EU Ombudsman to ECB President: Cut Ties With ‘Group of Thirty’

By World Economic Forum via Wikimedia Commons

Emily O’Reilly, the Ombudsman of the European Union, has again urged Mario Draghi, the President of the European Central Bank (ECB), to cut his membership with a private group due to concerns that it could negatively affect public confidence in the bank.

O’Reilly led an investigation into the ties of Draghi with the Group of Thirty. The group is made up of private sector bankers and senior public officials.

Last, Tuesday, she reemphasized her earlier findings of “maladministration.” She said that the reply of the ECB to her recommendations was considered to be “not satisfactory” and that the bank has “remained in denial regarding the implications of the membership of its President in the G30.”

O’Reilly discovered that there was public interest in the engagement of the ECB with the financial sector. She said that “the principles of good administration require that the objective and impartial performance of those holding public office must not be influenced, or even appear to be influenced, by private relationships.”

The inquiry stated: “The ECB President’s membership of the G30 could give rise to a public perception that the independence of the ECB could be compromised. For the ECB to allow this perception to arise over several years constitutes maladministration on its part. The ECB should, therefore, ensure that the President of the ECB suspends his membership for the remaining duration of his term.”

The investigation also recommended that neither the next President of the ECB nor any other member of the decision-making bodies of the ECB, should become a member of the G30.

We have reached out to ECB for ta comment regarding the matter.