The focus of the Heads of Agencies meeting (6-7 July) was on reviewing the progress made on the actions laid out in the Network’s Work Programme: increased sharing of services and capabilities among Agencies; common initiatives to enhance Agencies’ value creation in line with EU strategic priorities; improved internal governance of the Network; and more visible communication on the services provided by the Agencies for European citizens.
Heads of Agencies also discussed current and future challenges, and how the EU Agency model could be reshaped to address these. In an intensive half-day workshop, participants from both the Heads of Agencies and Heads of Resources also explored the possibility of sharing capabilities in human resource management, and they also looked at the state of play of Brexit and its possible impact on the Agencies.
Putting priorities into practice
In a separate meeting of EU Agencies’ Heads of Resources (5-6 July), delegates dealt with hands-on implications of putting strategic priorities into practice. Concrete examples included joint procurement, shared IT services, inter-agency job advertisements, budgetary and staff management rules, and Agencies’ access to SYSPER, the HR management IT tool used by the Commission and other EU bodies.
Alberto Spagnolli, EFSA’s Senior Policy Adviser, said: “This first high-level meeting hosted by EFSA marked an important step in delivering on the Network’s Work Programme for 2017-18. There was a strong focus on modernising human resource management and creating efficiencies through innovation and cooperation and the meeting made progress in generating further value for Europe’s citizens while saving taxpayers’ money.”
Sharing resources and expertise, for decades the Agencies have made a significantly positive impact on the daily lives of European citizens in the areas of food safety and medicine, police and justice, vocational training and working conditions, nuclear energy, environmental protection, research, transport and satellite systems.
In March 2017, EFSA took over the Chairmanship of the Network and work in detailed consultation with EUIPO and Eurofound as the Troika of the Network. EFSA’s Chairmanship will continue until the end of February 2018 when the Heads of Agencies and Resources will meet once again in Brussels for the bi-annual EUAN meetings on 20-22 February 2018 during which a handover will take place for the incoming chairing Agency.
The Heads of the Network of Agencies came together on 5-7 July at EFSA’s headquarters in Parma, Italy, to discuss common strategic initiatives. In particular, they looked into more efficient ways of working together to provide greater value for European citizens. The meeting, also attended by representatives from the European Commission and Parliament, was hosted by EFSA as current Chair of the European Union Agencies Network (EUAN) comprising 45 Agencies and Joint Undertakings. The Agencies which are spread across Europe work in a wide range of policy areas, from health and environment, to migration and security, to business and innovation.
The main purpose of the Network is to streamline efforts and create a unified voice of the various Agencies working across Europe. The meeting is going to look at how the agencies can join forces and expertise to increase efficiency and offer more tangible benefits for Europeans.
This gathering of representatives from the 45 decentralised EU Agencies creates a great opportunity to exchange of best practices on administrative and organizational issues. The top priorities are: mutual value creation, improved outward communication and internal governance as well as the development of shared services and capabilities.
12 EU Agencies were nominated, 3 shortlisted and 3 handed a prestigious Award during the European Ombudsman Award in Brussels on 29 March 2017.
The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), together with the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA), and Translation Centre for the Bodies of the European Union (CdT) won an award in the category “excellence in citizen / customer focused services delivery” for managing together their multi-lingual websites.
The EU’s Agency for cyber security, ENISA, received an Award in the “Excellence in Innovation – Transformation” category for its cyber-crisis simulation executed in real-time (over 48 hours) following two years of planning and which redefines redefining European cyber cooperation. Over the project’s lifetime, more than 1000 participants were trained and benefited from the program.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA), the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the European Commission (DG for Health and Food Safety), were shortlisted for addressing together antimicrobial resistance (AMR), one of the most serious global public health threats.
Launched in October 2017, the European Ombudsman Award attracted 90 nominated projects from across the European institutions and bodies. Entries had to demonstrate good public administration and notably a culture of service and commitment to improving the lives of EU citizens. Prizes were awarded in seven categories with the overall Award for Good Administration 2017 going to the Commission’s DG for Health and Food Safety whose nominated unit developed EU collaboration in the sharing of vital information and expertise to help millions of Europeans suffering from rare diseases.
"The EU civil service is sometimes under-appreciated. It is rightly held to account by my office, journalists and others but there should also be room for recognition of a task well done. It is very fitting that this should happen around the significant anniversary of the founding Treaty of Rome," said the European Ombudsman, Ms O'Reilly. "I have been struck by the quality of the nominations, small and large-scale, across an array of policy areas and sometimes involving several institutions. They showcase the individual and collective efforts to make a positive difference."
To continue the celebrations of Europe Day and the anniversary of the Rome treaties, we are happy to share three stories about the impact of European integration.
As of March 2 2017 the European Food Safety Authority based in Parma, Italy, assumed the chairmanship of the EU Network of Agencies.
EFSA will lead the network until March 2018 in close consultation with the so-called Troika which includes previous chairs - EUIPO (2016) and EUROFOUND (2015) - along with the agencies pertaining to the Network.
Since its inception the Network has assisted the EU Decentralised Agencies and Joint Undertakings regarding governance and management of resources, helping them to better deliver the numerous services they offer to EU citizens on legal, technical and scientific matters. The EU Network was created by the Heads of Agencies to enable a coordinated approach to information exchange and common position agreements.
As Chair, EFSA will roll out a comprehensive multi-annual Work Programme aligned with previously launched initiatives by predecessors EUROFOUND and EUIPO under the strategic directions identified in 2015 by the Heads of Agencies in Dublin. These initiatives seek to add value and visibility, and to find synergies and efficiencies between agencies and to streamline and simplify the operations of the Network at large. The Network will focus on bringing to fruition joint procurement services between agencies and with the EU institutions, on cooperation and sharing of capabilities in HR and budget matters such as competency management and workforce planning, on digital and cloud services including new approaches in the workplace, as well as developing thematic collaborations between agencies - in scientific and technical activities and communications - always in line with EU priorities.
Executive Director of EFSA, Bernhard Url said: “Our work programme focuses on sharing services so that we can create more value for European citizens by working together on joint activities such as procurement and IT solutions. And we’ll continue our cooperation on specific topics for example the work being done by EFSA, the European Medicines Agency and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control on antimicrobial resistance.”
It shall guide the Network operations and will focus on 4 main priorities: Sharing services and capabilities, Mutual value creation with EU Institutions, Outward communication and Internal governance of the Network.Download
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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.
Find more information about the EU Agencies in the interactive map below
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
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.
According to the first report, for a cost of 1.2 billion Euro (less than 0.8% of the EU’s total budget in 2015), the EU Agencies significantly contribute to the successful implementation of virtually all of the EU policy priorities.
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.
How do EU agencies and other bodies contribute to the Europe 2020 Strategy and to the Juncker Commission Agenda?
Study by Deloitte, commissioned by the EU Agencies Network
The Cost of Non-Agencies with Relevance to the Internal Market
Study by the Centre for Strategy & Evaluation Services, commissioned by the European Parliament
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..
The work of the EU Agencies directly impacts the lives of more than 500 million EU 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.