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Miroslava Scholten, Michiel Luchtman and Elmar Schmidt

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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Florin Coman-Kund, Mikołaj Ratajczyk and Elmar Schmidt

This chapter investigates the direct shared enforcement of the EU civil aviation safety rules by focussing on the interplay between the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the National Aviation Authorities (NAAs) in France and Germany. While direct enforcement in the aviation safety area follows a subsidiarity logic, a truly shared enforcement system built upon the concept of joint oversight and enforcement is revealed, whereby EASA and NAAs cooperate closely. Conversely, accountability for direct enforcement is separated along EU and national lines, and is entrenched within the general system of political and judicial accountability of the EU and the Member States. Whereas, the lack of (specific) accountability mechanisms accounting for the ‘sharedness’ of enforcement in the EU aviation safety area seems problematic, potential accountability gaps could be compensated by existing alternative internal and external review instruments, and the quest for more accountability should be regarded cautiously.