chapter  3
33 Pages

Conceptualising democracy, legitimacy and the development of good governance in the EU

A key feature of Article 226 is that it provides a forum for political interaction between the institutions of the European Union (EU), and between the institutions and the citizen. This interaction occurs in both the judicial and administrative phase of Article 226, and concerns the formulation of policy, the administration of infringement investigations and ex post control and accountability of the discharge of public power. Because of the lack of intervention by the European Court of Justice (ECJ), these political and administrative interactions are largely unbounded by legal restrictions. This transfers the pressure for creating legitimacy in the operation of Article 226 from legal controls, to the quality and nature of the political decision-making that drives Article 226. The political environment that shapes the operation of (and political decision-making within) Article 226 becomes a key factor in our understanding of the role it plays in a Union with constitutional pretensions.