Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2002-07-02-Speech-2-131"

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"Mr President, since there is a very large measure of agreement in this House over the fundamentals of policy towards the ECB, I would like to address one specific measure which we have in the draft resolution, which we have requested before without receiving a formal response from the Governing Council in the Annual Report, and I hope this will be rectified. It is the issue of publishing the balance of votes on an anonymous basis, so that the markets and Parliament can assess the shift of opinion over time. You, Mr Duisenberg, have raised objections in the past to such a move, because the Governing Council tends to decide by consensus. I was glad that you indicated to us in committee that you would reconsider this over time. I hope that you will decide to take decisions by majority voting, both because this would lead to more efficient decision-making and because you are asked to do so in the Treaties. I would like to make it clear that I do not share the criticism over the last year that the ECB has acted too little and too late. In fact the ECB first cut interest rates in May 2001 despite a continuing rise in inflation, which had still to peak at 3.4%. You have honoured your monetary reference values only in the breach, and in 26 out of 41 months you have allowed inflation to exceed your target range. This is a pragmatic institution. However, we know from the Council of Ministers that voting by consensus, in other words by unanimity, is slower and more difficult than voting by majority. For this reason alone, it would be sensible for the ECB in future to vote by majority. The fact that present procedures have not led to mistakes is not an argument against improving them, particularly when this is what the Treaty requires. Article 10 of the Protocol on the Statute of the European System of Central Banks clearly states that the Governing Council shall act by a simple majority. Therefore, I hope that the Governing Council will also note its Treaty obligations in the manner of its decision-taking by majority."@en1

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