The Codification of European Administrative Law: Enhancing trust, transparency and democratic control

The administrative procedures of the EU’s direct administration are not regulated by a generally applicable law.The introduction of Art. 298 TFEU has prompted a debate–both in academia and European institutions–on the enactment of such a code, but the European Commission has decided not to pursue this project. I submit, however, that we should not underestimate the significance of such a unified code for the enhancement of transparency, acceptance, integration, democratic control and therefore trust of European citizens in European bureaucracy; we can observe similar effects following codifications of administrative procedures in various Member States. Only if European bureaucracy is visibly linked to democratic norms will European integration likely no longer be perceived and denounced as an technocratic project that is remote from the citizens. The present paper, therefore, proposes to discuss what the EU stands to gain from a codification, and to weigh this against its reservations.