A constitutional twilight zone: EU decentralized agencies’ external relations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Even though EU agencies are poorly embedded in the EU’s constitutional
framework their proliferation continues. If and when these agencies
establish relations with international counterparts, they sometimes also
conclude arrangements or agreement with those counterparts. This brings
together two constitutionally problematic issues: the EU’s external action
and the limits to the empowerment of EU agencies. This article aims to
identify the constitutional and positive law frameworks applying to EU
agencies’ external action, and looks at a number of examples. It is shown
how the positive law framework does not properly reflect the requirements
of EU constitutional law, resulting in legal ambiguity and accountability
problems. Some EU agencies seem to go beyond what is allowed under the
positive and constitutional law frameworks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1509-1548
Number of pages40
JournalCommon Market Law Review
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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