The challenge of making European Union executive power accountable

B.J.J. Crum, D.M. Curtin

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


One of the key indicators for the democratic quality of European governance is the extent to which both European and national policy actors who populate European Union institutions can be—and are—held to account by democratic forums. Accountability forms a particular challenge in the EU because executive power straddles the European and the national level, and is dispersed over a wide range of actors, including national governments, the Commission, the Council Secretariat, and EU agencies. This chapter seeks to clarify the nature of democratic accountability in the EU, the challenges that it faces, and the potential it has to develop further. For this purpose, it first constructs a number of theoretical models of what democratic accountability might amount to in the EU, and then reviews these models against various practices of accountability that EU institutions have become subject to.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe European Union: Democratic Principles and Institutional Architectures in Times of Crisis
EditorsS. Piattoni
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University press
Number of pages25
ISBN (Print)9780198716273
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Cite this