Both the European Court of Auditors and the European Ombudsman have been coined as EU ‘watchdogs’. They have very different mandates: the Court audits the EU's finances and the Ombudsman investigates complaints of maladministration by EU institutions and bodies. It might then come as a surprise is that they have quite a lot in common. Their main EU institution of scrutiny is the European Commission, and they need to preserve their independence as oversight institutions. Neither has the power to impose sanctions on the institutions they investigate. Both the Court and the Ombudsman also cooperate with their national counterparts. This chapter sheds light on these EU ‘watchdogs’ that have thus-far been understudied. We do this by examining the key features of their institutional set-up and how they work. We also analyse how they have succeeded in interpreting their role beyond legal provisions and how they have dealt with crisis.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Institutions of the European Union
EditorsDermot Hodson, Uwe Puetter, Sabine Saurugger
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Edition5th edition
ISBN (Print)9780198862222
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


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