Accountability
in Political responsibility and the European Union
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This chapter examines accountability as a sub-practice of EU governance. It first distinguishes between political and other forms of accountability, then tries to spell out the basic rationale behind political accountability and examine what we do—and do not do—when we hold someone to account. Next, it is shown that in order for accountability to be effective, the institutional structure in a system of governance must meet two requirements: what we will call ‘check’ and ‘forum’. The second part of the chapter examines the extent to which the requirements of accountability are being met in the EU, taking into account recent developments in the Constitutional Treaty and the Lisbon Treaty.

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