mpetel at sjd.law.harvard.edu
Climate Crisis and the European Central Bank: Legal Leeway, Legitimacy, and Institutional Reform
In the post-Covid19 economic recovery, a double constraint arises: one the one hand, the financial legacy of the pandemic leaves us with considerable levels of public debt and on the other, there is a need to invest massively in the greening of our economies. Facing this unique context, I seek to explore role of the European Central Bank (ECB). Originally, the institutional design of the ECB is intended to ensure its independence vis-à-vis governments and enshrines price stability as its primary mandate. However, following the eurozone financial crisis and the recent public health emergency, the ECB has become a genuine market maker with a key political role. Using the grey zones of its legal mandate, the ECB might continue to unilaterally expand its own mandate to cover climate issues. This expansion process may, however, lead to a judicial backlash due to the lack of democratic legitimacy and accountability of the ECB. Therefore, some authors have called for a shift from the technocratic model of central banking to a political paradigm in which money is a governance tool that may serve social objectives, including addressing the climate crisis. My dissertation aims at addressing the institutional design challenges to realize this shift.
Fields of Research and Supervisors
- Money and Governance with Professor Christine Desan, Harvard Law School, Principal Faculty Supervisor
- Comparative Constitutional Law with Professor Vicky Jackson, Harvard Law School
- Finance and Sustainability with Professor Gaël Giraud, Georgetown University
Additional Research Interests
- Human Rights and Climate Litigation
- Legal and Political Theory
- History of Economic Thought
- Legal Foundations of Capitalism
- Harvard Law School, S.J.D. Candidate 2021-Present
- Harvard Law School, LL.M. 2020-2021 (requirements fulfilled, degree waived)
- University of Louvain, Master of Law, 2015-2017
- University of Saint-Louis Brussels, Bachelier en droit, 2012-2015
- Matthias Petel, Droits humains et contentieux climatique : une alliance prometteuse contre l’inertie politique, Journal européen des droits de l’homme (forthcoming, 2021)
- Olivier De Schutter, Matthias Petel, Agathe Osinksi & Alexandre Detroux, Building Back Better: Social Justice in the Green Economy, 6 (4) International Journal of Public Law and Policy, 346-367 (2021).
- Matthias Petel & Norman Vander Putten, Economic, social and cultural rights and their dependence on the economic growth paradigm: Evidence from the ICESCR system, 39 (1) Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights, 53–72 (2021).
- Matthias Petel, La nature : d’un objet d’appropriation à un sujet de droit. Réflexions pour un nouveau modèle de société, 80 Revue Interdisciplinaire d’Etudes Juridiques, 207-239 (2018).
- Languages: English, French
Last Updated: July 14, 2021