Review of European Administrative Law (REALaw)

‘Independent, hence unaccountable’? - The Need for a Broader Debate on Accountability of the Executive

Miroslava Scholten

‘Independent, hence unaccountable?’ This article questions the causal relationship between agencies’ accountability problems and their ‘independence’. It does so by arguing that independent agencies are not that ‘special’ in the sense of being independent and that the revealed accountability problems in the cases of independent agencies are not caused by their independence. The article invites to extend the debate on the executive’s accountability beyond the somewhat attractive case of independent agencies. It uses a comparative legal approach and focuses on independent agencies from the EU and the US to exemplify the discussed issues.

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