Research Handbooks in Comparative Law series
Edited by Susan Rose-Ackerman and Peter L. Lindseth
Chapter 34: A Restatement of European Administrative Law: Problems and Prospects
George A. Bermann The European Union is a vast regulatory enterprise (Lindseth 2006). Thanks to a mass of both primary legislation (predicated directly on the Treaty Establishing the European Community1 and the Treaty on European Union2) and secondary legislation (adopted by one or more of the EU institutions via delegation through pieces of primary legislation), the EU institutions exercise an abundance of rulemaking authority. They also enjoy, on the basis of these same normative instruments, the authority to render large numbers of individualized decisions. This combination of rulemaking and adjudicatory power has enabled the European Union to become an arena of administrative law activity as intensive as any to be found on the globe (Bermann et al. 2008a). One of the virtues of the European Union, particularly in evidence in recent years, has been its taste for procedural innovation and experimentation (de Búrca and Scott 2007, de Búrca and Walker 2007). However, these have come at a price. A disconnect exists between the proliferation of procedural regimes, on the one hand, and the relative absence of general standards of administrative procedure and its review, on the other. As the EU law literature never fails to emphasize, at stake are the transparency and legitimacy of EU law and the European Union itself (Joerges et al. 2004, Larsson and Schaefer 2006: 541). These reflections have generated a strong impulse to make sense of the administrative procedure of the European Union. One manifestation is the recent surge in academic literature seeking...
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