The significant contribution of EU Agencies and Joint Undertakings to citizens and administrations
From 6-7 December 2016, policy makers, representatives of industry, civil society, EU institutions and public administration gathered at the European Parliament for a major conference dedicated to the work and contribution of the 45 EU Agencies and Joint Undertakings.
High level speakers at the Agencies Forum included Vice-President of the European Parliament Mairead McGuinness, Vice-President of the European Commission Kristalina Georgieva and former President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy.
Delegates agreed that the EU Agencies and Joint Undertakings are crucial to the implementation and success of all areas of EU policy. In addition, the economies of scale and savings generated for EU taxpayers by EU Agencies and Joint Undertakings were also highlighted, as it is more effective to perform a task once at EU level rather than repeating it 28 times at Member State level.
Two studies were presented at the Forum. One, commissioned by the European Parliament, looked at the cost would be to citizens and national administrations without seven EU agencies supporting the Single Market. The second study mapped the contribution of EU Agencies to the Europe 2020 Strategy and the Junker Commission Agenda.
In their discussions, delegates agreed that EU Agencies and Joint Undertakings fill important gaps in the EU framework, and were created to resolve and prevent crises. The EU Agencies and Joint Undertakings are well known in their policy areas but, according to delegates, they can lack overall visibility toward EU citizens and other key players at the national level; something that attendees urged the Agencies Forum to work to overcome.
The Forum was organised by the EU Agencies Network, set up by the Heads of EU Agencies as a collective voice for the Agencies to coordinate, exchange information and agree common positions of shared interest.
Watch the highlights of the EU Agencies Forum here.
Hashtags of the event:
#EUAgenciesForum - #EUAgencies
Welcome and introduction, Keynote speeches
Presentations of studies on EU Agencies and panel discussion on the results
Afternoon panel sessions I.
Panel session: Boosting Jobs, Growth and Investment
Panel session: Innovative Europe
Afternoon panel sessions II.
Panel session: Citizens First!
Panel session: Justice and Home Affairs
Summary of panel sessions
EU Agencies – Way forward
Two recent studies analyse the cost-effectiveness of EU Agencies, how they reduce the overall costs to taxpayers and their contribution to the Europe 2020 strategy and the Juncker Agenda.
Together, the Agencies have a total budget of €3.3 billion and yet cost less than 0.8% of the EU’s annual budget, i.e. €1.23 per man, woman and child in the EU, according to the first report. The second report estimates that it would cost Member States around €170 million a year to assume the tasks currently done by seven agencies selected for the purpose of this study. Similarly, if those seven agencies were not there to provide services to firms doing business in the EU’s Internal Market, the cost to industry could be as high as 1 billion euro a year.
Study by Deloitte, commissioned by the EU Agencies Network
The medicines we take, the food we eat, the chemicals in our products and in our surroundings, our education, the quality of our working lives, our transport, our fundamental rights… etc. are just some of the areas in which the EU Agencies make daily contributions to improving the lives of Europe’s citizens.
EUIPO has taken over the chairmanship of the EU Agencies Network from Eurofound on 1 March. The chairmanship runs until March 2017, when it will be handed over to EFSA.
The EU Agencies Network was created by the Heads of Agencies to provide a forum for coordination, information exchange and agreement of common positions on issues of common interest. The Network of EU Agencies works in the interest of the citizens of the European Union to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of EU Agencies providing services in various policy and regulatory fields in the European Union.
The Network consists of 45 decentralised Agencies and Joint Undertakings and is led by a Chair appointed on an annual basis. The Chair is head of a “Troika” which includes the incoming Chair and outgoing Chair. The Troika and the Coordination team are supported in their work by the Permanent Secretariat of the EU Agencies Network.
The EU Agencies were set up by the EU Member States and the EU Institutions to provide valuable services to industries and citizens and carry out specific legal, technical or scientific tasks. These activities support industries across Europe and offer evidence-based advice which helps to shape informed policies and laws at both the EU and national levels. EU Agencies add value by promoting the sharing of information and expertise, as well as offering technical services, in areas that impact the lives of Europe’s 500 million citizens.
They support innovation, IP protection, growth and jobs in order to make Europe more competitive in a global market place. Besides other functions, they also manage the EU borders in line with the EU fundamental rights charter and help promote a fair and equal society for everyone in the EU. The EU Agencies bring Europe closer to its citizens and function as a source of information available for all EU citizens.