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Civil society in EU governance - a remedy to the democratic accountability deficit?

[journal article]

Kohler-Koch, Beate

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Abstract "It is widely acknowledged that accountability is a key to making democracy work, and luckily a consensus definition of accountability has emerged: According to Bovens (2007a: 450) 'Accountability is a relationship between an actor and a forum, in which the actor has an obligation to explain and to justify his or her conduct, the forum can pose questions and pass judgement, and the actor has to face consequences.' Unfortunately, when applied to the European Union (EU) we face a reality that is far more complex than this straightforward relationship suggests. The EU is noted for its policy-making by negotiations in networks that take in a multitude of actors and span over different territorial levels of jurisdiction. Yannis Papadopoulos (2007) has drawn our attention to the many accountability problems of network governance. The multi-level feature of EU governance and the composition of policy networks work to the detriment of accountability: The lack of visibility of the responsible actors impedes accountability, but what makes matters worse is that many actors share responsibility and only some of them are at least in principle politically accountable while in practice they are more often difficult to reach due to a long chain of delegation from the level of citizens up." (excerpt)
Keywords EU; democracy; stakeholder approach; parliament; government
Classification European Politics
Method documentation
Document language English
Publication Year 2008
Page/Pages p. 3-6
Journal Concepts & Methods, 4 (2008) 1
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications
data provider This metadata entry was indexed by the Special Subject Collection Social Sciences, USB Cologne