This ISS paper is a contribution to the ongoing reflection on the proposed AU Authority. It contends that while the AU Commission might have failed to deliver in certain areas, the reasons for non-delivery are a combination of technical and political constraints.
The proposed Authority could play a vital role (in coordination, implementation and advocacy and as an institutional driver) in the integration process, provided its technical and political capacity is improved and some changes are made to the institutional configuration of the AU.
How the proposed Authority is going to achieve this is contingent on how it balances intergovernmentalism and supranationalism. Specifically with regard to the decision-making and implementation processes of the AU, this paper proposes that the AU Authority should have exclusive policy initiation and implementation capacity in certain domains, while other domains should remain the preserve of the intergovernmental set-up in terms of decision-making and directives. To move forward, AU member states will have to think creatively about how to strike a balance between their preserved areas of competence and those in which powers will devolve to the proposed Authority.