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Bodies and agencies

Consultative bodies

The European Economic and Social Committee

Headquarters of the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of the European Union (Brussels)
Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, F. de La Mure

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) is a consultative body set up in 1957 under the Treaty of Rome. It represents members of civil society, namely employers, unions, farmers and consumers. The Committee issues opinions and defends the interests of civil society within EU institutions which are required to consult the Committee prior to taking any decisions relating to economic and social policy.


The Committee of the Regions

Headquarters of Committee of the Regions of the European Union and the European Economic and Social Committee and the (Brussels)
Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, F. de La Mure

The Committee of the Regions (CoR) is a consultative body set up in 1994 by the Treaty on European Union. It is composed of representatives of regional and local authorities in Member States. They are often Region Presidents or the mayors of big cities. Consultation of the Committee is required prior to all EU decisions on issues concerning local and regional authorities and including regional policy, the environment, education and transport.


Financial bodies

The European Central Bank

European Central Bank (Frankfurt)
ECB Frankfurt

The European Central Bank (ECB) was set up in 1998 under the Treaty on European Union and manages the euro, the EU's single currency. The ECB is responsible for framing and implementing the EU's monetary policy. To do so, the ECB works with the European System of Central Banks, especially those in the eurozone. The ECB and its European counterparts are independent of the EU institutions and the governments of Member States.


The European Investment Bank

The European Investment Bank (EIB) was set up in 1958 under the Treaty of Rome. The EIB lends money to the public and private sectors for funding projects of European interest such as social cohesion; support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); environmental schemes; research, development and innovation; transport; and energy. The EIB is also active in 140 countries with which the European Union has a Cooperation Agreement.


The European Investment Fund

The European Investment Fund (EIF) was set up in 1994 to provide venture capital for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), particularly new firms and technology-oriented businesses. It also provides guarantees covering financial institutions' loans to SMEs.


Other specialised bodies

The European Ombudsman

European Ombudsman, P. Nikiforos Diamandouros

The position of European Ombudsman was created in 1992 by the Treaty of Maastricht (TEU). The Ombudsman's role is to facilitate relations between citizens and the EU authorities. He receives and investigates complaints from EU citizens, businesses and organisations. The Ombudsman is elected by the European Parliament for a renewable five-year term.


The European Data Protection Supervisor

The position of European Data Protection supervisor (EDPS) was created in 2001. The EDPS is responsible for ensuring that EU institutions and bodies respect people's privacy when processing their personal data. The Supervisor is appointed by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union for a five-year term.


EU Agencies

  • Community agencies: there are today 24 Community agencies that accomplish technical, scientific and managerial tasks. They include, for example, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders (FRONTEX). 

  • Common Foreign and Security Policy agencies: these agencies are: the European Defence Agency (EDA), the European Union Institute for Security Studies (ISS) and the European Union Satellite Centre (EUSC). These three CFSP agencies perform technical, scientific and management tasks in the framework of the European Union's Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). 

  • Police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters agencies: these are: the European Police Office (EUROPOL), the European Union's Judicial Cooperation Unit (EUROJUST) and the European Police College (CEPOL). These three agencies help the EU Member States co-operate in the fight against international organised crime.

  • Executive agencies: the six executive agencies were established with a view to being entrusted with certain tasks relating to the management of one or more Community programmes. These agencies are set up for a fixed period. They include the Executive Agency for the Public Health Programme (PHEA), the Research Executive Agency (REA) and the Executive Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation (EACI). 


Interinstitutional bodies

  • Updated: 08.09.2008
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