From contestation to accountability in EU pesticides regulation: the case of glyphosate

Science-based regulatory determinations largely escape political-democratic and legal accountability mechanisms, their technical complexity representing an obstacle for most non-specialized accountability fora (i.e. courts and parliaments).
In this context, the renewal of the authorization for glyphosate represents a worth-exploring case, being meaningful from two perspectives: firstly, it exposes the limits of the EU’s approach to risk regulation, based on a strict separation between scientific and policy considerations. Secondly, it provides insights as to how traditional accountability mechanisms can be transformed and adapted so to cope with technical complexity.
Having sketched the relevant EU legal framework, the paper recounts the different phases of the saga before mapping the different mechanisms activated to hold decision makers to account, and provides an assessment of such mechanisms and of their potential for enhancing the accountability of EU pesticides regulation.