Composition of the Commission's Expert Groups and the Status of the register of Expert Groups

10-09-2015

This study aims to provide insights into the development, since 2012, of the European Commission’s system of Expert Groups, including the Register of Expert Groups. The specific focus of this study is an assessment of the European Commission’s compliance with a set of European Parliament conditions attached to repeated European Parliament budget reserves for the Expert Group budget. The European Parliament conditions aim to strengthen the balanced representation of interests in the Expert Groups, address conflicts of interest, and ensure transparency, in terms of open access to the working and outputs of the Expert Groups. The study finds that the European Commission, despite some progress, continues to fall short of full compliance with the European Parliament conditions on balance and transparency. Based on this study’s findings, it is considered that a more systematic approach to balance would help overcoming information asymmetries and contribute to throughput legitimacy. Enhanced transparency also has potential to enhance Expert Group outputs. This study therefore recommends a systematic approach to balance, the promotion of full transparency, more resources for Secretariat General oversight and enforcement, and the systematic evaluation of Expert Group performance at the level of the system of Expert Groups and for all individual Expert Groups.

This study aims to provide insights into the development, since 2012, of the European Commission’s system of Expert Groups, including the Register of Expert Groups. The specific focus of this study is an assessment of the European Commission’s compliance with a set of European Parliament conditions attached to repeated European Parliament budget reserves for the Expert Group budget. The European Parliament conditions aim to strengthen the balanced representation of interests in the Expert Groups, address conflicts of interest, and ensure transparency, in terms of open access to the working and outputs of the Expert Groups. The study finds that the European Commission, despite some progress, continues to fall short of full compliance with the European Parliament conditions on balance and transparency. Based on this study’s findings, it is considered that a more systematic approach to balance would help overcoming information asymmetries and contribute to throughput legitimacy. Enhanced transparency also has potential to enhance Expert Group outputs. This study therefore recommends a systematic approach to balance, the promotion of full transparency, more resources for Secretariat General oversight and enforcement, and the systematic evaluation of Expert Group performance at the level of the system of Expert Groups and for all individual Expert Groups.