Doing direct business with EU decentralised agencies
Distinct from the well-known Brussels-based institutions, decentralised agencies are another important component of the European Union ecosystem. These bodies have been set up by the EU in different Member States to carry out technical, scientific or managerial tasks that help institutions make and implement policies.
Decentralised agencies work in various fields and assist institutions around the different policy areas such as transport, healthcare, justice & home affairs, education & training, environment etc.
At the moment there are 33 decentralised agencies, each with its own legal personality, spread around 23 Member States. Despite accounting only for around 1.3% of the EU annual budget, the total resources managed annually by decentralised agencies for their administrative and operational expenditures is quite significant and amounts to roughly 1.8 billion EUR. These agencies also employ more than 8,000 officers.
In 2016 the global budget for all the 33 agencies grows to more than 2.1 billion EUR, confirming these past years’ tendency which has seen EU institutions allocating more resources and delegating more power to decentralised agencies. Part of these resources is spent by EU agencies to procure different types of services or supplies, including audit or advisory services, IT consultancy, audio-visual and ICT equipment.
According to an analysis carried out by Schuman Associates, for example, more than 60% of the framework contracts in the ICT sector published in 2011-2014 were launched by decentralised agencies.