EU agencies are clearly ‘on the move’: they both are increasingly proliferating and obtaining more and more discretionary powers. Yet, both the mushrooming of EU agencies and the increasingly broad powers that are conferred upon them raise questions regarding their constitutionality, their legal basis, the powers that can be delegated to them as well as the very reason for the existence of EU agencies, their independence and accountability. This paper will critically analyse these issues.
It will first discuss the evolution of agencies in the EU’s institutional setting (section 2). Subsequently, it will examine the legal concerns that arise with increased reliance on EU agencies: their position in the
constitutional framework, their legal basis and delegation of powers to them (section 3). It will then examine their independence and accountability (section 4). In conclusion, it will highlight remaining challenges that arise from resorting to EU agencies (section 5).
ORBIS is powered by ESPAS, the European Strategy and Policy Analysis System, a unique inter-institutional project aimed at strengthening the EU's efforts in the crucial area of forward planning. ESPAS brings together the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Secretariat General of the Council of the European Union and the European External Action Service to strengthen the Union's collective administrative capacity to identify and analyse the key trends and challenges, and the resulting policy choices, which are likely to confront Europe and the wider world in the decades ahead.