Why Christine Lagarde’s appointment as President of the European Central Bank is illegal (1)

Following three days of political backstabbing and infighting, the European Council finally came to a consensus on the nominees for the “top jobs” inside the EU on July 2. This was in 2019.

It would be an understatement to suggest that they have been controversial, in part because of the procedure that preceded the appointments. The decision was made by the Council in private. The appointees’ plans for the Union were not subject to public examination. In an effort to placate the Visegrad Group leaders, the Council disregarded the European Parliament and went against the “Spitzenkandidaten” procedure. It’s not exactly a clear advertisement for the concept, even the highly liberal and pro-EU Guardian admitted as much.

The controversies surrounding the four appointees were extensively documented. These included the ongoing investigation into von der Leyen’s contract awarding at the German Defence Ministry and the numerous allegations of corruption against Josep Borrell, the Council’s choice for the position of High Representative for Foreign Affairs. Christine Lagarde, who was selected to lead the European Central Bank, nevertheless, escaped most of those scandals.

In this series, divided into five articles, I contend that there are significant doubts about the legitimacy of Lagarde’s nomination, which keeps on casting more doubt on her appointment which still stands nowadays, because not enough attention has been given to the fact that she was found guilty of a crime for her involvement in a significant financial fraud case. This site has already provided a quick overview of Lagarde’s involvement in the Tapie Affair, but here I will give this again a quick review while also looking at the regulations outlined in the EU Treaties that control the appointment of the ECB President. It is possible to consider additional legal sources, like international administrative law or the general principles of the EU. However, these are outside the goal of this piece, and as you shall see, I believe there is enough legal basis under the EU treaties to contend that Lagarde’s criminal conviction makes her nomination void, subject to judicial review and annulment.

X (Formerly Twitter)