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The rise of international accountability institutions: the case of the European Parliament and the European Ombudsman

In “The Rise of Common Political Order: Institutions, Public Administration and Transnational Space”, Jarle Trondal (editor). Edward Elgar Publishing 2017


Jarle Trondal, Anchrit Wille, Anne Elizabeth Stie


Chapter 5 discusses how the power of international public administrations (IPAs) may be curbed by independent accountability institutions. The chapter discusses the role of the European Parliament (EP) as the core accountability mechanism of the EU. Moreover, one relatively unstudied component in this regard is the development of the European Ombudsman (EO) as a supplementary accountability mechanism. At the national level, nearly all EU member states have introduced an ombudsman. At the EU level, there has been an ombudsman institution since 1995. This chapter sheds light on the strategies with which the EP and the EO prove able to build capacity and adjust institutionally to the changing politico-administrative context. Drawing on an analysis of documents and a secondary analysis of existing empirical data, this chapter examines the institutional development of the EP and the EO over the past two decades.