ARENA Tuesday Seminar: Mark Dawson

At the ARENA Tuesday Seminar on 16 October 2018, Mark Dawson will present his paper 'Reconciling Independence and Accountability at the European Central Bank: The False Promise of Proceduralism'.

Mark Dawson, Hertie School of Governance


This article revisits the balancing act between independence and accountability at the European Central Bank (ECB). It challenges the mainstream idea that the two objectives can be reconciled through narrow mandates, the indiscriminate increase of transparency, the creation of multiple channels of accountability, and the active use of judicial review. These assumptions form the pillars of a procedural type of accountability that promises to resolve the independence/ accountability dilemma but fails to do so in practice. The article brings evidence to show how ECB accountability has become a complex administrative exercise that focuses on the procedural steps leading up to monetary and supervisory decisions while simultaneously limiting their substantive contestation. The failure to acknowledge the tradeoff between independence and accountability (said to be ‘two sides of the same coin’) has resulted in a clear choice of the former over the latter.

Download the paper (pdf)
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The paper is co-authored by Mark Dawson, Adina Maricut Akbik, and Ana Bobic. Please note that this paper is work in progress and thus have limited distribution, please contact us if you would like access. Do not cite without permission from the author(s).


Published June 7, 2018 1:29 PM - Last modified Oct. 10, 2018 11:16 AM