Towards an Integrated Administration
Edited by Herwig C.H. Hofmann and Alexander H. Türk
Chapter 8: Administrative Supervision of Administrative Action in the European Union
Gerard C. Rowe1 INTRODUCTION A. Generally considered, the legal and institutional supervision of administrative action is mandated by at least the principles of the rule of law and of good administration. As to the first, a key purpose of such supervision lies in giving specific substance to the rule of law.2 As the EU is a community under law (see further below), administrative supervision there can generally be credited with this function. The principles of the separation of powers (derived from the rule of law) and of the sovereignty of parliament (derived from both the rule of law and the democracy principle) also point clearly in the direction of a need for supervisory control over the public administration. Though these two elements are not fully developed in the EU, they still have a substantial foothold in the more or less balanced distribution of powers among a number of organs (thus avoiding a dangerous concentration of powers in the hands of any single institution) and in the basic sovereignty of the legislative machinery (thus ensuring the ultimate subordination of administrative actors and the elemental role of the courts subject to legislative precept). If only indirectly, supervision of the administration can also be seen as consequent upon the principle of democracy not only as regards the completion and implementation of democratically established decisions and policies but also as regards the legitimation of action taken by the public administration. Supervision specifically enhances the democratic legitimacy of administrative action by extending not only legal...
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