The delegation of public authority to EU independent regulatory agencies raises the question of such agencies' political accountability. Dr Miroslava Scholten investigates the law and practices of the political accountability arrangements of EU agencies and compares them with that of their US counterparts. Attendance is open to the public and free of charge.
So far, the political accountability of EU independent regulatory agencies has been understudied largely due to the fact that most EU agencies were entrusted with formally weak powers. In the recent years, however, the number, de facto influence as well as de jure powers of EU agencies have grown considerably. There are 35 EU agencies, which are no longer merely information-gathering assistants of the Commission and national authorities; they may enjoy decision-making and supervisory powers.
How is the political accountability of EU agencies organized? What works and what does not work? How can problematic instances be addressed? These questions will be discussed in light of the results of a PhD research project, which has resulted in a book, The Political Accountability of EU and US Independent Regulatory Agencies. The main feature of the study as well as the presentation is a comparison of the political accountability of EU agencies with that of their US counterparts. With a more than a century-long history concerning the matter at stake, the US experience offers valuable lessons for the EU to consider, sends warning signals in relation to some experiences that would be better avoided, and demonstrates similar concerns that indicate the fundamental character of certain questions in the field of the political accountability of independent regulatory agencies.
Miroslava Scholten is an Assistant Professor of EU Law at the Utrecht Centre for Regulation and Enforcement in Europe (RENFORCE) and a member of the Europa Institute at Utrecht University Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance. She obtained MSc (cum laude) and LLM degrees at the University of Amsterdam and defended her PhD dissertation at Maastricht University. Her publications include the 2012 Europe Award winning article 'Independent, hence Unaccountable? The Need for a Broader Debate on the Accountability of the Executive' (Review of European Administrative Law, 2011).
Attendance is free of charge. For organizational reasons, please sign up for the meeting by sending an email to Angela Moisl, firstname.lastname@example.org.