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Challenges ahead for the European Central Bank: Navigating in the dark?

Since the second half of 2018, signs of a slowdown have been piling up in the euro area. The ECB will face major challenges in this potentially difficult period: its main tools are nearly exhausted, the monetary union in which it operates is still incomplete, and it lacks the understanding of what the ‘new normal’ looks like. The authors, therefore, urge the ECB to review its strategy and framework to be able to face these challenges.

By: , and Date: September 25, 2019 Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance

This paper was prepared for the European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) as an input to the Monetary Dialogue of 23 September 2019 between ECON and the President of the European Central Bank. The original paper is available on the European Parliament’s webpage (here). Copyright remains with the European Parliament at all times.

Monetary policy must reinvent itself in the wake of the crisis. Reinvention is particularly important because the system is riddled with uncertainties and the scope for applying conventional and unconventional instruments is limited. The architecture of Economic and Monetary Union makes the challenge even greater, because alignment of preferences and policies only goes so far.

The European Central Bank (ECB) will have to be clearer on what it can do, while remaining flexible in order to manage uncertainties and unknowns. While the ECB’s main objective is price stability, it will also have to contribute to the identification of, and response to, financial imbalances, while preserving its independence.

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