Agencies and MS cooperation in inspection tasks: do accountability regimes follow suit?

Ever growing policy sectors of the EU are managed through a system of composite administration, where different levels of government enter the process and share different competences. This does not only apply to regulatory tasks, but to enforcement powers, including inspections in highly relevant policy sectors, such as the EBU, fisheries, food law, competition, financial markets, antifraud and aviation safety. These can be directly conducted by the EU, or through various forms of cooperation with MS. Focusing on inspections conducted in a mixed fashion – where agencies and the ECB are involved together with national authorities – our aim is twofold: first, we highlight the different patterns of cooperation emerging between the different administrative levels involved in the inspection; second, we investigate what kind of political and judicial accountability mechanisms apply to each model, assessing which ones prove more fit for guaranteeing accountability for multi-level inspections.

Enforcement of EU pharmaceutical: inspection cooperation from global to EU to national level

Pharmaceuticals are globally traded products and often the manufacturing takes place far away from the point of sale. The manufacturing process is regulated though global standards, as well as European and national law. How can such a multi-level level framework be enforced? This paper will examine the cooperative procedures that lie at the heart of the EU’s enforcement regime though inspections. Next to mapping the applicable procedures and cooperative inspection models, it will analyze if the composite nature of this enforcement strategy leads to problems of accountability.

Controlling escapes from law: the externalization of migration policies as shared administration of EU borders with Third Countries and its effects on accountability

The governance of the humanitarian dimension of migration is one of the most salient challenges for the EU. One core aspect of migration today rests on externalization policies, aiming at creating transnational governance structures geared at sharing the administration of the preventive containment of migration flows directed to Europe. These feature predominantly the actorness of executive organs; they take place with informal acts, instead of formal legal instruments; they materialize in practices of shared administration enabled by new technological and communication infrastructures. Informality of instruments and the operational dimension challenge traditional accountability mechanisms. Which is the most appropriate forum for ensuring accountability for the actions described above? The article defines different situations and scenarios and also sketches out different liability frameworks, in order reframe accountability and control as functional concepts.

Frontex actions: out of control? The complexity of composite decision-making procedures

The discussion on potential human rights violations has been part of Frontex’s history. This debate only increased the need for efficient control to be put in place. This contribution aims at analyzing whether sufficient legal (or administrative) remedies are in place to protect individuals harmed by an operation coordinated by the agency. It will first examine the actions coordinated by Frontex, illustrating in this way the composite nature of the decision-making procedures and operations, and the opacity thereof. It will analyze the legal implications of Frontex’s operations from a national, European and international perspective, to determine whether these jurisdictions can offer adequate judicial protection to harmed individuals. As an alternative solution, to palliate the lack of legal remedies available, possibilities of administrative review will be developed. The case-study of ‘hotspots’ in Greece and in Italy will be studied so as to test the hypothesis developed before.

Controlling administrative inspections: EU enforcement and fundamental rights

An increasing number of EU institutions and agencies conduct administrative inspections, having a direct impact on fundamental rights, such as the inviolability of the home. This is the case of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), of the European Central Bank (ECB), of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), of the European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA), of the Directorate on Health and food audits (Directorate-F).
Does control on these powers meet supranational standards of protection of fundamental rights? The paper argues that, given the variety of inspections powers, different variables have to be taken into account, depending on whom is the direct subject of the inspection – if a national authority or a private entity – and on the type of inspection proceeding. As a result, also the models of judicial control vary and different reforms are needed.

Shifting executive power in EU migration policy: joint implementation and steering through EU agencies

Executive power in EU migration policy is shifting. The theory of executive federalism broadly underpinned its initial implementation design. Instead, an increasingly integrated administration is emerging. EU agencies play a key role in this transformation. I analyse patterns of joint implementation, with experts deployed by EU agencies involved in areas such as the processing of asylum claims, and return. I scrutinize the emergence of agency functions which hold steering potential. These developments create obvious tensions with the agencies’ governance structures which are largely intergovernmental, and influenced by strong regulators. I reflect on how these internal governance structures can be squared with independence. Developments also bring to sharp relief the challenges of fundamental rights oversight and accountability. I comment on how these can be ensured in an evolving administrative landscape.