IES Research Projects

Co-ordination and accountability of the EU in international politics

This project investigates the repercussions of the internationalization and globalization of European policy making for the democratic constitution of the EU. It aims at exploring the processes of policy coordination among EU member states at two levels, namely at the European level and in relevant international negotiations. It starts from the assumption that EU policy making and policy coordination in function of international negotiations faces particular challenges with respect to ensuring democratic accountability (resulting in particular from the need for flexibility and EU unity in international negotiations). Empirically the project focuses on the policy area of Energy with an emphasis on its external dimensions such as Security of Supply and Environmental Sustainability. The project will systematically identify and explore the accountability challenge and investigate the mechanisms through which accountability is enhanced and could be enhanced further.

The increasing delegation of external powers for foreign policy making to the European level has potentially important repercussions for the discussion about the “democratic deficit” of the EU. The project’s empirical focus promises to bring out clearly any contrast of the coordination of external EU policies with existing internal policy coordination, including especially the role of parliamentary control. Furthermore Energy policy will allow us to trace any differences that may be due to differences in the distribution of competences between the EU and the member states. Finally contrasting external and internal policy coordination will be facilitated and promoted because of the parallel selection of case studies with regard to the GOA project of Radostina Primova. Overall the GOA projects will thus complement each other, which generates considerable scope for synergy, inter-project collaboration and discussion.