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Accountable Multilevel Governance by the Open Method of Coordination?

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Abstract: 

In multilevel governance arrangements policies are coordinated across levels, usually in negotiations or networks of executives and representatives of special interests. Actors committed in such arrangements can hardly be held accountable by parliaments or citizens, and this is one of the main reasons for the democratic deficit of the EU. With the open method of coordination (OMC) the EU introduced a new mode of multilevel governance. The article focuses on the question whether problems of accountability can be solved by this mode. It is argued that the OMC framework includes two types of coordination. Whereas the dominating ‘deliberative’ mode does not improve accountability, the ‘competitive’ mode seems to be more promising. It supports transparency, reduces the costs of control for parliaments and stimulates public discussion on policies. However, multilevel coordination by policy competition at the lower levels of government does not work effectively under all conditions, and this therefore has to be carefully investigated.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Professor of Political Science, University of Hagen.

Publication date: July 1, 2007

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