La Banque centrale européenne est-elle réellement indépendante ?

Alors que l'UE se prépare à accueillir de nouveaux membres, une douzaine de candidats se presse à ses portes, le débat fait rage parmi les pays qui ont le plus de poids au sein de l'Union pour savoir si l'adoption rapide de l'euro aiderait les nouveaux arrivants à rattraper leur retard. Mais l'élargissement de la zone euro soulève deux questions fondamentales pour les pays membres : l'indépendance formelle de la Banque centrale européenne (BCE) lui permet-elle d'avoir une politique réellement indépendante ? Si ce n'est pas le cas, les divergences de points de vue entre les membres de la BCE ne risquent-elles pas de s'amplifier à la faveur de l'extension, aggravant ainsi le problème ?

Chaque pays entrant dans l'union monétaire européenne apporte un membre supplémentaire au Conseil des gouverneurs de la BCE. Composé aujourd'hui de 18 membres, ce Conseil est plus nombreux que les organes de décision de la Réserve fédérale américaine, de la Banque d'Angleterre et de la Banque du Japon. Pour diminuer les risques de blocage, la BCE doit réformer dès à présent son Conseil.

Si le traité de Nice ne permet pas de le restructurer, il permet cependant de modifier les modalités de vote. Un droit de vote tournant ou un droit de vote par bloc de pays pourrait remplacer la règle en vigueur actuellement qui accorde une voix à chaque membre.

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