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International Regulatory Policy and Democratic Accountability: The EU and the ACTA

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Chapter Summary

This paper offers a short and inevitably limited comment on the difficult question of the legitimacy and accountability of international law-making by examining the debate surrounding the negotiation by the EU of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), and in particular the role played by the European Parliament. The success of EU external regulatory policy depends not only on its ability to influence the outcome of international negotiations, but also on the reaction to those outcomes of its own domestic constituencies, and in particular the European Parliament. The EU's external regulatory policy, even where exercised through its trade competence, needs to be shaped by broadly-based debate. The indirect legitimacy that may be derived from national democratic institutions is rendered even less intelligible to its citizens when refracted through the EU's own multi-layered decision-making system for the EU seeking to become a leader in the design of international regulation.

Keywords: accountability; Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA); EU; European parliament; external regulatory policy; international law



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