¿Qué tan Independiente es el BCE?

Conforme la Unión Europea se prepara para darle la bienvenida a un total de hasta doce nuevos miembros, se acalora el debate entre los países candidatos líderes acerca de si la adopción rápida del euro promoverá o impedirá un crecimiento rápido que permita a esos países alcanzar a los actuales miembros de la Unión. Pero expandir la unión monetaria le plantea dos interrogantes igualmente fundamentales a los presentes miembros del euro: ¿Brindará la independencia política formal del Banco Central Europeo (BCE) juicios verdaderamente independientes en relación a las políticas? Si no, ¿agravará la expansión el problema porque las predisposiciones de los miembros del BCE se volverán todavía más divergentes de lo que son ahora?

Cada nuevo miembro de la unión monetaria de Europa añadirá un nuevo miembro al Consejo de Gobierno del BCE, el grupo que establece la política monetaria del área del euro. Con 18 miembros el Consejo de Gobierno es ya mayor que los organismos gobernanates de la Junta de la Reserva Federal de Estados Unidos, o el Banco de Inglaterra, o el Banco de Japón. Para reducir los riesgos de falta de autoridad, el BCE necesita reformar su Consejo de Gobierno ahora.

Aunque el Tratado de Niza no permite reestructurar el Consejo de Gobierno, sí permite cambiar el precepto de votación que el Consejo usa. Un precepto que requiera una rotación de votos entre los miembros del Consejo, o que los agrupe en bloques de votación, podría reemplazar al actual esquema "un hombre, un voto".

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