Volume 22 (2016) / Issue 4
This article examines two recent developments to ensure accountability and independence of the European Union (EU)’s decentralized agencies: the ‘Common Approach’ adopted by the EU’s political institutions, and the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) judgment on the validity of the rules delegating extensive power to an EU agency. The article argues that first of all, the Common Approach strengthens the accountability and independence of EU agencies, yet it is not being sufficiently implemented and as such it fails to mitigate the accountability and independence deficits inherent in EU agencies. Secondly, it argues that ESMA strengthens the independence of the EU’s financial authorities at the expense of failing to address the existing accountability problem. On the whole, these developments are disappointing and fall far short of ensuring a coherent and effective system for safeguarding the agencies’ accountability and independence.
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