When the three main institutions adopted the common approach to EU de decentralised agents in 2012, the provisions on the choice of seats of EU agencies were one of the few innovative elements of this otherwise disappointing, non-binding inter-institutional agreement. As many EU observers know, one of the characteristics of the EU`s decentralised agents is that they are not in Brussels, but are spread across the EU. The remaining challenges The common approach has therefore led to a higher level of good governance in the generalisation of the ages, at least when it comes to choosing the seat of EU agencies. But much remains to be done in this area and challenges remain. For example, the inter-institutional working group in preparation for the CA found that 18 agencies have entered into a siege agreement with their host member state. In its April 2019 report on the implementation of the common approach, the Commission found that 29 of the 33 agencies had reached such an agreement. This is undoubtedly a numerical improvement, but it obviously also means that four agencies still do not have such an agreement more than seven years after the adoption of this. It is interesting to note that the Commission identifies (only) 33 decentralised agencies, although the Ca does not define what a decentralised agency should start. Discussions between some Member States and the Commission on whether or not the new European Cyber Security Skills Centre for Industry, Technology and Research should be considered a decentralised EU agency shows that the lack of a clear definition can be problematic. Note to the editor: the new agreement on the seat must then be ratified by the Hungarian parliament before entering into force. This is what is expected in the very near future.
The Brexit vote itself was an opportunity to introduce greater good governance into the process. As a result of the UK`s decision, new seats had to be chosen for the EBA and the EMA. In 2017, the European Council has drawn up an ad hoc procedure for the selection of these seats. The offers of the various Member States were subject to public review and evaluation by the Commission (but were not evaluated), which led the Council to carry out successive consultations to determine the new seat. The European Council has indicated that this procedure will not set a precedent for future decisions, but, as Carlo Tovo pointed out in a previous TARN blog, “shows the willingness of Member States to implement the principles set out in the 2012 joint approach and to withdraw the decision on the headquarters of agencies from the traditional intergovernmental consensus. , I hope that he will set the standard for future cases. The decision on the location of the European Labour Authority, the last EU agency, shows that the relocation of the EBA and the EMA has indeed set a standard. Between four nominations, the Council selected Bratislava as the seat of the ELA in June 2019, following a procedure identical to that applicable to the EBA and EMA seats. Finally, among the many other interesting questions that could appear in this blog post, a purely legal question should be identified. The common approach does not challenge the idea that the choice of the location of a new agency is a prerogative of the Council or member states to decide by mutual agreement on the headquarters of EU agencies. Indeed, in the past, this position has also been defended by the Commission. Of course, this statement is inherently problematic, because perhaps a decision should be taken: either the headquarters of the Agency is set by the Council or by the Member States, but not by both.