On 12 December 2017, dr Despina Chatzimanoli (EBA) will give a TARN lecture entitled ‘Keeping up with the times: New accountability of EU financial supervisors’, with interventions by Leo Hoffmann-Axthelm (Transparency International EU) and Prof. Adrienne Héritier (EUI). The lecture will be held at the European University Institute in Florence.

Reforms spurred by the Global Financial Crisis conferred a breadth of new powers on existing EU institutions, including the ECB in its capacity as bank supervisor. New EU agencies, and in particular the European Banking Authority (EBA), were created to facilitate regulatory convergence through delegated rule-making and mediation of disputes between national authorities. As a result, a complex architecture of EU financial sector oversight has emerged, raising key questions of accountability. Are the established notions and benchmarks sufficiently robust to meaningfully hold accountable new financial supervisors and other emerging economic governance agencies at EU level? The 2017 TARN Lecture will engage with these topics bringing in discussion theoretical perspectives and practical examples of designing new accountability mechanisms tailored to the role which bodies such as EBA and ECB play in regulating financial markets.

In EU law, discussions abound regarding powers and accountability of European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs), evolving mostly around the 2014 Short-selling (‘ESMA’) judgment seen as proposing a new reading of the Court’s Meroni doctrine limiting powers of delegation in the EU legal order. That judgment notwithstanding (and given the limited scope of the ESA powers examined by it), a restrictive theoretical approach is ultimately still dominant with regard to ESAs’ powers and their legitimacy and accountability. The lecture by Dr Despina Chatzimanoli will look at these established notions in the context of the development, by the EBA, of the Union prudential supervisory reporting framework for credit institutions and investment firms. It will use this case-study as a basis for discussing whether such established notions are still ‘fit-for-purpose’, and ultimately how their updating could prevent unintended consequences that appear to arise in practice.

 That with conferral of new powers and tasks in the context of financial sector oversight comes with need for updating of accountability mechanisms has been made evident by the recent establishment of the Single Supervisory Mechanism within the ECB. A recent Transparency International EU report asks precisely whether ECB’s tailor-made accountability mechanism has gone far enough and in particular how does the tailor-made accountability designed for the SSM hold up in practice? The report will be presented by Leo Hoffmann-Axthelm.


12 December: TARN Lecture in Florence