Chapter 1: The proliferation of EU enforcement authorities: a new development in law enforcement in the EU
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Recently, the powers of the European Union (EU) have evolved from being mainly regulatory to include also direct enforcement competences. Rather than monitoring the enforcement efforts of national authorities (indirect enforcement), direct enforcement by the EU implies that EU enforcement authorities (EEAs) have the power to monitor adherence to legal rules by private actors, as well as to investigate and sanction alleged violations of EU law by those actors. The shift of power from the national to the EU level, especially in such an area as law enforcement, raises concerns about how to ensure democratic control and the rule of law. What challenges in terms of democratic control and the rule of law does this development bring about and how could or should those challenges be addressed? This chapter outlines the research project and sets up an analytical framework for the nine case-studies and cross-cutting issues of accountability and judicial protection.

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