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Participatory Governance and European Administrative Law: New Legal Benchmarks for the New European Public Order


  • Rainer Nickel


European Governance is more than just a policy instrument without legal significance. Its regulatory sub-divisions, such as Comitology, the Lamfalussy procedure, and the growing number of European administrative agencies, have colonized substantive parts of the law-shaping and law-making processes. This contribution argues that European Governance is a distinct phenomenon that cannot be easily reconciled with traditional notions of legislation and administration, but needs to be theorized differently. Accordingly, its legal shape has to be adjusted to this new situation, too. Neither a - still only vaguely defined - concept of ‘accountability’, nor a non-binding policy concept of ‘good governance’ can fill this gap. A re-definition of European Governance - as an ‘integrating administration’ – has to take the new developments of a distinct European administrative governance sphere seriously. At the same time, it has to address the specific legitimatory problématique of the new governance structures in a sufficient manner. The specific character of these structures calls for an institutionalization of participatory patterns within the governance structures: by ensuring the involvement of civil society actors, stakeholders and the public in the arguing, bargaining, and reasoning processes of both European governance and European regulation, the odd position of European governance, which oscillates between legislative and administrative functions, can be targeted more adequately.

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  • Rainer Nickel, 2006. "Participatory Governance and European Administrative Law: New Legal Benchmarks for the New European Public Order," EUI-LAW Working Papers 26, European University Institute (EUI), Department of Law.
  • Handle: RePEc:erp:euilaw:p0060

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    accountability; comitology; multilevel governance; regulation; European law;

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