The competences and activities of the European Union have grown exponentially during the last decades, leading to an increased visibility of the EU as an autonomous actor in international relations. Its activity in the fields of international trade and investment law, of environmental and law of the sea policies, of fundamental rights protection and international peace and security, showcase that the European Union has increased its powers and imprint in the international legal order. Yet, with power come calls for an increased EU accountability. The EU is often expected to undertake action to remedy breaches in areas where States retain full control. At other times, the Union is unjustly pinpointed as bearing responsibility for acts that cannot be attributed to it. The increased visibility of the EU in international relations has raised voices about the lack of a clear framework concerning its accountability when activities implementing Union policies are in breach of international law. In Greece, such voices concerned, for instance, the role of EASO and FRONTEX.
In this framework, calls about the EU acknowledging its responsibility in various contexts are frequent. Nevertheless, from a legal perspective, the ways EU’s responsibility engages independently from, or in conjunction to, its member-States responsibility remain understudied and inconsistent theories and practices greatly reduce the effectiveness of accountability mechanisms put in place and creating procedural obstacles for those seeking to raise claims that invoke the Union’s or the Member-States’ responsibility.
The project aims at remedying this situation by enhancing knowledge on EU responsibility schemes and spreading that knowledge to targeted groups of professionals, students, academic partners and the wider public through a series of events, innovative communication tools and training manuals and databases. In this way, various stakeholders will improve their understanding on EU governance.