Sinn Féin Dublin MEP Lynn Boylan has accused the government of ‘sleepwalking into Ireland’s loss of voting rights on the European Central Bank’s governing body.’ She also said that ‘the ending of one state one vote for smaller member states from January 2015 is an affront to democracy and fairness.'
Deputy Boylan said:
“In 2003 the European Council agreed to change the voting procedure for the European Central Bank when the number of Eurozone countries exceeded 15.
“The Irish government at the time signed up to a system in which the larger economies such as Germany would have greater voting rights than smaller member states such as Ireland.
‘In 2008 the ECB deferred the implementation of this rule. However with Lithuania joining the Euro in 2015 the new rules will come into force.
“My colleague Pearse Doherty TD raised this with Finance Minister Michael Noonan in the Dáil in 2011. At that time the Minister states that, “Any change to the voting rights set out in Article 10 of the Statute would require the unanimous decision of the European Council
“Does this mean that Minister Noonan and the Government gave their consent to the loss of Ireland’s voting rights on the ECB Council?
“I am today calling on the Government to clarify this matter.
“The Irish government have been sleepwalking into Ireland’s loss of voting rights at the European Central Banks governing body.
“Crocodile tears from Fianna Fáil’s Michael McGrath and Fine Gael’s Brian Hayes won’t get out voting rights back. The Taoiseach must raise this matter at the European Council as a matter of urgency. The proposed implementation of the new rule must be deferred pending a full resolution of the matter.
“Only full voting rights for all Eurozone member states is acceptable. Irish people should not have to accept second class citizenship on the ECB because of the decisions and indecision of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.”
Written Answers - European Central Bank
Tuesday, 15 November 2011
Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 746 No. 3
Page of 479
72. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance his position on the German Government party’s proposal to amend the voting procedure on the European Central Bank board from one member one vote to a weighted voting system based on the member states' capital share of the ECB; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34430/11]
Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): The voting procedure for the Governing Council of the European Central Bank is set out in the Statute of the European System of Central Banks and of the European Central Bank. Any change to the voting rights set out in Article 10 of the Statute would require the unanimous decision of the European Council, based on either a recommendation from the European Central Bank and after consulting the European Parliament and the Commission, or on a recommendation from the Commission and after consulting the European Parliament and the European Central Bank. Any amendments to the voting procedures under Article 10 cannot enter into force until they are approved by all Member States in accordance with their respective constitutional requirements. A recommendation made by the ECB under this Article requires a unanimous decision by the Governing Council. Finally, I would note that there are currently no such proposals for amendment before Member States for consideration.