Challenges of democratic oversight of EU security policies

Giovanna Bono

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


EU security policies have four key characteristics that distinguish them from other EU policies. First, there is a contradiction between their legal and political form that has been accentuated by the ‘widening of the security’ agenda; second, they are not regional but rather global in nature; third, they are characterised by extensive use of flexibility mechanisms and finally there is a very restricted role for parliaments, citizens and for judicial review. In this policy domain there are acute challenges of democratic accountability, which are described through the concepts of vertical (national parliaments and citizens vis-à-vis EU institutions) and horizontal (through the separation of powers of EU institutions) accountability. The democratic challenges are made acute by the extensive use of ‘flexibility mechanisms’, by the use of secrecy and urgency procedures, by the ambiguous nature of laws and norms that govern this domain and by the lack of international oversight over EU involvement in new ‘state-building’ practices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-449
JournalEuropean Security
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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