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Parliamentary questions
2 August 2017
E-002901/2017
Answer given by President Juncker on behalf of the Commission

1. The rental contracts of the EU agencies vary across agencies and over time, depending on local real estate markets, national applicable rules and related costs (including for break out clauses). In addition, the conditions in which agencies operate differ greatly not only from one Member State to another, but sometimes within the same host State. As long as the seat agreements are negotiated on a case-by-case basis in bilateral discussions, it is difficult to ensure that agencies benefit from a common and most favourable set of conditions.

2. As regards the bearing of the costs, point 26 of the negotiation directives adopted by the Council states that ‘the United Kingdom should fully cover the specific costs related to the withdrawal process such as the relocation of the agencies or other Union bodies’(1). The final budgetary implications of the withdrawal agreement under Article 50 of the TFEU will be clarified in the course of the Brexit negotiations.

3. By virtue of Article 341 TFEU, the seat of EU institutions shall be determined by agreement of the governments of the Member States. Similar rules apply for the determination of the seats of EU Agencies(2). As it is the case in the Member States, where even without specific reference in their Constitutions or laws, national agencies and bodies are established in the territory of the concerned Member States, EU agencies and bodies have to have their seat in the European Union(3).

Moreover, the common agreement of the governments of the Member States which determine the seats of EU Agencies refer to concerned Member States, which indicates that the seat of EU Agencies can only be located in the Member States(4).

(1)http://eur-lex.europa.eu/resource.html?uri=cellar:d053963b-3013-11e7-9412-01aa75ed71a1.0007.02/DOC_2&format=PDF
(2)In line with the Joint Statement on Decentralised Agencies and Common Approach adopted by the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on 19 July 2012.
(3)This follows further from the selection criteria and the rules on the relation with the host state in points 6 — 9 of the Common Approach referred to in Footnote 1.
(4)For example, Article 2 of the decision of 12.12.1992 on the location of the seats of the institutions and of certain bodies and departments stipulates that the seat of other bodies and departments will be decided taking account of the advantages of the above provisions to the Member States concerned.

Last updated: 3 August 2017Legal notice