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The Normalization of the European CommissionPolitics and Bureaucracy in the EU Executive$
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Anchrit Wille

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199665693

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199665693.001.0001

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The Reinvention of the European Commission

The Reinvention of the European Commission

(p.33) 2 The Reinvention of the European Commission
The Normalization of the European Commission

Anchrit Wille

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes how political and administrative reforms have changed the basic accountability system of the European Commission over the last decade. It is shown how the vision and values, the organizational DNA, on which the EU Commission was built became incongruent with internal and external challenges. There was a strategic reorientation, after the Commission’s crisis in 1999. Ex ante constraints and ex post incentives combined to provide a system for more control in and accountability over the Commission. There was a strengthening of accountability mechanisms and a shift in the salience of different types of accountability. In addition to legal and professional accountability systems, an elaborate structure was created that stressed political and bureaucratic mechanisms and has created new expectations of accountability from commissioners and their senior officials.

Keywords:   institutional change, political and administrative reforms, accountability arrangements, Santer crisis, Commission’s early years, reinvention

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