Centralised enforcement, legitimacy and good governance – conclusions
Enforcement of legal obligations plays a vital role in the European Union (EU). The uniformity of the legal system, adherence to Treaty principles and values, and delivery of tangible benefits to citizens are crucial elements that underpin the success of the sui generis European project. Although centralised enforcement is by no means the only mechanism in place for achieving these goals, it is nonetheless an important top-down method of steering the development of the EU. The infringement procedure contained within Article 226 offers a key and visible nexus between the citizen and the remote European bureaucracy, and presents a significant opportunity for interinstitutional accountability that has not yet been fully exploited.