The problems and the controls of the new administrative state of the EU.
PhD thesis, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).
Over the last two decades the shape of the European public administration has changed
considerably; the EU has become much more strongly involved in the regulation of very dynamic and
fluid market activities. One of the consequences of that has been an increasing reliance on EU
regulatory agencies to perform the novel administrative tasks. While agencies can be beneficial for
the EU, they also generate new problems. In particular, these bodies have limited resources and have
to rely on (national and sector) external capacities to a significant extent. There is a risk here that if
the important issues are mainly capacity-related and „liquid‟, it will be very difficult to ensure „checks
and balances‟ in these institutional systems. The thesis examines this through case-studies (EU
regulatory agencies) in medicines, chemicals, financial services and aviation. It finds that the
problems in each EU agency are different and unpredictable. In such a context, having more external
and static controls on the agencies will hardly improve things. An alternative „framework‟ (that of fluid
administrative law) should be considered to deal with the challenges of the new administrative state. It
promotes constant administrative law principles (internal process, external justification, commitment to
pluralism and policy effectiveness) to coordinate the operation of the agencies, and offers institutional
tools for the dynamic application of such principles. As the „solutions‟ for each agency should have to
vary, the review of these bodies (which usually occurs every three years) could be used to address
the required heterogeneity of the controls. In order to make the best use of that exercise, the creation
of a new European agency to review the regulatory agencies and make proposals for each of them
(according to the fluid law principles) might be envisioned.
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