Chapter

Delegation of Powers and the Fiduciary Principle

Giandomenico Majone

in Dilemmas of European Integration

Published in print March 2005 | ISBN: 9780199274307
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603310 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199274304.003.0004
Delegation of Powers and the Fiduciary Principle

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Broad delegation of powers to supranational institutions is a distinctive feature of the Community method. Broad delegation presupposes a fiduciary relation, hence, the progressive erosion of the Community method indicates a loss of confidence in the capacity for self-restraint of the supranational institutions. Since the Single European Act, member states have been willing to follow the politically riskier procedure of formal treaty amendment, rather than delegating to the Commission and Court of Justice the task of deciding which Community action in a given area is needed, and in which form. The frequency of formal treaty amendment in recent years is a measure of the loss of confidence in the supranational institutions.

Keywords: accountability; credibility; delegation; fiduciary relations; implied powers; incomplete contracting; political property rights; treaty amendment

Chapter.  7943 words. 

Subjects: European Union

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