The European boards of bank supervision and bank resolution: balancing independence with democratic accountability?


  • Francisco Javier Donaire Villa Carlos III University of Madrid


ECB’s Council of Supervision, Single Resolution Board, Independence, Democratic Accountability


This paper reviews the complex balance between democratic accountability and independence of the European Boards of Bank Supervision and of Bank Resolution, within the core of the European Banking Union. For that purpose, it first examines the legal bases of such attribution of independence to each of these Boards. It also reviews the dialectics between independence and democratic accountability in the appointment and resignation regime of the members, and in oversight of the performance, of the respective Boards. The analysis differentiates between both organs because the ECB is not the independent body to which the SRM Regulation confers the managing and implementing of its provisions, but to an ad hoc body, the SRB, whose direct source of creation is the SRM Regulation itself. In this scenario, the balance between the independence unfolds in a different legal setting to that of the SSM, provided that such independence (like the ECB itself) is a direct creation of EU primary law. In addition to this peculiarity, another, no less significant, lies in the fact that the funding of the SRF is governed by an intergovernmental Treaty between the Member States participating in the SRM. Such difference concerning the SSM has specific implications for the SRM precisely from the standpoint of the European democratic legitimacy, in terms of institutional origin, but also of appointment and dismissal of its members, as well as of a performance, all of which are also dealt with in this paper. Finally, the paper reaches the consequent legal conclusions, the main of those being the resulting imbalance between democracy and ‘technocracy’.

Author Biography

Francisco Javier Donaire Villa, Carlos III University of Madrid

Donaire Vila

Associate Professor of Constitutional Law at the University Carlos III of Madrid. 90 research publications on Constitutional and EU Law. Visiting Researcher at the Institut d’Études Européens-Université Libre de Bruxelles, and at the Scuola Universitaria Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa. Invited Professor at Universities of México (Baja California, and CENADE at the F.D.), Brazil (Pará) and Perú (Pontificia Universidad Católica). Former University Carlos III’s Vice-Dean of Law and Business Administration. Email:


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How to Cite

Donaire Villa, F. J. (2022). The European boards of bank supervision and bank resolution: balancing independence with democratic accountability?. Review of International and European Economic Law, 1(2), 77–110. Retrieved from