The politics of delegation in the European Union
Title: The politics of delegation in the European Union
Author: DEHOUSSE, Renaud
Citation: Dominique RITLENG (ed.), Independence and legitimacy in the institutional system of the European Union, Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2016, The collected courses of the Academy of European Law ; Vol. XXIII/2, pp. 57-82
Delegation of powers to supranational institutions, once a hallmark of European integration, is increasingly contested by national leaders as well as by public opinion. At the same time, recent developments suggest that in turbulent times, the technique remains widely used. This chapter purports to explain this apparent paradox. It proposes a reading of the principal-agent principles that takes into account specificities of the EU system, such as the absence of a strong centre of power or the significant degree of mistrust that may exist among national governments. It argues that the competition between multiple principals may ultimately result in different models of delegation.
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