Who Holds the Elephant to Account? Executive Power Political Accountability in the EU

Sergio Fabbrini (LUISS University) investigates the political accountability of the EU's executive power in an article in Journal of European Integration.

Abstract

The article investigates the political accountability of the EU’s executive power (the elephant). It starts from a discussion of some recent contributions to the analysis of the EU’s executive power showing their difficulties in conceptualizing its accountability patterns. Then, it analyses executive power’s accountability in democratic federal systems, comparing coming-together federations, where executive power’s political accountability is institutional, with holding-together federations, where executive power’s political accountability is electoral. Thus, it conceptualizes the EU’s executive power as consisting in a dual decision-making regime (supranational and intergovernmental) to deal with different policy areas. Using the comparative federalism perspective, the article argues that executive power’s accountability is institutional in the supranational regime (although it manages issues of low domestic political salience) while it is neither institutional nor electoral in the intergovernmental regime (which manages issues of high domestic political salience). This differentiation works against the elephant’s accountability in crucial policy realms.

Full info

Sergio Fabbrini

Who Holds the Elephant to Account? Executive Power Political Accountability in the EU

Journal of European Integration

DOI: 10.1080/07036337.2021.1915304

Published Apr. 29, 2021 12:09 PM - Last modified Apr. 29, 2021 12:09 PM