Constitutionalising Expertise in the EU: Anchoring Knowledge in Democracy
The Self-Constitution of Europe, Ashgate, pp. 183-200, Forthcoming
21 Pages Posted: 17 Apr 2016
Date Written: April 12, 2016
This chapter places the debate on multi-level constitutionalism within the context of a wider tendency in EU studies to focus on the aggregation of interests and the way the EU’s institutional set-up accommodates national diversity rather than on how expertise is channeled and functional diversity accommodated. It analyzes how arguments about expertise and knowledge have been framed specifically in relation to different European governance mechanisms. Debates on expertise have developed in relation to three institutional settings in particular, namely, European agencies, integrated impact assessments, and the open method of coordination (OMC). Section 3 deals with the debates on both agencies and impact assessments (IAs). These debates emerged at different moments in time, and the debate on IAs picked up where the one on agencies had left off, and more particularly extended the discussion on expertise from the implementation stage to the legislative stage. Despite their differences, these two debates have much in common, both in relation to their inspirational origin, and the “rational technical” approach to conceiving the place of expertise in governance, relying mainly on a traditional understanding of democracy focused on aggregating interests via parliament. The debate on the OMC instead is very different in nature. The chapter finally reflects on whether a more holistic argumentation on expertise in European governance can be made, beyond the specific settings of agencies, IAs and OMC, and whether the language of constitutionalism is the appropriate solution for that.
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