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Úterý, 15. listopadu 2005 - Štrasburk Revidované vydání

26. Evropské regulační agentury

  Předseda. Dalším bode je otázka k ústnímu zodpovězení Radě o návrhu interinstitucionální dohody o vytvoření rámce pro evropské regulační agentury od Jo Leinena a Janusze Lewandowskiho za Výbor pro ústavní záležitosti (O – 0093/2005 – B6-0337/2005).


  Γεώργιος Παπαστάμκος (PPE-DE), Αναπληρωτής συντάκτης. – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, εντός του ευρωπαϊκού πλαισίου υφίσταται σημαντικός αριθμός αποκεντρωμένων ή οιονεί αυτονόμων λειτουργικών σωμάτων, τα οποία ταυτοποιούνται κάτω από τον τίτλο "ρυθμιστικοί οργανισμοί". Η κατάσταση αυτή παραπέμπει σε μία σύλληψη πολυεπίπεδης διακυβέρνησης.

Η εννοιολογική προσέγγιση και η λειτουργική διερεύνηση των ρυθμιστικών αρχών στην Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση χαρακτηρίζεται από πλουραλισμό. Συνεπώς, η πρόκληση συνίσταται στην καθίδρυση αποσαφηνισμένων και, στο μέτρο του δυνατού, ομοιογενών όρων σύστασης λειτουργίας και εποπτείας αυτής της ιδιότυπης, αυτής της sui generis μορφής ευρωπαϊκής διακυβέρνησης προκειμένου οι ρυθμιστικοί οργανισμοί να καταστούν περισσότερο διαφανείς και συνεκτικοί από ό,τι είναι επί του παρόντος.

Η υπερβολική αύξηση του αριθμού των ρυθμιστικών οργανισμών θα οδηγούσε, αναμφισβήτητα, στη διόγκωση της ευρωπαϊκής ρυθμιστικής παρέμβασης, στη διάσπαση και αδιαφάνεια των ευρωπαϊκών πολιτικών και, κατ' επέκταση, στη δυσχέρανση του λειτουργικού συντονισμού.

Το Ευρωπαϊκό Κοινοβούλιο θεωρεί ότι οι πρόνοιες του υποβληθέντος σχεδίου διοργανικής συμφωνίας δύνανται να αποτελέσουν ένα ελάχιστο σύνολο κοινών αρχών και κανόνων για τη δομή, τη λειτουργία και τον έλεγχο των ρυθμιστικών οργανισμών προκειμένου οι τελευταίοι να ενταχθούν αρμονικά στο πλαίσιο των θεμελιωδών αρχών που απορρέουν από το σύστημα των Συνθηκών. Χρήσιμη λοιπόν είναι όχι μόνον η θεσμοθέτηση ενός πλαισίου εναρμόνισης της λειτουργίας των ευρωπαϊκών ρυθμιστικών αρχών, αλλά και η εναρμόνιση της λειτουργίας τους με τους δημοκρατικούς θεσμούς. Γι' αυτό το λόγο καλούμε το Συμβούλιο να συμπράξει δημιουργικά στην προώθηση της διοργανικής συμφωνίας.



  Janusz Lewandowski (PPE-DE), Author. – The question jointly submitted by the Committee on Constitutional Affairs and the Committee on Budgets involves an invitation to the Council to enter into serious negotiations on the operating framework for the agencies. I am sure that there is a well-recognised need here in the European Union to rationalise and standardise procedures for setting up and operating the regulatory agencies in the interest of transparency and in order to avoid the duplication of tasks and unnecessary expenditure. I am referring in particular to the agencies involved in executive functions, partly with respect to their functions disintegrating the operational responsibility of the European Commission. Setting up agencies is now a fashionable response to various challenges in the European Union. No wonder that there were five of them ten years ago and, by next year, there will be twenty-three. They are mushrooming and have ever greater budgetary implications because this is not only about operational expenditure; this is about expenditure of a more bureaucratic nature.

Now we have a very good basis for discussion in the Commission communication, namely the draft interinstitutional agreement of February 2005. Following the White Paper on European Governance, the European Parliament adopted its position in the form of a resolution of January 2004. We, and in particular the Budgets Committee, understand the significance of applying the principle of budgetary rigour to the setting-up and operation of the agencies, and we fully support the proposal by the Temporary Committee to ring-fence expenditure on the agencies and to regulate both existing and new agencies. However, that is not in the Commission communication.

Our oral question is in fact an expression of regret that the Council is not entering into these negotiations. The major question is whether the Council is ready and sees it as necessary and feasible to conclude the negotiations next year, that is, at the end of the current financial perspective.


  Lord Bach, President-in-Office of the Council. Mr President, in its conclusions of 28 June 2004 on the Commission communication on the operating framework for European regulatory agencies, the Council noted the existence of various decentralised Community bodies which fell within the broad heading of European agencies. It noted that, while these bodies had certain formal characteristics in common, they were in fact very diverse. The Council therefore called on the Commission to provide a clear definition of regulatory agencies according to their competences and tasks. It also considered that a future framework should identify which criteria should be applied when creating regulatory agencies. In particular, it was essential that any decision to create or maintain an agency be justified on the basis of real need and cost-benefit analysis, taking account of the availability of relevant expertise, and including impact assessment.

In February 2005 the Commission presented a draft Interinstitutional Agreement, an IIA, on the operating framework for the European regulatory agencies. This contains rules concerning agencies’ tasks, executive responsibilities, legal base, objectives and mandate, seat, structure and operation, evaluation and control. The Commission proposal suggests that an IIA would be appropriate ‘to ensure that the three institutions are involved from the outset in establishing the basic conditions to be met when acts are subsequently adopted to set up sectoral agencies’ and that ‘this type of legal instrument ... does not rule out the possibility of more detailed arrangements subsequently being concluded as part of a framework regulation’.

However, the draft IIA presented by the Commission goes beyond the establishment of arrangements for cooperation between the institutions as established in the Treaty, as it concerns the adoption of supra-legislative substantive legal rules which would have the effect of binding the legislature in the future by a procedure not laid down in the Treaty. The Council would like to refer the honourable Members to the declaration on interinstitutional agreements annexed to the Treaty of Nice, which states that interinstitutional agreements ‘may not amend or supplement the provisions of the Treaty’.

In its conclusions of 28 June 2004, the Council acknowledged that ‘the evolving and varying nature of the responsibilities’ of regulatory agencies justified the examination of all questions related to their structure, including the composition of management boards and the respective functions of their bodies. It added that ‘this examination should take into account, inter alia, the competences exercised by, and the nature of the tasks allocated to, each agency’.

Although an IIA may have certain binding legal effects in so far as its contents express the desire of the three institutions to enter into a binding commitment towards each other, this instrument cannot be used to adopt legislative or even supra-legislative rules. The proposals on this legal issue are therefore on the table for consideration by the Council.

The Council is ready to examine a horizontal proposal for agencies which addresses the legal issues that I have raised in my reply.


  Maria da Assunção Esteves, em nome do Grupo PPE-DE. – A Comissão propõe, no Livro Branco sobre a governança europeia, que as agências de regulação europeia devem ter um enquadramento legislativo. A ideia desenvolve-se, agora, no sentido de um acordo interinstitucional que é urgente e ainda não viu a luz. Porque se há exemplo no sistema de tomada de decisão política de uma realidade que reclama uma organização racional e coordenada esse é, sem dúvida, o das agências europeias de regulação.

Desde logo, por uma razão de natureza: a do seu número e a da diversidade dos espaços vitais a que se dirige; mas também porque a estrutura institucional europeia é ainda uma estrutura fragmentária, uma estrutura à procura da força integradora duma Constituição que, por isso mesmo, exige, por enquanto, acordos interinstitucionais e um esforço de organização prudente e permanente. A Europa não pode fechar os olhos ao problema de governabilidade que emerge da sua extensão e da sua ambição, por isso, as Agências de Regulação exigem das instituições políticas europeias a assunção de uma responsabilidade partilhada.

Um acordo interinstitucional potencia o sucesso destas agências; supera vazios de procedimento e, por esta via, imprime racionalidade e eficácia à execução das políticas europeias, porque, afinal, temos todos que reconhecer que é uma base racional aquela que estrutura todo o discurso europeu.


  Richard Corbett, on behalf of the PSE Group. – Mr President, my group views with concern the proliferation of agencies in recent years. The number has grown enormously. They seem to be spread like confetti around the Member States, more to ensure that each Member State has an agency on its territory than with a view to the need and benefits of having a separate EU agency to deal with the matter in question.

Our concerns therefore relate to a number of things: to the cost, of course; but more importantly, does not this proliferation of agencies undermine the executive role of the European Commission? There are politicians in some of our Member States who would like to see the Commission broken up into a series of specialised agencies to undermine the supranational executive that we have.

What of accountability? The Commission is at least accountable to this Parliament. Commissioners and their civil servants can very easily be brought in to be questioned and cross-examined. We vote their budget. If necessary – heaven forbid that it should be necessary – we can vote them out of office. However, when a matter is delegated to an agency with its own structure – usually intergovernmental – and its own board, which is accountable in a totally different way, then the accountability is inevitably lessened.

We therefore support the idea of an interinstitutional framework agreement to address some of these issues. It could at least correct some of the excesses. It could provide for proper accountability. It could have a standard structure. At the moment every single agency seems to have a different structure. Parliament could be involved in the appointment and scrutiny of the board.

I hear the Council’s answer that it does not like the idea of an interinstitutional agreement but instead would be willing to look at a horizontal proposal. I would like the Council to enlighten us as to what kind of proposal that might be. Would it be a framework regulation or legislative decision of some kind? We will not give up pursuing this matter. We liked the approach that the Commission put forward in its proposal and we will not let go in terms of ensuring that, if agencies are to exist, they must be properly accountable to the elected institutions of the European Union and not go off on a tangent by themselves.


  Lidia Joanna Geringer de Oedenberg (PSE). – Panie Przewodniczący! Europejskie agencje regulacyjne tworzone są począwszy od lat 90. w odpowiedzi na rozwój polityk unijnych, kolejnych rozszerzeń i pojawiających się w ich rezultacie nowych potrzeb technicznych i naukowych w Unii Europejskiej.

Zgodnie z Białą Księgą w sprawie zarządzania publicznego, europejskie agencje regulacyjne przyczyniają się do skutecznego wdrażania i stosowania zasad wspólnotowych, a ich funkcjonowanie i kontrola mają istotne znaczenie polityczne i instytucjonalne. Niemniej jednak niepokojącym wydaje się ciągły wzrost liczby zdecentralizowanych agencji – obecnie 23 w porównaniu z 5 agencjami z roku 1995 przy braku wspólnych ram proceduralnych. Mnożenie się nazw, zadań, struktur i mechanizmów kontroli tych agencji stwarza sytuację mało przejrzystą dla obywatela i szkodliwą dla bezpieczeństwa prawnego.

Sprawozdanie roczne Europejskiego Trybunału Obrachunkowego za 2004 rok ujawnia niedociągnięcia agencji w przestrzeganiu zasad budżetowych, w rekrutacji personelu oraz w procedurach zamówień publicznych. Wobec coraz większego obciążenia, jakie agencje stanowią dla budżetu Unii dokładna analiza skutków finansowych działania każdej nowo powstającej agencji powinna być obowiązkowa.

Mając na uwadze sprawne funkcjonowanie Unii złożonej z 25 państw, niezbędna jest większa przejrzystość i spójność w celu uniknięcia powoływania do życia agencji coraz bardziej różnorodnych i często dublujących swoje obowiązki i działania z odpowiednimi służbami Komisji Europejskiej. W tym kontekście projekt porozumienia pomiędzy Komisją, Parlamentem i Radą w celu określenia wspólnych wytycznych i ram do tworzenia nowych agencji regulacyjnych zasługuje na pełne poparcie. Zaś kompletnie niezrozumiałym wydaje się brak jakiejkolwiek woli Rady do rozpoczęcia negocjacji nad zawarciem tegoż porozumienia, ale dzisiaj widzę, że taka wola powoli się pojawia.


  Lord Bach, President-in-Office of the Council. Mr President, I thank all those who have spoken in what has been an interesting and informative exchange of views. It must be said that some of the points made today have not yet been discussed by the Council, but I assure Parliament that they will be.

Let me respond to as many of the points raised as I can. Of course the Council agrees that we need transparent and effective agencies. It is important to ensure coherence, good governance, credibility and cost efficiency. We can see the advantage in any framework of retaining flexibility and not putting in place excessively rigid guidelines. I can also assure Parliament – in case there is any doubt about it – that the Council will return to this issue when it has fully reflected on the positions of both Parliament and the Commission.

The Council has noted the Commission’s proposal for a legally binding instrument for a horizontal framework for regulatory agencies. The Council believes that the current Commission proposal presents certain legal problems and is studying it carefully.

What should such a framework cover? The Council believes that any framework should address key issues in the creation, operation and supervision of regulatory agencies. In particular, it is important, as I have said, to ensure coherence, transparency, good governance, credibility and cost efficiency.

How should decisions be taken to set up such an agency? We believe agencies have a crucial role to play, but the Council agrees with Parliament that when a decision is taken to create an agency it has to be justified on the basis of an external, cost-benefit assessment, and we hope to work with Parliament in getting a satisfactory solution to this issue.


  Louis Michel, membre de la Commission. Monsieur le Président, je voudrais tout d'abord dire que la Commission partage le sentiment d'urgence du Parlement européen et que nous partageons complètement les préoccupations qui ont été exprimées par les différents intervenants.

La Commission considère qu'un accord interinstitutionnel est indiscutablement la forme la plus appropriée pour l'encadrement. Seul l'accord interinstitutionnel permet en effet d'associer le Parlement à la définition d'un cadre commun sur un pied d'égalité avec la Commission et le Conseil. La nécessité généralement reconnue de l'encadrement impose évidemment de ne pas laisser sans suite ce projet proposé par la Commission il y a déjà huit mois. La Commission demande instamment à ses partenaires institutionnels de s'atteler à la tâche dès à présent pour que les négociations tripartites débutent le plus tôt possible. Ce qui est essentiel, c'est d'examiner le contenu d'un accord possible entre les trois institutions. Une fois le contenu de l'instrument défini, il sera plus facile d'en déterminer la forme.



Die Präsidentin. – Die Aussprache ist geschlossen.

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