the introductory statement of ECB Vice-President Vítor Constâncio here.

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CJEU rules that ECB’s OMT programme is permitted by EU law

June 16, 2015

On 16 June 2015 the Court of Justice of the EU has delivered its judgment in the preliminary reference by the German Constitutional Court on the ECB's OMT programme (C-62/14, Gauweiler e.a.). The Court has found that European law permits the OMT programme: it falls within the monetary policy mandate of the ECB, is proportionate, […]

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2 March: ECB discusses fiscal capacity for euro area at EP hearing

March 2, 2016

At the public hearing of the European Parliament, Benoît Cœuré, member of the Executive Board of the ECB, made the following introductory remarks: "I am grateful to the two rapporteurs and to the two committee chairs for holding this hearing today to advance the public debate on a fiscal capacity for the euro area. We […]

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Advocate General issues Opinion on OMT-programme ECB

January 16, 2015

On Wednesday 14 January 2015 Advocate General Cruz Villalon has issued his Opinion in the Gauweiler case on the compatibility of the ECB's OMT-programme with EU law. According to the Advocate General, the OMT-programme is a monetary policy measure compatible with the mandate of the ECB and the monetary financing prohibition of article 123 TFEU if […]

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13 April: Fifth post-programme surveillance visit to Spain

April 18, 2016

A team from the European Commission, in liaison with staff from the European Central Bank (ECB), carried out the fifth post-programme surveillance visit to Spain on 11-13 April 2016. The European Stability Mechanism (ESM) participated in the meetings on aspects relating to its early warning system. The mission was limited in scope, and mainly focused […]

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14 January: Eurogroup discusses draft Council recommendation on euro area

January 14, 2016

For the main results see here: "The Eurogroup exchanged views on the implementation of the 2015 euro area recommendation and discussed the draft Council recommendation on economic policy of the euro area for 2016, which is scheduled to be approved by the ECOFIN Council on 15 January 2016. Ministers agreed on five policy priorities for […]

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The ECB in check: a case from Portugal on the new Single Supervisory Mechanism – by Nelson Coelho and Diane Fromage (Utrecht University)

June 10, 2016

Nelson Coelho is a PhD Researcher at Utrecht University School of Law; Diane Fromage is an Assistant Professor at Utrecht University School of Law and co-author of the Report on France on this website (This comment first appeared on the blogdroiteuropéen, European Central Bank (ECB) Vice-President Vítor Constâncio was recently invited by the Portuguese […]

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21 January: ECB stresses power, willingness and determination to act

January 22, 2016

At it's meeting of 21 January 2016 the ECB Governing Council decided "that the interest rate on the main refinancing operations and the interest rates on the marginal lending facility and the deposit facility will remain unchanged at 0.05%, 0.30% and -0.30% respectively." In the introductory statement to the press conference ECB President Draghi stated: […]

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22 June: ECB accepts Greek bonds as collateral again

June 22, 2016

The ECB Governing Council has decided to reinstate the waiver of minimum credit rating requirements for marketable instruments issued or guaranteed by the Hellenic Republic, subject to special haircuts. This means they can now again be used as collateral in Eurosystem monetary policy operations. It also means that purchases of Greek bonds by the ECB […]

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31 January: ECB’s top supervisor says differing rule interpretations cause imbalances

January 31, 2016

Daniele Nouy, chair of the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) told in an interview with a Cypriot newspaper that "We need to ensure fully harmonised prudential banking supervision," and that "Our aim is to establish a unified, integrated and harmonised supervisory framework, and this requires harmonised regulation." See the reporting by Reuters.

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21 June: German Constitutional Court rejects complaint on OMT

June 21, 2016

The German Constitutional court has rejected the complaint the constitutional complaint against the OMT programme of the ECB, after its first preliminary reference ever. Notwithstanding the critical position already taken in its reference, and its criticism of the European Court of Justice's decision in the Gauweiler case, the Bundesverfassungsgericht finds the outcome "acceptable because on […]

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1 February: ECB President tells EP reducing and sharing financial risk must go hand in hand

February 3, 2016

On strengthening the euro area recovery Draghi remarked in his introductory statement to the European Parliament: "Our monetary policy is working; and the ECB is willing to contribute its share to ensuring that the recovery remains firmly on track. But there are risks that – if they were to materialise – could undermine its course. […]

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18 June: central banks ready to intervene in case of Brexit

June 18, 2016

ECB Governing Council member Ignazio Visco, and Governor of the Bank of Italy has said in an interview to Italian newspaper La Repubblica that: "A British vote in favour of leaving the European Union is the risk that worries us the most at the moment. (…) We are keeping an eye on this risk day […]

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