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Gijs Jan Brandsma and Carolyn Moser

This chapter investigates whether and how the mushrooming of quasi-autonomous agencies at EU level complies with accountability requirements. After outlining the concept of accountability as a mechanism and discussing the functions of accountability, we expose the particularities of accountability in the EU context and, more specifically, in relation to EU agencies. The chapter then explores the effects of Europeanization on (agency) accountability, and closes with some reflections on governance trends and potential accountability patterns. Most notably, we observe an increase of informal cooperation in policy areas that are mainly intergovernmental (i.e. in matters of security and defence, and police cooperation). This increase in informality poses a challenge to multi-level accountability: the absence of formal delegation of decisional and operational powers, or the absence of formal decisions, makes it virtually impossible for national or European accountability forums to hold actors to account.