Category Archives: The institutions Bodies and Agencies of the Union

Institutions, advisory bodies, financial bodies, inter-institutional services, agencies, etc., make up the structure that enables the Union to operate. The ‘institutional triangle’ is at the basis of this structure. It is formed by the Commission, representing the general interests of the Communities, the European Parliament, representing the peoples, and the Council, representing the Member States. These three institutions lay down the policies and legislative acts that apply throughout the EU.
The powers and responsibilities of these institutions, and the rules and procedures governing them, are laid down in the Treaties.

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Public health > Threats to health

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 851/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 April 2004 establishing a European centre for disease prevention and control.

Summary

The severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) constitutes a recent example of the speed with which new diseases can emerge and spread rapidly. In a number of weeks SARS spread from southern China to Canada, Europe and Asia. With a view to containing outbreaks of infectious diseases and preventing their spread as soon as possible, it is therefore essential to create a mechanism which makes it possible to react rapidly and take effective action.

The European Union (EU) already has a network for the epidemiological surveillance and monitoring of communicable diseases within the Community. However this network, which since 1991 has been managed by the Commission and is based on cooperation between the Member States, is quite simply not capable of effectively protecting European citizens against the threats posed by communicable diseases, including the threat of the voluntary dissemination of infectious agents (” bioterrorism “). Hence it is essential to create a European centre in order to improve the coherence and effectiveness of Community action.

Missions

The mission of the European centre for disease prevention and control is to identify, assess and communicate current and emerging threats to human health posed by communicable diseases.

In the framework of its mission, the Centre:

  • searches for, collects, collates, evaluates and disseminates relevant scientific and technical data;
  • provides scientific opinions and scientific and technical assistance including training;
  • provides information to the Commission, the Member States, Community agencies and international organisations active within the field of public health;
  • coordinates the European networking of bodies operating in the fields within the Centre’s mission and manages dedicated surveillance networks;
  • exchanges information, expertise and best practices and facilitates the development and implementation of joint actions.

MAIN TASKS

The main tasks of the Centre are epidemiological surveillance, the early warning and response system, scientific opinions, technical assistance to Member States and third countries, as well as measures to support and develop preparedness in the event of new health threats.

Epidemiological surveillance and creation of laboratory networks

The Centre is responsible for the development of epidemiological surveillance at Community level. It will take over the operational duties of the European network on communicable diseases. The Centre supports the networking activities of the competent bodies recognised by the Member States in connection with the operation of the dedicated surveillance networks. In this connection it harmonises the surveillance methods and monitors and evaluates the surveillance activities of the dedicated laboratory networks in order to ensure optimal cooperation. By encouraging cooperation between the dedicated laboratories the Centre fosters the development of sufficient capacity within the Community for the diagnosis, detection, identification and characterisation of infectious agents which may threaten public health.

Scientific opinions

The Centre provides independent scientific opinions, expert advice, data and information. To this end, the Centre seeks to make use of the best expertise available. If, in connection with a particular problem, independent scientific expertise is not available from existing dedicated surveillance networks, the Centre may set up independent ad hoc scientific panels.

The Centre issues a scientific opinion at the request of the Commission, the European Parliament or a Member State. It may also issue an opinion on its own initiative.

Early warning and response system

The Centre supports the Commission by operating the early warning and response system (EWRS) and by ensuring with the Member States the capacity to respond in a coordinated manner. In the event of a warning, the responsibility for action remains with the Member States and the Commission, but the technical operation of the EWRS will be ensured by the Centre and its networks. Where necessary, the Centre coordinates its action with that of other European agencies, such as the European Food Safety Authority and the European Medicines Agency.

Scientific and technical assistance and training

The Centre may be requested by the Commission, the Member States, third countries and international organisations, in particular the World Health Organisation, to provide scientific or technical assistance in any field within its mission. This assistance may include aiding the Commission and Member States to develop technical guidelines on good practice and on protective measures to be taken in response to human health threats, providing expert assistance and mobilising and coordinating investigation teams.

The Centre supports and coordinates training programmes in order to assist Member States and the Commission to have sufficient numbers of trained specialists, in particular in epidemiological surveillance and field investigations.

Identification of emerging health threats

In cooperation with the Member States, the Centre establishes procedures for systematically searching for, collecting, collating and analysing information with a view to the identification of emerging health threats. Besides, the Centre forwards to the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission an annual evaluation of current and emerging health threats. It also informs the Commission and Member States as soon as possible about findings which require their immediate attention.

Communications on the activities of the Centre

The Centre ensures that the public are rapidly given objective, reliable and easily accessible information with regard to its activities and the results of its work. To this end, it makes available information for the general public, notably through a dedicated website.

ORGANISATION

The Centre’s structures are based on the models of other independent European agencies. The Centre comprises:

  • a management board, composed of one member designated by each Member State, two members designated by the European Parliament and three members representing and appointed by the Commission. It ensures that the Centre carries out its mission and tasks by adopting its programme of work and financial rules;
  • a director, assisted by a small core staff. The director is chiefly responsible for the day-to-day administration of the Centre and the drawing up and implementation of its work programme;
  • an advisory forum composed of representatives of the competent national authorities. The forum constitutes a mechanism for an exchange of information on health threats and the pooling of knowledge.

OPERATIONAL SINCE 2005

The Centre has been operational since May 2005. It consists of approximately 100 staff and has a budget of EUR 48 million for the first three years of its activity.

The Centre is based in the city of Stockhom (Sweden).

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 851/2004

20.5.2004

Official Journal L 142 of 30.4.2004

 


Another Normative about European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic

Institutional affairs > The institutions bodies and agencies of the union

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 851/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 April 2004 establishing a European centre for disease prevention and control.

Summary

The severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) constitutes a recent example of the speed with which new diseases can emerge and spread rapidly. In a number of weeks SARS spread from southern China to Canada, Europe and Asia. With a view to containing outbreaks of infectious diseases and preventing their spread as soon as possible, it is therefore essential to create a mechanism which makes it possible to react rapidly and take effective action.

The European Union (EU) already has a network for the epidemiological surveillance and monitoring of communicable diseases within the Community. However this network, which since 1991 has been managed by the Commission and is based on cooperation between the Member States, is quite simply not capable of effectively protecting European citizens against the threats posed by communicable diseases, including the threat of the voluntary dissemination of infectious agents (” bioterrorism “). Hence it is essential to create a European centre in order to improve the coherence and effectiveness of Community action.

Missions

The mission of the European centre for disease prevention and control is to identify, assess and communicate current and emerging threats to human health posed by communicable diseases.

In the framework of its mission, the Centre:

  • searches for, collects, collates, evaluates and disseminates relevant scientific and technical data;
  • provides scientific opinions and scientific and technical assistance including training;
  • provides information to the Commission, the Member States, Community agencies and international organisations active within the field of public health;
  • coordinates the European networking of bodies operating in the fields within the Centre’s mission and manages dedicated surveillance networks;
  • exchanges information, expertise and best practices and facilitates the development and implementation of joint actions.

MAIN TASKS

The main tasks of the Centre are epidemiological surveillance, the early warning and response system, scientific opinions, technical assistance to Member States and third countries, as well as measures to support and develop preparedness in the event of new health threats.

Epidemiological surveillance and creation of laboratory networks

The Centre is responsible for the development of epidemiological surveillance at Community level. It will take over the operational duties of the European network on communicable diseases. The Centre supports the networking activities of the competent bodies recognised by the Member States in connection with the operation of the dedicated surveillance networks. In this connection it harmonises the surveillance methods and monitors and evaluates the surveillance activities of the dedicated laboratory networks in order to ensure optimal cooperation. By encouraging cooperation between the dedicated laboratories the Centre fosters the development of sufficient capacity within the Community for the diagnosis, detection, identification and characterisation of infectious agents which may threaten public health.

Scientific opinions

The Centre provides independent scientific opinions, expert advice, data and information. To this end, the Centre seeks to make use of the best expertise available. If, in connection with a particular problem, independent scientific expertise is not available from existing dedicated surveillance networks, the Centre may set up independent ad hoc scientific panels.

The Centre issues a scientific opinion at the request of the Commission, the European Parliament or a Member State. It may also issue an opinion on its own initiative.

Early warning and response system

The Centre supports the Commission by operating the early warning and response system (EWRS) and by ensuring with the Member States the capacity to respond in a coordinated manner. In the event of a warning, the responsibility for action remains with the Member States and the Commission, but the technical operation of the EWRS will be ensured by the Centre and its networks. Where necessary, the Centre coordinates its action with that of other European agencies, such as the European Food Safety Authority and the European Medicines Agency.

Scientific and technical assistance and training

The Centre may be requested by the Commission, the Member States, third countries and international organisations, in particular the World Health Organisation, to provide scientific or technical assistance in any field within its mission. This assistance may include aiding the Commission and Member States to develop technical guidelines on good practice and on protective measures to be taken in response to human health threats, providing expert assistance and mobilising and coordinating investigation teams.

The Centre supports and coordinates training programmes in order to assist Member States and the Commission to have sufficient numbers of trained specialists, in particular in epidemiological surveillance and field investigations.

Identification of emerging health threats

In cooperation with the Member States, the Centre establishes procedures for systematically searching for, collecting, collating and analysing information with a view to the identification of emerging health threats. Besides, the Centre forwards to the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission an annual evaluation of current and emerging health threats. It also informs the Commission and Member States as soon as possible about findings which require their immediate attention.

Communications on the activities of the Centre

The Centre ensures that the public are rapidly given objective, reliable and easily accessible information with regard to its activities and the results of its work. To this end, it makes available information for the general public, notably through a dedicated website.

ORGANISATION

The Centre’s structures are based on the models of other independent European agencies. The Centre comprises:

  • a management board, composed of one member designated by each Member State, two members designated by the European Parliament and three members representing and appointed by the Commission. It ensures that the Centre carries out its mission and tasks by adopting its programme of work and financial rules;
  • a director, assisted by a small core staff. The director is chiefly responsible for the day-to-day administration of the Centre and the drawing up and implementation of its work programme;
  • an advisory forum composed of representatives of the competent national authorities. The forum constitutes a mechanism for an exchange of information on health threats and the pooling of knowledge.

OPERATIONAL SINCE 2005

The Centre has been operational since May 2005. It consists of approximately 100 staff and has a budget of EUR 48 million for the first three years of its activity.

The Centre is based in the city of Stockhom (Sweden).

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 851/2004

20.5.2004

Official Journal L 142 of 30.4.2004

 

The institutions, bodies and agencies of the union

The institutions, bodies and agencies of the union

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about The institutions, bodies and agencies of the union

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Institutional affairs > The institutions bodies and agencies of the union

The institutions, bodies and agencies of the union

Institutions, advisory bodies, financial bodies, inter-institutional services, agencies, etc., make up the structure that enables the Union to operate. The ‘institutional triangle’ is at the basis of this structure. It is formed by the Commission, representing the general interests of the Communities, the European Parliament, representing the peoples, and the Council, representing the Member States. These three institutions lay down the policies and legislative acts that apply throughout the EU.
The powers and responsibilities of these institutions, and the rules and procedures governing them, are laid down in the Treaties.

THE INSTITUTIONS

European Parliament

  • Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament
  • Voting rights and eligibility in European Parliament elections
  • The regulations governing political parties and rules regarding their funding at European level

Council of the European Union

  • Rules of procedure of the Council of the European Union

European Commission

  • Rules of Procedure of the European Commission

Judicial bodies

  • Rules of Procedure of the Court of Justice of the European Union
  • European and international courts
  • Rules of Procedure of the General Court
  • Rules of Procedure of the European Union Civil Service Tribunal

Court of Auditors of the European Union

  • The Court of Auditors of the European Union

European Council

  • Rules of Procedure of the European Council

CONSULTATIVE BODIES

European Economic and Social Committee

  • Rules of Procedure of the European Economic and Social Committee

Committee of the Regions

  • Rules of Procedure of the Committee of the Regions

THE OTHER BODIES

European Investment Bank (EIB) and European Investment Fund (EIF)

  • The Statute of the European Investment Bank (EIB)
  • The operational priorities of the European Investment Bank
  • European Investment Fund (EIF)

European Central Bank (ECB)

  • The European Central Bank (ECB)
  • Enlargement of the euro area: adjustment of voting arrangements in the Governing Council of the ECB

The European Ombudsman

  • The European Ombudsman

DECENTRALISED AGENCIES

Community agencies

  • Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators
  • Cedefop (European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training)
  • European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (EUROFOUND)
  • European Environment Agency
  • European Training Foundation (ETF)
  • European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction
  • Authorisation and supervision of medicinal products – European Medicines Agency
  • European Agency for Safety and Health at Work
  • European Agency for Reconstruction
  • Food and feed safety
  • Maritime safety: European Maritime Safety Agency
  • European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control
  • European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA)
  • European railway agency
  • European Agency for the Management of External Borders – Frontex
  • Regulatory framework for the management of chemicals (REACH), European Chemicals Agency
  • Community Fisheries Control Agency
  • Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA)
  • European GNSS Agency
  • Civil aviation and the European Aviation Safety Agency
  • European Asylum Support Office

Agencies in the field of common foreign policy

  • European Defence Agency

Agencies in the field of police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters

  • European Police Office – Europol (from 1.1.2010)
  • Europol: European Police Office (until 31.12.2009)
  • Decision establishing Eurojust
  • The European Police College (CEPOL)

Executive Agencies

  • Executive agencies of the EU
  • Trans-European Transport Network Executive Agency
  • Research Executive Agency
  • The European Research Council Executive Agency
  • Executive Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation (EACI)
  • Executive Agency for Health and Consumers
  • Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency

Executive agencies of the EU

Executive agencies of the EU

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Executive agencies of the EU

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Institutional affairs > The institutions bodies and agencies of the union

Executive agencies of the EU

Document or Iniciative

Council Regulation (EC) No 58/2003 of 19 December 2002, laying down the statute for executive agencies to be entrusted with certain tasks in the management of Community programmes.

Summary

The implementation of Community programmes is the responsibility of the Commission. In order to concentrate on its institutional tasks, the Commission decided to delegate responsibility for the implementation of some Community programmes to third-party bodies known as “executive agencies”. The purpose of this Regulation is to lay down the statute for these agencies. As the institution responsible for the implementation of Community programmes, the Commission must be able to closely circumscribe the activities of these agencies.

The Commission may thus decide whether to establish an executive agency, extend its period of operation or wind it up on the basis of a cost-benefit analysis. The cost-benefit analysis takes account of several factors, including:

  • identification of the tasks justifying outsourcing;
  • an assessment of benefits and costs, including human resources;
  • efficiency and flexibility in implementation;
  • simplification of the procedures used;
  • proximity of the activities to the final beneficiaries.

If the Commission finds that an agency is no longer necessary or that it no longer complies with the principles of sound financial management, it will decide to wind that agency up.

When adopting a Community programme, the Commission must inform the budgetary authority of any plan to set up an executive agency.

Legal status

Executive agencies are Community bodies with a public service role. They have legal personality.

Tasks

The role of executive agencies is to implement one or more Community programmes. They may be responsible for the following main tasks:

  • managing and supervising all the phases of projects;
  • adopting budget implementation measures and awarding contracts and grants;
  • gathering, analysing and passing on to the Commission all the information needed to implement the programmes.

They may not perform tasks entailing political choices.

In the instrument of delegation, the Commission identifies the terms, criteria, parameters and procedures with which executive agencies must comply.

Internal structure

Executive agencies are managed by a steering committee and a director.

The steering committee is made up of five members appointed by the Commission for two years (renewable). It draws up the annual work programme, adopts the operating budget and the annual activity report and implements measures to combat fraud and irregularities.

The director is appointed by the Commission for four years (renewable) and is an official of the European Communities. He or she is responsible for:

  • representing, supervising and managing the executive agency, including human resource management;
  • preparing the work of the steering committee;
  • implementing the agency’s work programme;
  • financial implementation of Community programmes and the executive agency’s operating budget;
  • annual planning of the executive agency’s operating budget.
  • preparing the agency’s reports, particularly the annual activity report.

Their staff consists of Community officials seconded as temporary staff members and contract staff recruited by the agency.

Financial provisions

Executive agencies’ operating budgets take the form of a subsidy from the general budget of the European Union, the value of which is set by the Commission. The implementation of this budget is subject to the provisions of a standard financial regulation adopted by the Commission (see “Related Acts”).

Each year, the director submits the draft income and expenditure accounts for the previous year to the steering committee, which forwards them to the Commission’s accounting officer and the Court of Auditors. Lastly, the European Parliament, acting on a recommendation from the Council, agrees to the implementation of the agency’s operating budget.

Supervision

Executive agencies are supervised by:

  • the Commission, in particular its internal auditor;
  • the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF);
  • the Court of Auditors.

Every three years, an external evaluation report is submitted to each executive agency’s steering committee, the European Parliament, the Council and the Court of Auditors. These reports should enable the executive agency to improve its activities and allow the Commission to wind the agency up in the event that its role is no longer required.

Any act of an executive agency which injures a third party may be challenged by means of an administrative appeal. The Commission has two months to rule on any such appeal.

Liability

The contractual, non-contractual or personal liability of executive agencies may be enforced in accordance with the conditions applicable to each individual situation.

Access to documents

The public can access executive agencies’ documents subject to certain conditions. Staff of executive agencies are required not to disclose information covered by professional secrecy.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 58/2003 [consultation procedure CNS/2000/0337] 26.1.2003 OJ L 11 of 16.1.2003

This summary is for information only. It is not designed to interpret or replace the reference document, which remains the only binding legal text.

Rules of Procedure of the General Court

Rules of Procedure of the General Court

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Rules of Procedure of the General Court

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Institutional affairs > The institutions bodies and agencies of the union

Rules of Procedure of the General Court

Document or Iniciative

Rules of Procedure of the General Court.

Summary

The Rules of Procedure lay down the provisions relating to the internal organisation of the General Court and the arrangements for proceedings brought before it. In particular, the Court is responsible for dealing with:

  • direct appeals lodged by natural and legal persons and those directed against acts by Union institutions, bodies and organisations;
  • appeals lodged by Member States against the European Commission or the Council;
  • appeals relating to the Community trade mark;
  • appeals against decisions by the EU Civil Service Tribunal.

Organisation of the Court

The Court is organised in the following way:

  • composition of the Court: the Court comprises 27 members and one judge per Member State. They elect the President of the Court for a 3-year period. The President is responsible for directing the business and services of the Court, presides at hearings and deliberations in closed session and deals with applications for interim measures.
  • constitution of the chambers and designation of Judge-Rapporteurs: the Court consists of chambers composed of three and five judges. These chambers are responsible for managing the cases assigned to them. A Judge-Rapporteur is designated to handle each case. The judges elect the presidents of the chambers.
  • role of the Registrar: the Registrar, appointed by the Court for a 6-year period, is responsible for assisting the Court, the President, and the judges in all their duties. The Registrar is responsible for the Court’s archives and publications.
  • working of the Court: the Court deliberates in closed session. The conclusions reached by the majority of the Judges after the deliberations determine the decision of the Court.
  • languages: the applicant has the option to choose the language of the case from the twenty-three official languages of the Union.
  • rights and obligations of agents, advisers and lawyers: these persons enjoy immunity in respect of words spoken or written by them. Papers and documents relating to the proceedings are exempt from both search and seizure.

Characteristics of the procedures

The procedures of the Court may include all or some of the stages listed below:

  • written procedure: this involves an exchange of pleas between the parties. The application must contain information relating to the name and address of the applicant, the designation of the opposing party, the subject-matter of the proceedings, the form of order and the nature of any evidence. The original copy of the application must be signed by the agent or lawyer of the applicant. The defendant must lodge a defence within the following two months, containing the defendant’s name and address, the arguments relied on, the form of order and the nature of any evidence.
  • the oral procedure takes place during a hearing. The proceedings are opened and directed by the President, who puts questions to the agents, advisers and lawyers of the parties. The parties may not plead on their own behalf. They must be represented by an agent or a lawyer. At the end of these proceedings, the Registrar draws up the minutes.
  • the measures of inquiry and the examination of witnesses concern the appearance of the parties, the request for information and production of documents, the witness testimony, the expert’s report, and an inspection of the place in question. Certain facts are proved by the witnesses. The latter are summoned by the Court, possibly at the request of the parties.

Legal aid may be granted specifically to cover costs relating to legal assistance and representation before the Court.

Special forms of procedure

Because an action for annulment does not have suspensory effect, an application to suspend the operation of a contested measure may be made by the applicant if it brings an action before the Court. In particular, the application for suspension must specify the subject-matter of the proceedings and the circumstances giving rise to the urgency, which justify the suspension sought.

If s/he presents the interest required, an intervener may take part in proceedings already taking place before the Court. In this case, s/he must first present an application to intervene, identifying the case and the principal parties, and presenting the circumstances establishing the right to intervene.

Seised on appeal, the Court of Justice can set aside a judgment or an order of the Court. If a decision of the Court is set aside, the Court may be seised again by the referral order.

In the case of third-party proceedings, namely an application to the judge to rule again on a case which has already received a judgment, they can be requested within two months following publication of the judgment in the Official Journal. A revision of the judgment may also be required in the case of an error.

Handling of disputes relating to intellectual property rights

This type of dispute concerns appeals to the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) concerning the application of rules relating to intellectual property rights.

Interveners other than the applicant may intervene during the course of the proceedings and shall have the same rights as the principal parties.

Handling of appeals against decisions of the European Civil Service Tribunal

The General Court is responsible for handling appeals against decisions of the Civil Service Tribunal. For this type of appeal, an application is lodged with the Registry of the General Court or of the Civil Service Tribunal. The language of the proceedings is that of the Civil Service Tribunal decision which is the subject of the appeal.

The appeal includes the following information:

  • name and address of the applicant;
  • designation of the other parties;
  • the pleas and supporting arguments in law;
  • the form of order sought by the applicant.

The parties may present their case, which may lead to either the rejection of the appeal or to the annulment of the Civil Service Tribunal decision.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Rules of Procedure of the Court of First Instance of the European Communities

1.7.1991

OJ L 136, 30.5.1991

Amending Act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Amendments to the Rules of Procedure of the Court of First Instance of the European Communities

1.11.1994

OJ L 249, 24.9.1994

Amendments to the Rules of Procedure of the Court of First Instance of the European Communities

1.4.1995

OJ L 44, 28.2.1995

Amendments to the Rules of Procedure of the Court of First Instance of the European Communities

1.9.1995

OJ L 172, 22.7.1995

Amendments to the Rules of Procedure of the Court of First Instance of the European Communities

1.6.1997

OJ L 103, 19.4.1997

Court of First Instance of the European Communities Amendments to the Rules of Procedure of the Court of First Instance of the European Communities aimed at enabling the Court to act in a formation of one judge of 17 May 1999

17.5.1999

OJ L 135, 29.5.1999

Amendments to the Rules of Procedure of the Court of First Instance of the European Communities

1.2.2001

OJ L 322, 19.12.2000

Amendments to the Rules of Procedure of the Court of First Instance of the European Communities following the entry into force of the Nice Treaty

1.8.2003

OJ L 147, 14.6.2003

Decision 2004/406/EC

19.4.2004

OJ L 132, 29.4.2004

Amendments to the Rules of Procedure of the Court of First Instance of the European Communities

1.1.2006

OJ L 298, 15.11.2005

Decision 2006/956/EC

1.1.2007

OJ L 386, 29.12.2006

Amendments to the Rules of Procedure of the Court of First Instance of the European Communities

1.9.2008

OJ L 179, 8.7.2008

Decision 2009/170/EC

1.5.2009

OJ L 60, 4.3.2009

Amendments to the Rules of Procedure of the Court

13.4.2010

OJ L 92, 13.4.2010

Amendments to the Rules of Procedure of the Court

1.7.2011

OJ L 162, 22.6.2011

Successive amendments and corrections to the Rules of Procedure of the Court of First Instance of the European Communities have been incorporated into the original text. This consolidated version (FR ) is for reference only.

RELATED ACTS

Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 904/2012 of 24 September 2012 amending Regulation No 422/67/EEC, No 5/67/Euratom determining the emoluments of the President and Members of the Commission, of the President, Judges, Advocates-General and Registrar of the Court of Justice of the Communities, of the President, Members and Registrar of the Court of First Instance and of the President, Members and Registrar of the European Union Civil Service Tribunal [Official Journal L 269 of 4.10.2012].

Rules of Procedure of the European Union Civil Service Tribunal

Rules of Procedure of the European Union Civil Service Tribunal

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Rules of Procedure of the European Union Civil Service Tribunal

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Institutional affairs > The institutions bodies and agencies of the union

Rules of Procedure of the European Union Civil Service Tribunal

Document or Iniciative

Rules of Procedure of the European Union Civil Service Tribunal.

Summary

The European Union (EU) Civil Service Tribunal adopts its Rules of Procedure in agreement with the Court of Justice of the EU and after approval from the Council.

These Rules of Procedure establish the organisation and functioning of the Civil Service Tribunal. In particular, they detail the legal procedures and establish their modalities.

Competences

The Civil Service Tribunal has jurisdiction to rule at first instance on cases between the EU and its agents. For example, these cases may concern questions relating to employment or social security.

Furthermore, the Civil Service Tribunal also has jurisdiction in disputes between any organisation and its personnel, where the statutes of the organisation concerned provide for the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the EU. For example, this applies to disputes within Europol or the European Investment Bank.

Composition

The Civil Service Tribunal is composed of seven judges, appointed by the Council for a renewable six-year period. Judges must carry out their duties with complete impartiality and independence.

The judges elect one of their number as President of the Tribunal for a renewable three-year period. The President directs the judicial business and services of the Tribunal.

A Registrar is also appointed by the judges for a renewable six-year period. The Registrar is responsible for the Tribunal’s archives and publications. S/he is also responsible for assisting the judges and the President of the Tribunal in the performance of their functions.

Formation of the Tribunal

When hearing a case, the Tribunal sits in a chamber of three judges.

However, a case may be referred to a chamber of five judges or a full court where justified by the importance or difficulty of the questions of law raised by the case.

Conversely, a case may be referred to a single judge if the questions of law or fact raised present little difficulty, or if the case is of limited importance.

Procedure

Proceedings brought before the Civil Service Tribunal have a written part and an oral part.

During the written part, the applicant must initiate proceedings before the Tribunal by lodging an application with the Registrar. The application is then served to the opposing party which has two months to submit a defence. The application and the defence contain information on the two parties (name, address, etc.), and the arguments of fact and law relied on by each of them. Moreover, the Tribunal may decide that a second exchange of written pleadings between the applicant and defendant is required to supplement the documents.

The procedure then comprises an oral part during which the judges may question the representatives of the parties or the parties themselves. The hearings are generally public.

Furthermore, the Tribunal may decide to take measures of organisation of procedure or measures of inquiry. These measures have the common aim of ensuring that cases are prepared for hearing and procedures are carried out under the best possible conditions.

Amicable settlement of disputes

The Tribunal may, at any stage of the procedure, seek an amicable settlement of the dispute and propose a solution capable of putting an end to the dispute and adopt appropriate measures with a view to facilitating such settlement.

If the parties agree on such a solution, they sign an agreement putting an end to the proceedings before the Tribunal.

Legal aid

Proceedings before the Civil Service Tribunal are free of charge. However, the costs of lawyers authorised to practise before the Tribunal are the responsibility of the parties involved.

If a party finds it is unable to meet these costs, it may apply to receive legal aid. Applications must be accompanied by all the necessary information required to establish that the applicant is in need.

Appeals against decisions of the Civil Service Tribunal

The judgments and orders of the Civil Service Tribunal may be the subject of an appeal before the General Court (FR).

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Rules of Procedure of the European Union Civil Service Tribunal

1.11.2007

OJ L 225, 29.8.2007

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Amendment of the Rules of Procedure of the European Union Civil Service Tribunal

1.3.2009

OJ L 24, 28.1.2009

Amendment of the Rules of Procedure of the European Union Civil Service Tribunal

13.4.2010

OJ L 92, 13.4.2010

Amendment of the Rules of Procedure of the European Union Civil Service Tribunal

1.7.2011

OJ L 162, 22.6.2011

Related Acts

Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 904/2012 of 24 September 2012 amending Regulation No 422/67/EEC, No 5/67/Euratom determining the emoluments of the President and Members of the Commission, of the President, Judges, Advocates-General and Registrar of the Court of Justice of the Communities, of the President, Members and Registrar of the Court of First Instance and of the President, Members and Registrar of the European Union Civil Service Tribunal [Official Journal L 269 of 4.10.2012].

This summary is for information only. It is not designed to interpret or replace the reference document, which remains the only binding legal text.

Rules of Procedure of the Court of Justice of the European Union

Rules of Procedure of the Court of Justice of the European Union

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Rules of Procedure of the Court of Justice of the European Union

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Institutional affairs > The institutions bodies and agencies of the union

Rules of Procedure of the Court of Justice of the European Union

Document or Iniciative

Rules of Procedure of the Court of Justice of 29 September 2012 [Official Journal L 265 of 29.9.2012].

Summary

These Rules of Procedure lay down the provisions required to implement and supplement the Statute of the Court of Justice detailed in Protocol No. 3 annexed to the Treaties.

The Court of Justice is one of the three courts comprising the Court of Justice of the European Union, the judicial institution of the Union and the European Atomic Energy Community (EAEC). The other two courts are the General Court and the Civil Service Tribunal. Their mission is to ensure the law is complied with in the interpretation and implementation of the Treaties by monitoring the legality of Union acts.

Organisation of the Court

The Court shall be organised as follows:

  • composition of the Court: the Court shall comprise 27 judges and 8 Advocates General, appointed for six years. The tasks of the Advocates General shall be to attend the Court and present legal opinions. The judges shall elect the President of the Court and the Vice-President for a term of three years. The President shall be responsible for representing the Court and managing its work programme; the Vice-President shall assist the President with his duties.
  • Constitution of chambers and designation of the Judge-Rapporteurs:The Court shall set up Chambers of five Judges, the President of which shall be elected for three years, and Chambers of three judges, the President of which shall be elected for one year. The President of the Court shall designate a Judge-Rapporteur to deal with a case, while an Advocate General shall be designated by the First Advocate General. If necessary, the Court may appoint Assistant Rapporteurs.
  • role of the Registrar:The Court shall appoint a Registrar for a term of six years. The Registrar shall be responsible for the acceptance, transmission and custody of all documents, and shall be responsible for the records. In addition, the Registrar shall assist the Members of the Court and shall be in charge of the publications of the Court. Lastly, he shall direct the services of the Court under the authority of the President of the Court.
  • working of the Court:Cases shall be assigned to the full Court, the Grand Chamber or to a Chamber of five or three judges. Several cases may be heard and determined together by one and the same formation of the Court. The deliberations of the Court shall remain secret.
  • languages:a language shall be assigned for each case. In direct actions, the applicant may choose the language from the twenty-three official European Union languages. In preliminary ruling proceedings, the language of the case shall be that of the national court or tribunal.

Characteristics of proceedings

In general, proceedings before the Court shall comprise the following phases:

  • written proceedings: this involves an exchange of pleadings between the parties. The pleadings must have clearly-defined content. Once the procedure is closed, a preliminary report shall be presented by the Judge-Rapporteur to the general meeting of the Court.
  • measures of inquiry: The Court can determine the measures of inquiry such as the personal appearance of the parties, requests for information and documents, oral testimony, the commissioning of an expert’s report and an inspection of the place or thing in question. Minutes of every inquiry hearing shall be drawn up.
  • Oral proceedings shall take place, if necessary, after the inquiry. Oral proceedings shall thus be opened and directed by the President. Oral proceedings may take place in camera.
  • Opinion of the Advocate General:at the end of these proceedings, the Advocate General shall deliver his Opinion.
  • the final decision:the Court shall decide by judgment or by order. Only the judgment shall be delivered in open court. Judgments and orders contain different information, such as a summary of the facts and the grounds for the decision. A copy shall then be distributed to each of the parties.

Furthermore, the Rules shall contain specific provisions concerning the different procedures before the Court: preliminary ruling procedure, direct actions, appeals against decisions of the General Court, opinions, and other particular forms of procedure.

References for a preliminary hearing

National courts may submit a reference for a preliminary hearing before the General Court in order to question the interpretation of European Union law. As part of a reference for a preliminary hearing, observations may be made by, in particular:

  • the parties to the main proceedings;
  • the Member States;
  • the European Commission;
  • the institution which adopted the act, the validity or interpretation of which is in dispute.

Appeals against decisions by the General Court

It is possible to bring an appeal against a decision by the General Court. In this case, an application must be lodged with the Registry containing, in particular, the pleas in law and legal arguments relied on. The application must seek to have the decision set aside, in whole or in part.

Review of decisions of the General Court

In two instances, specifically when it ruled in an appeal against a decision by the Civil Service Tribunal, the decisions of the General Court can be subject to a review by the Court. A Chamber of five Judges shall be designated for a period of one year to carry out the reviews.

Reference

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Rules of Procedure of the Court of Justice

1.11.2012

OJ L 265 of 29.9.2012 and

OJ C 337 of 6.11.2012

Related Act(S)

Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No. 904/2012 of 24 September 2012 amending Regulation No 422/67/EEC, No 5/67/Euratom determining the emoluments of the President and Members of the Commission, of the President, Judges, Advocates-General and Registrar of the Court of Justice of the Communities, of the President, Members and Registrar of the Court of First Instance and of the President, Members and Registrar of the European Union Civil Service Tribunal [Official Journal L 269 of 4.10.2012].

Executive Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation

Executive Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Executive Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Institutional affairs > The institutions bodies and agencies of the union

Executive Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation (EACI)

Document or Iniciative

Commission Decision 2004/20/EC of 23 December 2003 setting up an executive agency, the “Intelligent Energy Executive Agency”, to manage Community action in the field of energy in application of Council Regulation (EC) No 58/2003 [See amending acts].

Summary

This Decision established the Executive Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation (EACI), previously the Intelligent Energy Executive Agency, for the period 1 January 2004 – 31 December 2015. Governed by Council Regulation (EC) No 58/2003, the EACI is responsible for managing Community action in the fields of energy, entrepreneurship and innovation, as well as sustainable freight transport. It is located in Brussels.

The EACI implements tasks under the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) 2007-13 and the second Marco Polo Programme 2007-13. The tasks consist of the following:

  • management of specific projects within the Entrepreneurship and Innovation as well as the Intelligent Energy – Europe Programmes;
  • adoption of budget implementation instruments and management of implementing measures for contracts and grants;
  • collection, analysis and communication of the information required for implementing the Programmes.

The Agency is also responsible for managing the implementing measures of the Intelligent Energy – Europe 2003-06 and the Marco Polo 2003-06 Programmes. In addition, the EACI may be given responsibility for executing other similar tasks under the CIP or other Community programmes. In such an event, this Decision will be amended to take into account the supplementary tasks.

The EACI is managed by a Steering Committee and a Director. Both are appointed by the Commission, the first for three and the latter for five years.

The Agency is financed from the funds of the CIP and the second Marco Polo Programme. Any supplementary tasks will be financed from the funds of the relevant Community programmes. Its administrative budget is implemented on the basis of Commission Regulation (EC) No 1653/2004.

The Commission holds supervisory authority over the Agency, which must regularly report back on the progress it has achieved in implementing its Programmes.

Act Entry into force – Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 2004/20/EC 23.12.2003 – 31.12.2015 OJ L 5 of 9.1.2004
Amending act(s) Entry into force – Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 2007/372/EC 31.5.2007 – 31.12.2015 OJ L 140 of 1.6.2007

This summary is for information only. It is not designed to interpret or replace the reference document, which remains the only binding legal text.

Rules of Procedure of the European Council

Rules of Procedure of the European Council

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Rules of Procedure of the European Council

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Institutional affairs > The institutions bodies and agencies of the union

Rules of Procedure of the European Council

Document or Iniciative

European Council Decision 2009/882/EU of 1 December 2009 adopting its Rules of Procedure.

Summary

The European Council shall consist of the Heads of State or Government of the Member States of the European Union (EU), its President and the President of the European Commission. The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy shall also take part in its work.

The European Council has a role in driving policy. It defines the priorities for the building of Europe and indicates the directions that European policies should take.

Preparation for European Council meetings

The President of the European Council establishes an agenda, as well as guidelines and draft decisions for the European Council. These documents are first sent to the General Affairs Council. In order to prepare said documents, the President of the European Council must act in close collaboration with the President of the Commission and the member of the European Council representing the Member State that is exercising the Presidency of the Council.

The documents are then debated at the General Affairs Council. The latter also receives contributions from other Council configurations. The General Affairs Council establishes a provisional agenda at a final session, preceding the date of the European Council meeting by five days.

The European Council sets the final agenda at the start of its meeting.

Conduct of European Council meetings

Meetings are held in Brussels except in exceptional circumstances. The European Council meets twice every six months, convened by its President. The President may also convene an extraordinary session if necessary. When the agenda so requires, the members of the European Council may decide each to be accompanied by a minister and, in the case of the President of the Commission, by a member of the Commission.

The Members of the European Council take decisions by consensus except where the Treaties provide otherwise. Before voting, the President of the European Council must check the quorum. The quorum must include at least two-thirds of the members of the European Council. The President of the European Council and the President of the Commission are not, however, included in the quorum. In addition, they do not hold voting rights within the European Council.

Furthermore, tThe President of the European Parliament may be invited to be heard by the European Council. Similarly, meetings with the representatives of third States, international organisations or other persons may be held outside the European Council.

Publication of European Council work, publication and notification of Acts

Meetings of the European Council are not public. Nevertheless, the European Council may decide to make the results of votes public, as well as explanations of the voting, if applicable.

After each meeting, the General Secretariat of the European Council has to produce minutes including:

  • details of documents submitted to the European Council;
  • details of approved conclusions;
  • decisions taken;
  • declarations made by the European Council and those included on request from a Member of the European Council.

In addition, if the European Council adopts decisions that do not specify to whom they are addressed, such decisions are to be published in the Official Journal of the EU. If the decisions adopted concern a specific addressee, they must be served on said addressee.

Representation of the European Council before the European Parliament

The President presents a report to Parliament after each meeting of the European Council. Furthermore, the member representing the Member State that is exercising the Presidency of the Council shall present to Parliament the priorities and results achieved during the six-month period.

General Secretariat

The European Council and its President shall be assisted by a General Secretariat, under the responsibility of a Secretary-General. The latter attends European Council meetings. In particular, the Secretary-General participates in drawing up the minutes of meetings and has to notify addressees European Council decisions. The Secretary-General is also responsible for managing the budget granted to the European Council.

This summary is for information only. It is not designed to interpret or replace the reference document, which remains the only binding legal text.

Regulatory agencies

Regulatory agencies

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Regulatory agencies

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Institutional affairs > The institutions bodies and agencies of the union

Regulatory agencies

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council of 11 March 2008: European Agencies – The way forward {SEC(2008) 323} [COM(2008) 135 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The present Communication concerns only regulatory agencies, and not the executive agencies. It addresses the need for a common approach to the place of these agencies in European governance and the lack of clarity over their role and accountability. Currently, the Commission is responsible for proposing the establishment of agencies on a case-by-case basis, with the European Parliament and/or the Council of Ministers taking the final decision. A common view of the regulatory agencies shared by the EU institutions would promote transparency and improve working methods. This is particularly important as the agencies play an integral though highly varied part in a wide range of policy issues.

The regulatory agencies can be categorised roughly on the basis of their functions:

  • adoption of individual decisions;
  • technical or scientific advice to the Commission and the Member States;
  • responsibility for operational activities;
  • information and networking services;
  • services to other agencies and institutions.

The specific roles of each agency are set out in its own founding legal act. These agencies are independent bodies, usually governed by a Management Board. The Management Board has responsibility for overseeing the performance of the agency and for nominating the Director, who in turn is in charge of the agency’s operational aspects. Most of the agencies are funded by the EU budget, and hence the European Parliament has responsibility for their budgetary discharge. In addition, the general Financial Regulation, along with the Framework Financial Regulation, provides common rules for the agencies’ financial governance. What is lacking, however, is a general set of rules for the creation and operation of these agencies. And more importantly, there is a lack of clear rules for the accountability of their actions. Furthermore, the role and influence of the other institutions is questionable, for example with regard to the nomination and appointment of Directors and Management Boards. Consequently, with the present Communication, the Commission aims to re-launch a debate on the governance of the regulatory agencies.

A common framework

A common approach to the governance of regulatory agencies should be standardised enough to take into account the differences between the agencies. At the same time, the basic principles of accountability and sound financial management should also be respected. Therefore, the common approach should specify the following aspects of the regulatory agencies:

  • tasks;
  • structure and working methods;
  • accountability and relations with the other institutions;
  • regulatory framework;
  • establishment and termination;
  • communication strategy.

To achieve consistency, the common approach may necessitate amending the founding legal act of an existing agency.

Next steps

The Commission calls for the creation of an inter-institutional working group to form a political assessment of the regulatory agencies. This could be followed-up with an instrument, legally binding or otherwise, that would provide form and transparency to the results of the assessment. The objective is to achieve a common political understanding about the agencies.

Simultaneously, the Commission will launch an evaluation of the existing regulatory agencies, with the results to be communicated by 2009-10. In the meantime, no new agencies will be proposed so that the evaluation may be carried out in a constant setting. The Commission will also launch a review of its own internal systems with regard to its relations to agencies and its methodology for conducting impact assessment of the regulatory agencies.

Related Acts

Draft Interinsitutional Agreement of 25 February 2005 on the operating framework for the European regulatory agencies [COM(2005) 59 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Communication from the Commission to the Council of 20 December 1999: Participation of candidate countries in Community programmes, agencies and committees [COM(1999) 710 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

European Agency for Safety and Health at Work

European Agency for Safety and Health at Work

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about European Agency for Safety and Health at Work

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Institutional affairs > The institutions bodies and agencies of the union

European Agency for Safety and Health at Work

Document or Iniciative

Council Regulation (EC) No 2062/94 of 18 July 1994 establishing a European Agency for Safety and Health at Work [See amending acts].

Summary

The Agency’s role is to:

  • collect and analyse technical, scientific and economic information on health and safety at work in the Member States and to pass it on to the Community bodies, other Member States and interested parties;
  • collect and analyse technical, scientific and economic information on research into safety and health at work and disseminate the results of this research;
  • promote and support cooperation and exchange of information and experience amongst the Member States in the field of safety and health at work, including information on training programmes;
  • organise conferences and seminars (such as the European Health and Safety at Work Week) and exchanges of national experts in the field of safety and health at work;
  • supply the Community bodies and the Member States with the technical, scientific and economic information they require to formulate and implement judicious and effective policies designed to protect the safety and health of workers;
  • establish an information network in cooperation with the Member States, and coordinate it, including national, Community (the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions) and international bodies and organisations which provide this type of information and services;
  • collect and make available information on safety and health matters from and to third countries and international organisations: the World Health Organisation (WHO), the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), the International Migration Office (IMO), etc.;
  • provide technical, scientific and economic information on methods and tools for implementing preventive activities, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises, and identify good practices;
  • contribute to the development of Community action programmes and strategies relating to the protection of safety and health at work, without prejudice to the Commission’s sphere of competence;
  • ensure that the information disseminated is easily understood by the end-users.

The Agency collaborates as closely as possible with institutions, foundations, specialist bodies and programmes at Community level in order to avoid any duplication. For example, it works together with the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions.

The Agency will set up a network comprising:

  • the main component elements of the national information networks, including the national social partner organisations in accordance with national legislation;
  • the national focal points;
  • European topic centres.

Member States regularly inform the Agency of the main component elements of their information networks on health and safety at work. The relevant national authorities coordinate and forward the information to be provided to the Agency at national level.

The Agency has legal personality. Its steering and management structure comprises a Governing Board, a Bureau and a Director.
Its Governing Board comprises 78 members, of whom 25 members represent the governments of the Member States, 25 members represent employer organisations, 25 members represent employee organisations and three members represent the Commission. The Members of the Governing Board have a three-year term of office which is renewable. The Board’s headquarters is in Bilbao, Spain.

The Governing Board determines the Agency’s strategic objectives and adopts its budget, the rolling four-year programme and the annual work programme on the basis of a draft drawn up by the Director after consultation of the Commission and of the Advisory Committee on Safety, Hygiene and Health Protection at Work. By 31 January each year at the latest, the Governing Board adopts an annual general report on the Agency’s activities.

The Bureau comprises 11 members: the chairman and the three vice-chairmen of the Governing Board, one coordinator for each of the three groups of representatives (employers, workers and government), an additional representative for each of these three groups, and a Commission representative. The Bureau monitors the implementation of the Governing Board’s decisions and takes all necessary steps to ensure that the Foundation is managed properly between meetings of the Governing Board

The Agency is headed by a Director appointed by the Governing Board.

Since November 2003, the Regulation establishing the Bilbao Agency has been in line with the new Financial Regulation applicable to the General Budget of the European Communities (June 2002) and the Regulation on public access to documents (May 2001).

Establishment of the Agency

The inaugural meeting of the Governing Board took place at the Agency’s headquarters in Bilbao (Spain) on 25 and 26 October 1995.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 2062/94

18.07.1994

Official Journal L 216 of 20.08.1994

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 1643/95

29.06.1995

Official Journal L 156 of 07.07.1995

Regulation (EC) No 1654/2003

30.10.2003

Official Journal L 245 of 29.09.2003

Regulation (EC) No 1112/2005

04.07.2005

Official Journal L 184 of 15.07.2005

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission to the Council regarding the Commission’s report on the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (progress report 1996-2000) [COM(2001)163 final – Not published in the Official Journal].