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Police patrols, fire alarms, or ambulance chasers? Parliamentary oversight of European monetary policy and banking supervision

In this article, Adina Akbik and Sebastian Diessner expand the classic typology of police-patrol and fire-alarm oversight with two new categories: planning bureaus and ambulance chasers.

Adina Akbik, Sebastian Diessner
10 June 2024
Read the full article here

The parliamentary oversight of the European Central Bank (ECB) is frequently criticised for its lack of focus in both monetary policy and banking supervision. While Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) can publicly question ECB decisions in these fields, they often use committee hearings for other purposes, such as expressing political positions on issues that may or may not be related to ECB activities. This article aims to conceptualise such variation by expanding the seminal distinction between ‘police patrols’ and ‘fire alarms’ to include two novel categories – ‘planning bureaus’ and ‘ambulance chasers’. To illustrate the applicability of this typology, the article provides the first systematic comparison of the Monetary and the Banking Dialogues (2014–2021), combining a qualitative content analysis of 1,504 parliamentary questions with insights from interviews with MEPs.

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