- European agencies and their boards: promises and pitfalls of accountability beyond design
- Journal of European Public Policy
- Volume | Issue number
- 19 | 5
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Law (FdR)
- Amsterdam Center for European Law and Governance (ACELG)
European agencies have become an established part of the European Union's architectural set up and are the most proliferating institutional entities at the EU level. However, as their relevance and prevalence in the EU institutional landscape has increased, so have concerns about the possibility for such bodies to escape scrutiny. This article investigates a central element of agency accountability: their accountability vis-à-vis the management boards. The main and most direct confines on the grant of authority to agencies and their directors are represented by the management boards. Given the formal powers exercised by European agencies, it is important to observe to what extent boards are successful in exercising their scrutinizing roles. Based on interviews with agency directors and board representatives, this contribution unravels how these accountability ties operate in practice and identifies recurring weaknesses that seriously impinge upon their effectiveness. The contribution offers a potential explanation for the observed failings and reflects on the repercussions of these findings for agency accountability.
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