This paper explores the horizontal and vertical separation of powers in the Banking Union in the light of fundamental principles of Union law. Regarding the vertical separation of powers, the allocation of supervisory powers to the ECB might lead to conflicting policy objectives between supervision and monetary policy, and supervision and restructuring. Yet, a different institutional structure for the SSM would not mitigate these concerns. Legal review of the SSM provides some safeguards against such conflicts, but needs to respect the discretionary powers of the SSM. Parliamentary control, however, could be improved; and executive control of the SSM by the Commission might be advisable, though difficult to realize. As concerns the horizontal separation of powers, the rulemaking powers of EBA should be strengthened against the dominance of the ECB. On the whole, however, levelling up the role of the national competent authorities would endanger the objectives of the Banking Union.
The paper analyses the administrative means of review, which can be sought against decisions made by the European Supervisory Authorities (before the Joint Board of Appeal) and by the European Central Bank (before the Administrative Board of Review), in the light of the challenges posed by the completion of the Monetary Union and the forthcoming introduction of the Capital Markets Union. After examining the legal framework, as well as the ongoing practice and the case-law, the paper contends that the two instruments are aimed at striking a balance between the protection of rights and the preservation of the decision-making autonomy of the ESAs and the ECB, while at the same time serving the purpose of shielding these bodies from judicial control. The analysis will also show how and why common goals are differently pursued in the two cases and will address some issues of fragmentation and incoherence.