The creation of autonomous public bodies from a European comparative legal perspective: international impulse, national restraint and how to reconcile these trends

Date: 24 February 2015

Venue: F. de Tassis Hall, Hof van Liere - Prinsstraat 13 - 2000 Antwerp

Time: 5:00 PM

Organization / co-organization: Faculty of Law

PhD candidate: Stéphanie De Somer

Principal investigator: Prof. dr. Ingrid Opdebeek

Short description: PhD Defense of Stéphanie De Somer, Faculty of Law

Abstract: The law on the creation of autonomous public bodies in the administrative organization of European states is currently characterized by two trends. On the one hand, international or supranational law obliges or encourages states to create autonomous public bodies. Various national regulatory authorities which find their legal basis in different directives of the European Union on the liberalization of utilities sectors are the most apparent examples of this trend towards the internationalization of the law on autonomous government. On the other hand, one notices an attempt on the national level to restrain the evolution towards autonomous government. The question arose whether and to what extent autonomous government can be reconciled with fundamental constitutional principles governing administrative organization. Attempting to put a brake on the unlimited rise of autonomous public bodies, states have come up with framework regulation, determining the conditions for their establishment. How do these two trends determine the law on autonomous public bodies? To what extent do these trends conflict and – if need be – (how) can they be reconciled? The research studies these questions from a European comparative perspective.