ECB Hawk-Dove Ranking: Croatia’s Vujčić Joins Governing Council

13 January 2023

By David Barwick – FRANKFURT (Econostream) – Econostream’s latest ranking of the now 26 members of the European Central Bank Governing Council in terms of hawkishness/dovishness has been updated to take into account the expansion of the Eurozone to include Croatia, as a result of whose accession Boris Vujčić, Governor of the Croatian National Bank, is now a fully-fledged Council member.

For the moment, we take Vujčić to be neutral, i.e. at the middle of the spectrum. Our view is that he actually leans hawkish, and we think this can be seen in comments by him predating Croatia’s accession.

‘It’s clear that this is the right way to go’, he told Bloomberg in September with reference to the 75bp rate hike implemented by the ECB earlier in the month. ‘As we learned in Croatia over the last decades, when inflation is high, when it nears double-digit levels, it can become a disease in itself.’

Still, we will allow some time for his policy inclination to become apparent in the context of his new role before assigning him a ranking.

In any event, according to the rotation system of voting rights, Croatia will be without a formal vote at the next two monetary policy meetings of the Governing Council, in February and March.

Technically, the rotation system remains the same with the addition of Croatia, but the enlargement means that 15 euro area member countries – rather than the previous 14 - now share the same 11 voting rights per month.

Thus, as before, four of those governors will be without a vote at any given monetary policy meeting, but any individual Council member will be in this position marginally less often.

The five largest member countries - Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands – continue to share four voting rights per month, so that at any time, only one of those governors will have no vote.

As before, the ECB’s six Executive Board members are not subject to the rotation system and thus always have the right to vote.