The 45 EU Agencies and Joint Undertakings make a vast contribution to the economic and political development of the European Union according to two new studies presented on 6 December during the EU Agencies Forum at the European Parliament.

The studies highlight that while the EU Agencies, including Cedefop, represent less than 0.8% of the EU’s annual budget their contribution has widespread impact at citizen, industry and policy levels.

The first study analyses the cost-effectiveness of the seven EU Agencies operating to support the Internal Market, and how they reduce the overall costs to taxpayers. The second study focuses on the contribution of 44 Agencies and Joint Undertakings to the Europe 2020 Strategy and the Juncker Commission Agenda.

Both were discussed on 6 and 7 December at the first EU Agencies Forum. European Parliament Vice-President Mairead McGuinness and European Commission Vice-President Kristalina Georgieva were speakers at the event.

António Campinos, Executive Director of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) which is currently Chair of the EU Agencies network, said: ‘The EU Agencies are the familiar face of the EU for many Europeans, delivering essential services on the ground for a relatively small proportion of the overall EU budget – less than 0.8%, to be exact. In other terms, they cost EUR 1.23 per EU citizen. The cost-benefit ratio is hence very positive, and as the EU Parliament study has shown, agencies save national administrations many millions every year, by delivering synergies and preventing duplication of efforts in each Member State.’

Agencies are cost-effective and save money

Overall, the EU Agencies’ 2015 budget represents less than 0.8% of the EU’s annual budget (about EUR 1.2 billion), while creating significant efficiencies and delivering value for EU citizens across a wide range of policy areas, according to a report by Deloitte. A second report, commissioned by the European Parliament, estimates that it would cost Member States up to EUR 200 million a year to assume the tasks currently done by just seven of the 45 agencies.

Agencies are close to EU citizens and businesses

As well as supporting the top political priorities of the European Union, EU Agencies play an important role in many other aspects of the citizens’ everyday life: in disease prevention and control, security and defence, education and knowledge, stability of the financial systems, and in the fields of digital connectivity or transport, among others.

In 32 cities across 24 Member States, EU Agencies work to improve the EU industry and citizens’ lives in many ways. For example:

  • Frontex, the European Border and Coastguard Agency, currently deploys some 1 200 officers at EU’s external borders and has helped to rescue more than 89 000 people at sea so far this year;

  • The European Asylum Support Office currently deploys over 300 staff in around 20 locations in Italy and Greece. They are working to support the implementation of the EU relocation programme and EU-TR statement. EASO has an important role in better managing the Common European Asylum System;

  • In 2015, Europol, the EU’s law enforcement agency, supportedmore than 40 000 investigations against terrorism and serious crime;

  • The EU’s Intellectual Property Office’s study on the economic contribution of intellectual property rights shows (IPR) that IPR-intensive industries in the EU now support directly or indirectly 38% of jobs and 42% of the EU’s GDP;

  • Since 2010, the European Institute of Innovation & Technology has created Europe’s largest innovation community, helped set up 32 innovation hubs across Europe, and supported the creation of more than 200 innovative start-ups and entrepreneurship training for 2 000 students and graduates;

  • From 2014 to 2020 the Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking is administering EUR 3.7 billion investments in bio-based innovation and will be funding more than 200 cooperative projects through cross-industry clusters;

  • The EMCDDA (EU drugs agency in Lisbon), monitors over 560 new psychoactive substances through an EU early warning system. Where required, it assesses the risks of these substances to public health in Europe;

  • The European Medicines Agency has recommended over 1 000 new medicines for the treatment of patients. In addition to monitoring approved medicines, it also addresses the challenges holding back the development of new medicines, including new antibiotics.

The EU Agencies network

EU's 45 decentralised Agencies and Joint Undertakings closely interact and cooperate within the EU Agencies network, a pan-European network, set up by the Heads of EU Agencies, as a collective voice for the Agencies to coordinate, exchange information and agree common positions of shared interest.

For more details about the forum, see the agenda.

Follow the EU Agencies and the event on Twitter via #EUAgencies and #euagenciesforum

Watch videos about the EU Agencies on YouTube.

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