EPEG European Political Economy and Governance

The European Union is by any standards an unconventional polity. It is neither a federal state, nor a loose confederation of states, nor an international organisation. It does not express the will of a single European people or demos. Decision-making authority in most policy fields is shared horizontally among EU institutions and vertically between the Union and the member states. National officials, local and regional authorities, private interest groups, and civil society organisations are all deeply involved in implementing the Union’s policies. These characteristics pose significant challenges to the role of law in controlling and limiting the exercise of public authority in the EU. Despite its unconventional political structure, however, the EU regularly manages not only to avoid deadlock, but also arguably to produce innovative regulation of equal if not superior quality to that of other developed democracies like the US and Japan. read more