Harvard Law School Jean Monnet Chair

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Torrent, Ramon (1999), p. 1230 (footnote).

47 O’Leary, Siofra (1995), p. 544.

48 Koskenniemi points out that a political culture that officially insists that rights are foundational, inalienable or basic but in practice finds that they are not becomes a culture of bad faith. Accordingly, the rights-rhetoric is not as powerful as it claims to be. Koskenniemi, Martti (1999) pp. 99-100.

49 Arndt, Hubertus (1996), p. 217. This view corresponds to the traditional German view. The requirement of price stability existed in German law already before it was introduced to the EC Treaty. The requirement was widened at Germany’s request to cover the whole of the Union by giving the ECB the main objective of maintaining price stability. Smits, René (1994), p. 123.

50 Council Regulation (EC) No 2532/98 concerning the powers of the ECB to impose sanctions; ECB Regulation (EC) No 2157/1999 on the powers of the ECB to impose sanctions (ECB/1999/4). ECB’s powers also include e.g. supervision of credit institutes, payment systems and minimum reserves.

51 According to art. 3(2) of the Council Regulation (see footnote 49), in carrying out the procedure the ECB or the national central bank shall have the right to require the submission of documents, examine the books and records of the undertaking, take copies or extracts from such books and records and obtain written or oral explanations. In case an undertaking obstructs the conduct of the procedure the participating Member State shall afford the necessary assistance including ensuring access to the premises of the undertaking.

According to Smits, irrespective of the findings on this point, the safeguards deriving from the pan-European law on human rights should be upheld and these procedures should only be implemented within the limits set out by Art. 6 of the ECHR according to which “in the determination of his civil rights and obligations or of any criminal charge against him, everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law”. These judicial safeguards remain also in relation to an undertaking and when determining what reporting requirements can be placed on it.

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