Brandsma, Gijs Jan
Accountability in a multi-jurisdictional order
2020, Brandsma, Gijs Jan, Moser, Carolyn
This chapter investigates whether and how the mushrooming of quasi-autonomous agencies at EU level complies with accountability requirements. After outlining the concept of accountability as a mechanism and discussing the functions of accountability, we expose the particularities of accountability in the EU context and, more specifically, in relation to EU agencies. The chapter then explores the effects of Europeanization on (agency) accountability, and closes with some reflections on governance trends and potential accountability patterns. Most notably, we observe an increase of informal cooperation in policy areas that are mainly intergovernmental (i.e. in matters of security and defence, and police cooperation). This increase in informality poses a challenge to multi-level accountability: the absence of formal delegation of decisional and operational powers, or the absence of formal decisions, makes it virtually impossible for national or European accountability forums to hold actors to account.
The Principal–Agent Model, Accountability and Democratic Legitimacy
2017-10-18, Brandsma, Gijs Jan, Adriaensen, Johan
This chapter explores the normative underpinnings of the principal–agent model. These are situated in Rousseau’s analysis of the representative democracy and Weber’s study of the bureaucracy. Whereas many of their arguments still maintain their value in present-day politics, the empirical reality in which these ideas developed has changed drastically. The rise of alternative forms of public contestation, and above all, the multi-level decision-making setting of the EU, begs the question for which contemporary debates the principal–agent model still holds moral sway. We argue that—while principal–agent analyses can benefit from an explicit normative debate—the model is too reductionist to provide conclusive answers to such debates.
The EU Policy Process
2018, Heidbreder, Eva G., Brandsma, Gijs Jan
This chapter applies the well-established heuristic of the policy cycle to the policymaking process of the European Union (EU). Notably, the EU polity differs from states, which has significant implications on its policy cycle. To set the scene, the first part of this chapter provides an overview of the central polity traits that determine the unique features of the EU policy cycle. The subsequent sections review the basic features of—and some of the main research contributions on—the individual stages of the EU policy cycle. This chapter concludes with an evaluation of the changing power balances within and across the EU policy stages that suggest significant adaptations in EU policymaking and the EU’s role as a regulatory polity.