Your front-page article over the holiday period – “Bid to bring order to unruly EU agencies” (20 December-6 January) – stated that the European Commission had launched an ambitious bid “to clean up” European Union agencies, noting that some agencies have been involved in “scandals about conflicts of interest and lax management”.
As a vice-chairwoman of the European Parliament's budgets committee, I would like to clarify the genesis of the roadmap approved by the European Commission on 19 December.
In 2005, the Council of Ministers refused to consider an inter-institutional agreement on the EU's decentralised agencies. In March 2008, the Commission again invited the Council – and the Parliament – to participate in an inter-institutional exchange. On this occasion, the Council agreed.
In March 2009, the three institutions agreed “to launch an inter-institutional dialogue on regulatory agencies with a view to assessing the existing situation, specifically the coherence, effectiveness, accountability and transparency of these agencies, and finding a common ground on how to improve their work”.
An agreement on a common text was reached in June 2012, and signed in July. This text included agreement on a request made by the Parliament – that the Commission should “present a roadmap on the follow-up to the common approach with concrete timetables for the planned initiatives by the end of 2012 at the latest”.
The roadmap is therefore the result of dedicated, in-depth work over many years to improve the governance, efficiency and transparency of the EU's agencies. The process has also served to reinforce the three institutions' recognition of their responsibilities towards these agencies.