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Independence and Legitimacy in the Institutional System of the European Union$
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Dominique Ritleng

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198769798

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198769798.001.0001

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The Politics of Delegation in the European Union

The Politics of Delegation in the European Union

Chapter:
(p.57) 2 The Politics of Delegation in the European Union
Source:
Independence and Legitimacy in the Institutional System of the European Union
Author(s):

Renaud Dehousse

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198769798.003.0003

Delegation of powers to supranational institutions, once a hallmark of European integration, is increasingly contested by national leaders as well as by public opinion. At the same time, recent developments suggest that in turbulent times, the technique remains widely used. This chapter purports to explain this apparent paradox. It proposes a reading of the principal-agent principles that takes into account specificities of the EU system, such as the absence of a strong centre of power or the significant degree of mistrust that may exist among national governments. It argues that the competition between multiple principals may ultimately result in different models of delegation.

Keywords:   agency theory, institutions, economic integration, integration theory, European Commission

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