Le Directoire de la BCE doit s’ouvrir à tous les pays membres de l’UE

L’économiste en chef de la Banque centrale européenne (BCE), Otmar Issing, ne devrait pas prendre sa retraite avant mai 2006. Mais dans les coulisses, les manœuvres et les tractations politiques liées à la désignation de son successeur vont bon train.

Si l’on en reste à la pratique en cours, le choix du titulaire de ce poste clé se fera sur la base de sa nationalité et non de son mérite. Aujourd'hui, la seule certitude quant au successeur de M. Issing est sa nationalité : ce sera un Allemand. Cette situation tient au fait que les grands pays se comportent comme s’ils étaient propriétaire de leur siège au Directoire de la BCE, considérant qu’il y a un siège pour l’Allemagne, un pour l’Espagne, un pour l’Italie, et ainsi de suite. Ils abusent ainsi de leur pouvoir, car le Traité de Maastricht exclut la nationalité comme critère de choix.

Cette manière de faire n’est que trop apparente. Il y a d’abord eu la nomination controversée de l’Espagnol Jose Manuel Gonzales-Paramo qui a remplacé son compatriote Domingo Solans au Directoire en mai 2004. Et cette année, en mai, l’Italien Lorenzo Bini-Smaghi va remplacer un autre Italien, Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa, qui doit partir à la retraite. Quels que soient les mérites des uns et des autres, ces nominations constituent un dangereux précédent. La procédure est manifestement inéquitable, car lorsqu’un siège se libère, elle exclue les candidats des petits pays. Elle manque aussi de sagesse, car aujourd’hui comme hier, plusieurs parmi les meilleurs fonctionnaires de la BCE sont originaires des petits pays. Attribuer les sièges du Directoire exclusivement à des ressortissants des grands pays fondateurs de l’UE diminue l’efficacité potentielle de cet organe.

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