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Accountability in a Multilevel Setting: Cohesion Policy

Maaike Damen

This paper is part of a PhD research which examines accountability issues in a specific policy field, Cohesion Policy. Regarding the literature on accountability and looking at the fact that there is an accountability deficit in the EU in general, the research will examine the level of accountability in Cohesion Policy. With Cohesion Policy being the first and most important example of multi-level governance, it will prove impossible to evaluate the degree of accountability of Cohesion Policy without looking into detail into aspects of accountability, multi-level governance and characteristics of the principal-agent relationship. The paper will therefore examine these aspects from the perspective of Cohesion Policy. In the second paragraph, following the introduction, the concept of accountability in its core form will be analyzed. The third paragraph of the paper will describe what multilevel governance, characteristic for Cohesion Policy, consists of and what its implications are for accountability. In the last paragraph we will give conclusions and some considerations leading to discussion on the implications for accountability, given the multilevel character of Cohesion Policy.



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