Towards an Integrated Administration
Edited by Herwig C.H. Hofmann and Alexander H. Türk
Chapter 5: Agencies: The ‘Dark Hour’ of the Executive?
Michelle Everson INTRODUCTION I. Long-term supporters of agencies within the European Communities and Union may have much to celebrate. The individual institutions of the European Union, together with the Member States, are now close to agreeing upon an integrated operating framework for regulatory agencies within the EU;1 by the same token, and perhaps most importantly, agreement upon the future operation of agencies at EU level appears also to satisfy the primary demand of scholars concerned with the appropriate institutional design of ‘apolitical’ agencies, that ‘no one controls the agency, yet the agency is under control’ (Moe, 1990; Majone, 1994; Everson, 1995). On the one hand, the operating independence of European agencies has been further secured by the withdrawal of the European Parliament from earlier demands that it be represented on agency management boards. Equally, however, the European Commission has also signalled its willingness to loosen its own institutional apron strings, engaging in repeated rhetorical affirmation of its view that the ‘structural autonomy’, if not full decisional independence, of agencies should now be guaranteed.2 Following a recent constitutional impasse, the core of the ‘technocratic’ vision of the European integration telos would thus appear to have received an important degree of reinvigorating approbation. Rather than only concern itself with grand principles of joint and several government, the EU has now also paid renewed attention to its long-standing function of supplying efficient and appropriate technical administration. The agreed 1 See Draft Institutional Agreement on the operating framework for the European regulatory agencies,...
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