Corporate Europe Observatory

Exposing the power of corporate lobbying in the EU

New ECB President must leave private bankers' lobby group

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Brussels, 31 October 2011 – Campaigners today called on the new president of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, to cut his ties with an elite banking lobby group in order to protect the independence of the Central Bank.

Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) said in an article published today that Draghi, a former vice chairman of Goldman Sachs International, should withdraw his membership from the Group of Thirty – an elite club of banking leaders from some of the world’s biggest banks.

The bank is open about its lobbying role, saying it delivers “recommendations directly to the private and public policymaking communities”.

But CEO argues that such close links between private banking interest and the European Central Bank are inappropriate at a time when the ECB is playing a central role in the outcome of the financial crisis and the eurocrisis.

CEO campaigner Kenneth Haar said:
“It is inappropriate and potentially dangerous for the head of the European Central Bank to put himself in a position where he can so easily be influenced by private sector interests. The financial crisis has made it very clear that the banks do not act in the interests of the rest of society – they are looking to make a fast buck – and they should nothave privileged access to the President of the ECB.”

The independence of the European Central Bank is seen as fundamental to its existence::
“Neither the ECB nor the national central banks (NCBs), nor any member of their decision-making bodies, are allowed to seek or take instructions from EU institutions or bodies, from any government of an EU Member State or from any other body.”  (Article 130 in the LisbonTreaty)
 
Read the full article calling for Mario Draghi to step down from the Group of Thirty here:
http://www.corporateeurope.org/publications/lobby-take-presidency-ecb-again

More information:
Contact: Kenneth Haar, kenneth@corporateeurope.org

 

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