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Institutions of the European Union

Institutions of the European Union (4th edn)

Dermot Hodson and John Peterson
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date: 11 December 2023

p. 40117. Conclusion: EU institutions in theory and practicelocked

p. 40117. Conclusion: EU institutions in theory and practicelocked

  • John Peterson
  •  and Dermot Hodson


This chapter examines what is enduring about the character of the European Union institutions, however fragile the wider political process of European integration seems to be. It also considers where the EU as an institutional system has been and where it is going. The chapter begins by discussing the interdependence of EU institutions, noting that they are obliged to work together to deliver collective governance even as they and European governments try to solve multiple crises that sap political time and attention. It then explores the problems faced by the EU’s institutional system with respect to leadership, management, and integration of interests, along with the Community method. It concludes with an assessment of the accountability conundrum: how the EU institutions, in the absence of a truly European polity, can become more accountable to citizens and thus a more legitimate level of governance.

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