De rol van de ECB en andere EU-instellingen in de aanpak van de schuldencrisis in de EU

Mathias Hanson
Persbericht

De ECB: een (niet zo) legale rol als redder van de Eurozone

“Within our mandate, the ECB is ready to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro. And believe me, it will be enough.” De voorgaande woorden van Mario Draghi, voorzitter van de Europese Central Bank (ECB), waren voorwerp van heel wat controverse. Een resem klachten omtrent de acties van de ECB liep de voorbije jaren binnen bij nationale rechtbanken. De klachten beweerden voornamelijk dat de ECB, in het kader van de crisis, acties ondernam die niet onder haar toegewezen mandaat vielen. 
Eén van die zaken, de zogenaamde Gauweiler case, werd zelfs doorverwezen naar het Europees Hof van Justitie. Als hoogste autoriteit om het Europees Recht te interpreteren, had dit Hof het laatste woord over de legaliteit van de acties van de ECB. 
Het Hof van Justitie was van oordeel dat de acties van de ECB binnen haar mandaat vielen en bijgevolg legaal waren. Hoewel het Hof deze stelling staafde met verschillende juridische argumenten, werd haar arrest van vele kanten bekritiseerd. De vaakst voorkomende kritiek beweerde dat het Hof van Justitie geen juridische redenering op zich opzette, maar haar redenering werd geleid door het resultaat dat zij wenste te bereiken. Volgens critici kon het Hof niet anders dan de acties van de ECB wettig verklaren omwille van de delicate politieke situatie. 
Het illegaal verklaren van de acties van de ECB zou ervoor gezorgd hebben dat toekomstige assistentie vanwege de ECB niet meer mogelijk zou zijn. Zonder de assistentie van de ECB, zou de schuldencrisis tot gevolg gehad hebben dat bepaalde landen de Eurozone en mogelijks de Europese Unie zouden verlaten. Het uiteenvallen van de EU, de organisatie waarop het Hof van Justitie zelf haar autoriteit steunt, is, volgens critici, uiteraard een scenario dat het Hof van Justitie kost wat kost zal proberen te vermijden.
De vraag dient echter gesteld te worden of het oordeel van het Hof van Justitie wel zo controversieel is als sommige critici willen laten uitschijnen. Steunde de beslissing wel in zo’n belangrijke mate op politieke motieven? Het antwoord lijkt negatief. Ten tijde van de oprichting van de ECB kreeg de Bank een grote vrijheid toegewezen bij het maken van haar beslissingen. Langs de andere kant, kan wel opgemerkt worden dat er geen manier bestaat om na te gaan welke zaken door de ECB in acht werden genomen bij het maken van haar beslissingen. Zo kan de ECB wel zaken in overweging nemen die volgens haar mandaat niet in overweging genomen mogen worden. Juridisch-technisch gezien, blijft de ECB binnen haar toegewezen ruime bevoegdheid. Er kan echter wel discussie bestaan over de afwegingen die de Bank maakt binnen die ruime bevoegdheid.
Gezien de complexe politieke, economische als juridische vragen rond dit topic, kan moeilijk een éénduidige conclusie gemaakt worden. De vraag of de ECB in het kader van de schuldencrisis al dan niet legaal optrad, zou moeten worden voorgelegd aan ECB personeel dat beschikt over inside information. Zo zou men een oordeel kunnen vellen of de beweegreden van de ECB wel binnen haar mandaat vielen. Misschien kan men op een volgende persconferentie dhr. Draghi eens de vraag voorleggen of “within the mandate” daadwerkelijk een voorwaarde is “to preserve the euro”. 
 

Bibliografie

WETGEVING

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Opinie Advocaat-Generaal
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Universiteit of Hogeschool
Master of Laws in de Rechten
Publicatiejaar
2016
Promotor(en)
Prof. Dr. Michel Tison
Kernwoorden
https://twitter.com/hansonmathias
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