Diane Fromage: ‘The New Joint Parliamentary Scrutiny Group for Europol : Old Wine in New Bottles?’ (17 June 2017)
The Regulation for Europol adopted in 2016 created the new Joint Parliamentary Scrutiny Group for Europol (JPSG).
This (finally) allowed national parliaments to be involved in the political monitoring of Europol as specifically provided for by article 12 of the Treaty on the European Union since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty. Indeed, since 2009 national parliaments are to ‘contribute actively to the good functioning of the Union’. They have been granted several rights of information and prerogatives to this end, among which the task to monitor Europol.
Practical cooperation in the European asylum policy has evolved from information exchange through loose administrative networks and ad hoc projects, to institutionalisation of a plethora of activities coordinated by an EU agency, the European Asylum Support Office. The ‘asylum crisis’ has further spurred forms of joint processing of asylum applications, while the proposed Regulation on a European Union Agency on Asylum foresees enhancement of the agency’s mandate, including through incorporating monitoring and assessment tasks.
David Fernández Rojo: ‘The European Border and Coast Guard: Towards the Centralization of the External Border Management?’ (7 February 2017)
As a result of the migratory crisis, the transformation of Frontex into a European Border and Coast Guard (EBCG) became a political priority for both the EU and the Member States. Regulation 2016/1624 aims to strengthen the position and independence of the EBCG from the Member States, which have not always fully cooperated with Frontex. Precisely, the Commission argued that Regulation 2016/1624 would provide the EBCG “the additional competences needed for it to effectively implement integrated border management at Union level (…)” and overcome the discrepancies that still remain at the national level.
Torbjørg Jevnaker: ‘What next for ACER?’ (11 January 2017)
The EU’s energy agency may get new tasks as proposed in the winter package on the energy union. It might escape standardization, but not controversy.
In 2015, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), celebrated its 20th anniversary, coinciding with the 50 years of pharmaceutical regulation in the European Union (EU). In the EU, pharmaceuticals are legislated at the EU level, but the enforcement of this legislation is typically left to the Member States. Yet also in this area we can see a trend of verticalization. This development has resulted in too complex procedures, with potential negative effects on accountability.
Conflicts of interest of high-ranking civil servants that leave their EU post are currently again subject to critical discussion. This blog post will examine how potential conflicts of interests of departing staff members are dealt with in selected European agencies and critically examine the agencies policies on the matter.
This blog post discusses the ‘migration’ of the existent Europol Cooperation Agreements into future international cooperation of Europol under the New Regulation. The current procedure for their adoption, form and content raise some concerns, and perpetuating their implementation after 2017 appears as a sub-standard result.
One of the many relevant questions following the Brexit vote is what would happen to the decentralised agencies were the UK to leave the EU? This blogpost by Merijn Chamon focuses on some of the most pressing practical problems that would arise for EU agencies in the context of Brexit.
Deep divisions persist among members of the European Union as the recent crises of monetary union and massive immigration show. The biggest and basic problem is the lack of agreement on the final destination of the integration process, argues Giandomenico Majone, who calls for a decentralized system of operational agencies, tackling specific problems and being directly responsible for the results they achieve.
Ellen Vos: ‘EU Agencies: In need of Further Constitutionalisation’ (30 May 2016)
The number of EU agencies has only been on the rise in the past few decades as well as their importance, especially in addressing crisis, such as the BSE (mad cow) catastrophe and the oil tanker Erika crisis in the 1990s and the more recent financial and refugee crises. Yet, the mushrooming of EU agencies and their increasingly broad powers are only addressed by EU constitutional provisions to a limited extent. Ellen Vos discusses the agencies’ constitutionality and the powers conferred upon them. She observes a constitutional neglect of agencies and holds that it is necessary to improve EU agencies’ constitutional position.