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The Euro Area After COVID-19

Analyse approfondie 18-11-2020

The COVID-19 pandemic will leave the euro area economy quite weak. It will be essential that both fiscal and monetary policies remain mobilised to achieve a sustainable recovery. Having indirectly financed a large share of new public debts, the ECB will have to tread a fine line between its price stability mandate and the need to avoid disrupting debt markets. The solution for the ECB is to use its announced strategy review to provide more clarity, both to its objectives and to its procedures. This ...

The paper argues that the monetary policy response to the COVID-19 crisis has been appropriate in terms of the ECB’s primary objective. The concern over fiscal dominance is, however, valid as in a situation of rising inflationary pressure the ECB would have to choose between maintaining price stability on the one hand and public debt sustainability, financial stability and cohesion of the EMU on the other hand. Reform of the euro area institutional framework could mitigate this risk, either in the ...

Current developments during the COVID-19 pandemic involve strongly complementary monetary and fiscal policy, but both as responses to COVID-19 and not the outcome of an emergent monetary-fiscal nexus. Therefore, the ECB maintains its independence by using unconventional monetary policy measures to reach price stability, according to its mandate. This document was provided by the Policy Department for Economic, Scientific and Quality of Life Policies at the request of the Committee on Economic and ...

This note provides an overview of the country-specific recommendations issued annually to EU Member States under the European Semester for economic policy coordination. It presents how these recommendations evolved over time (2012-2020), including from the legal base perspective. Finally, it gives insights on the level of implementation of recommendations issued under the 2012-2019 European Semester cycles. The note is updated on a regular basis.

The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union specifies the maintenance of price stability in the euro area as the primary objective of EU single monetary policy. Subject to that, it should also contribute to the achievement of the Union's objectives, which include 'full employment' and 'balanced economic growth'. Responsibility for the conduct of monetary policy is attributed to the Eurosystem, which carries out its tasks through a set of standard instruments referred to as the 'operational ...

The ECB’s Mandate and Legal Constraints

Analyse approfondie 15-05-2020

This paper considers how the ECB can implement its mandate in the current crisis conditions and the legal constraints that exist on its actions. The current position of the euro area economy means the threat to meeting the ECB’s primary objective of price stability stems from the possibility of a long period of below-target inflation. This means the ECB should consider a wide range of stimulative policies that would help it meet both its primary and secondary objectives. The ECB, however, will be ...

A strong theoretical and empirical case exists for a dual monetary policy mandate. Central banks should aim to stabilise both prices (or inflation) and output (or employment). Other objectives, such as financial stability, reversing climate change, and reducing inequality are at best secondary objectives for which better policy tools are available. This document was provided by the Policy Department for Economic, Scientific and Quality of Life Policies at the request of the committee on Economic ...

To keep the euro-area economy afloat, the European Central Bank (ECB) has announced a large number of measures since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. This response has triggered fears of a future increase in inflation. We discuss the risks that the ECB is unable to fulfil its price-stability mandate, and also whether these new measures respect legal limits set by the EU Treaties. We conclude that the measures introduced by the ECB during the crisis and the resulting increase in the size of its ...

Setting New Priorities for the ECB’s Mandate

Analyse approfondie 15-05-2020

Beyond price stability, the EU Treaties assign to the ECB a range of secondary objectives. We investigate the linkages between price stability and these objectives to assess whether they are independent, complementary or substitutable, which is important to refine the definition of the mandate. Keeping the current mandate would not provide leeway for the ECB to reach other objectives. We propose to broaden the mandate to include employment and financial stability. Enhanced coordination should contribute ...

This report analyses the ECB mandate in light of its primary objective of price stability along with its secondary objective to support the general economic policies in the Union (Article 127 TFEU), which include employment, growth, climate change, and the quality of the environment, bearing in mind the broader goals of sustainability and solidarity (Article 3 TEU). The pursuit of financial stability directly interacts with the price stability mandate. This document was provided by the Policy Department ...