Agency Design in the European Union

15 Pages Posted: 26 Apr 2011

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This article gives a brief overview of the main features, functions and future perspectives of agencies in the European Union [EU]. It highlights the specific notion of the EU’s highly integrated, multi-level legal system as an explanatory factor for the specificities of agency design. The article looks at agencies in the EU through the lens of the structural and procedural arrangements for their independence and their accountability. The article comes to the conclusion that, generally speaking, accountability and independence are defined by and adapted to the position of an agency within the structure of administrative networks implementing EU law and policy. Their raison d’être is usually to coordinate Member State implementing activities rather than taking on these responsibilities themselves.

Keywords: European Union, agency

Suggested Citation

Hofmann, Herwig C.H., Agency Design in the European Union. University of Luxembourg Law Working Paper No. 2011-02; Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice, Vol. 28, No. 2. Available at SSRN:

Herwig C.H. Hofmann (Contact Author)

Universite du Luxembourg ( email )


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