The ECB, the Court of Justice and the redesigning of the integration paradigm

This paper discusses the judicial accountability of the ECB and, more generally, the influence of case law in shaping its institutional status and powers. It places the discussion in the more general context of the judicial accountability of central banks and the role of courts in economic and monetary policy. The discussion is organized by reference to three themes: central bank independence, the distinction between economic and monetary policy, and prudential supervision. Some of the litigation involving the ECB is par excellence constitutional in nature and revolves around established fault lines, e.g. the division of competences between the EU and the Member States, albeit in a new context. Other cases fall within the realm of EU administrative law, the frontiers of which are redefined by composite and hybrid forms of governance. The discussion seeks to capture the fact that ECB powers are affected not only by judgments delivered in proceedings where the ECB is not involved.