Networks on Track: From European Regulatory Networks to European Regulatory ‘Network Agencies’

Author (Person) ,
Series Title
Series Details Vol.36, No.1, February 2009, p23-56
Publication Date February 2009
ISSN 1566-6573
Content Type

Abstract: Recent legal and political science literature has become increasingly critical on the accountability of what are generically referred to as European administrative networks, in which national administrative authorities cooperate with the EU institutions in a myriad of formal and informal ways in the development as well as the implementation of secondary EU legislation. This article deals with two specific regulatory networks – the European Energy Regulators Group (ERGEG) and the European Regulators Group for Communications Networks and Services (ERG). In 2007, the Commission tabled legislative proposals aimed at formalising and strengthening the existing networks in the energy and electronic communications sectors by conferring on them independent agency status. The main aim of this article is to identify the legal and political accountability gaps in the present model of European regulatory networks (ERNs) and the proposed European network agencies. The authors conclude that the creation of the European network agencies will hardly lead to the strengthening of the political and legal accountability of the European regulatory coordination between the national regulatory authorities (NRAs) and the Commission. The authors recommend that the European legislator looks beyond traditional mechanisms to secure political and legal accountability; more attention is urgently required to the creation and detailing of mixed or complementary accountability mechanisms, in which representatives of the European and/or national accountability forums have a secure role to play. In this respect, this article puts forward a number of concrete recommendations to respond to accountability issues arising out of the mixed exercise of European and national powers, such as the creation of a mixed parliamentary commission consisting of members of the European parliament and the national parliaments to monitor the activities of the Commission and the European network agencies.

Source Link
Subject Categories
Countries / Regions