The Real World of EU Accountability: What Deficit?

Hardcover | July 30, 2010

EditorMark Bovens, Deirdre Curtin, Paul t Hart

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The Real World of EU Accountability reports the findings of a major empirical study into patterns and practices of accountability in European governance. The product of a 4-year, path-breaking project, this book assesses to what extent and how the people that populate the key arenas whereEuropean public policy is made or implemented are held accountable. Using a systematic analytical framework, it examines not just the formal accountability arrangements but also documents and compares how these operate in practice. In doing so, it provides a unique, empirically grounded contributionto the pivotal but often remarkably fact-free debate about democracy and accountability in European governance. With four empirical chapters covering the Commission and its agencies, the European Council, and Comitology committees, it shows that a web of formal accountability arrangements has been woven around most of them, but that the extent to which the relevant accountability forums actually use theoversight possibilities offered to them varies markedly: some forums lack the institutional resources, others the willingness. But in those cases where both are on the increase, as in the European Parliament's efforts vis a vis the European Commission, fundamentally healthy accountabilityrelationships are developing. Although ex-post accountability is only part of the larger equation determining the democratic quality of European governance, this study suggests that at least in this area, the EU is slowly but surely reducing its 'democratic deficit'.

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The Real World of EU Accountability reports the findings of a major empirical study into patterns and practices of accountability in European governance. The product of a 4-year, path-breaking project, this book assesses to what extent and how the people that populate the key arenas whereEuropean public policy is made or implemented a...

Mark Bovens is Professor of public administration and research director at the Utrecht University School of Governance and Adjunct Professor at the Australian National University. His research interests include public accountability, success and failure of public governance, democracy and citizenship, and political trust. Deirdre Cur...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:256 pagesPublished:July 30, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199587809

ISBN - 13:9780199587803

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsList of ContributorsList of AbbreviationsList of Boxes, Figures, and Tables1. Mark Bovens, Deirdre Curtin, and Paul 't Hart: The EU's Accountability Deficit: Reality or Myth?2. Mark Bovens, Deirdre Curtin, and Paul 't Hart: The Quest for Legitimacy and Accountability in European Union Governance3. Mark Bovens, Deirdre Curtin, and Paul 't Hart: Studying the Real World of EU Accountability: Framework and Design4. Anchrit Wille: The European Commission's Accountability Paradox5. Madalina Busuioc: European Agencies: Pockets of Accountability6. Marianne van de Steeg: The European Council's Evolving Political Accountability7. Gijs Jan Brandsma: Accountable Comitology?8. Mark Bovens, Deirdre Curtin, and Paul 't Hart: The Real World of EU Accountability: Comparisons and ConclusionsBibliography