21 Feb 2013

On Political Union in Europe: The changing landscape of decision-making and political accountability

Philippe de Schoutheete / Stefano Micossi

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This essay discusses how recent developments have modified the existing allocation of tasks between the EU and national levels and the legitimising mechanisms in decision-making by the EU institutions. It examines in turn the increasing differentiation emerging in member states’ participation in EU policies and institutions, the changing configuration of executive powers and its relationship to the community method, the criteria governing the transfer of economic powers from the member states to the Union and the emerging democratic accountability and legitimising mechanisms before both the European and the national parliaments. Some main implications for the future of European institutions are summarised in the conclusions.

Philippe de Schoutheete is a former Permanent Representative of Belgium to the European Union and a member of the CEPS Board of Directors and Notre Europe. Stefano Micossi is Director General of Assonime, Visiting Professor at the College of Europe in Bruges, a member of CEPS Board of Directors and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the CIR Group.