The Character of EU Law and Governance: From ‘Community Method’ to New Modes of Governance
Current Legal Problems, Vol. 64, No. 1, pp. 179-214, 2011
48 Pages Posted: 27 May 2012
Date Written: May 27, 2012
The changing design of EU governance is often characterized as marking a departure from the ‘Community Method’ of governance and an arrival at a destination of ‘new modes of governance’. Nonetheless, scholars disagree as to the nature and scale of the governance changes taking place: whether they are minor deviations from a world of ‘hierarchy’ or whether they represent an emerging ‘experimentalist’ governance architecture. Moreover, changes in governance are not easily accommodated within legal discourse. For some, new modes of governance are a distraction from a more pervasive ‘legalism’. For others, differentiation in governance can be mapped on a scale of ‘legalization’. Yet, new modes of governance may be more challenging for law, either because they signify ‘de-legalization’ or a ‘transformation’ of law and governance. In exploring these different characterizations of EU law and governance the essay argues that what is emerging is a rich and complex mix of governance patterns and styles that poses challenges for law of greater or lesser extents. The yoking of different governance tools in a range of institutional designs results in more or less successful attempts to make the functional demands of governance meet the rival functional demands of law.
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By Iain Begg