“Independence of the ECB and the ECJ during the Sovereign Debt Crisis: From Active Leadership to Rubber‐Stamping?”, Marijus Bernatavičius (IIRPS, Lithuania)

During the sovereign debt crisis the ECB and ECJ were constrained by two main factors: pressures from the Crisis Management Mechanism and the sovereign debt markets. Contributions claiming that the European Economic Constitution was transformed did not recognize that European policy makers managed to preserve its main features by reinforcing the role of the market. Other contributions, which claim that the sovereign debt crisis was solved only because of the active role assumed by independent institutions like the ECB and the ECJ, are also devoid of analysis of the underlying causes, which implicitly incentivized or hindered the responses from independent institutions. A unified synthetic approach could provide a better explanation for the trade‐offs faced by independent institutions during four peak moments of the sovereign debt crisis: the ECJ’s decisions on the ESM and the OMT, and the ECB’s decisions to start the OMT and emergency liquidity provision for Greek banks.

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