Michigan Paper Series 2007 - Walter Van Gerven

Title: Which Form of Accountable Government for the European Union?

Description: In this contribution the question is asked, and tried to be answered, which form of accountable government the European Union should have in the future. The subject may seem to be of a speculative nature and, indeed, it is. However, complaints are often heard that political decisions are taken, jumping from one crisis situation to another, ending up in a political structure without any consistency. Consequently, it may be desirable to think about how a coherent political structure of the EU may look like. Surely, many will think that this is preposterous now that a constitution for Europe has been rejected. But, is it not exactly when the political decision making process has come to an halt and limiting itself, as it usually does, to taking punctual decisions in order to resolve daily problems, that some long term academic thinking is appropriate? That is what I intend to do herein, dividing my lecture in three parts: first, which proto-type forms of accountable government are available in democratic states, second, which form is preferable from a theoretical point of view, and third, what would be the most appropriate form of accountable government for the EU from a practical viewpoint. The whole exercise is about making the Union's structure more democratic, and the Union's decision making process more legitimate.

Publication Date: 2007