Efficiency, Citizens and Administrative Culture. The Politics of Good Administration in the EU

Author (Person)
Series Title
Series Details Vol.20, No.4, December 2014, p681–710
Publication Date December 2014
ISSN 1354-3725
Content Type


So far the debate on good administration in the EU has mainly focused on whether the EU institutions could adopt rules on good administration, and whether they should indeed wish to do so. The questions relating to a possible legal basis have been addressed by the reforms included in the Treaty of Lisbon (Article 298 TFEU together with the Charter). While EU citizens continue to battle with the fundamentals of good administration when interacting with the EU institutions, the Commission seems determined to direct the discussion to the further improvement of national administrations, even if the greatest gaps in regulation currently concern its own actions and direct EU administration more generally. Even if the Charter of Fundamental Rights includes a right to good administration, its main contribution relates to the specific questions addressed by the provision, and do not extend to requirements concerning a need to observe the requirements of good administration more generally. This paper argues that currently the balance is heavily on institutional interests, which are deemed difficult to reconcile with citizens' rights, leaving the institutions to emphasize efficiency, flexibility and both substantive and procedural discretion. The recent legislative initiative by the European Parliament with recommendations to the Commission on a Law of Administrative Procedure of the EU has potential to shift the balance, in particular as it aims at a closer regulation of the administrative procedure. However, ultimately Article 298 TFEU involves a number of political questions relating to finding the appropriate balance between the various interests that come into play when defining what actually counts as good administration. These questions should not be left to the administration itself to settle with reference to its own institutional preferences.

Source Link http://www.kluwerlawonline.com/index.php?area=Journals
Subject Categories
Countries / Regions