PositionEuropean Commission - Brief Article

The draft Regulation seeks to lay down a statute for new types of bodies covered by EU law. They differ from the traditional agencies in that they are primarily intended to address the criticisms levelled at the use of private bodies. They may be described as public entities governed by EU law and enjoying a legal personality. They are to be accountable to the Commission, which will be entitled to create them to respond to specific needs and will be responsible for implementing EU programmes. The European Parliament and the Court of Auditors gave the original Commission proposal a favourable reception and the revised version of the plan features the bulk of their recommendation.As for the powers of the agencies, MEPs want tasks likely to be given with executive agencies to be regulated on a more restrictive basis in terms of specialisation and duration. The Commission wants the agencies to be given the task of managing a number of non-specialised operations ("general management") so it cannot accept the Parliament's amendment.Similarly, the Commission sympathises with the European Parliament's concern to broaden the criteria to be taken into consideration (such as the impact on human resources) during any preliminary assessment of a decision to outsource out activities to executive agencies and has taken on board the proposed amendment. However, the EU's executive arm cannot accept another amendment designed to phase out the regulatory committee procedure for creating and abolishing agencies, as committee procedure provisions ("comitology") alone apply.The Commission also shares the Parliament's concerns about agency staff and the need for the constant supply of staff, which agencies require to be able to function, to be guaranteed, on the basis of renewable contracts. By contrast, the Commission sees no need to act upon a suggestion the Court of Auditors made to site an agency elsewhere than in the vicinity of...

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