Eu agencies: does the Meroni doctrine make sense?

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Two decades ago the process of agencification of the EU administration was initiated and has gained momentum ever since. Today there are about 30 agencies scattered across the EU, active in different policy fields and entrusted with different tasks. In a first part this article looks at the history and rationale of agency creation and at the political framework in which EU agencies operate. In a second part, building on the definition and classification of agencies by Griller and Orator, a closer look will be taken at the institutional position of the EU agencies. Because the creation of agencies was neither excluded nor foreseen in the Founding Treaties most authors search for clarification in the 1958 Meroni ruling of the CJEU This article challenges this line of reasoning by identifying a number of problems. Furthermore this article also challenges the way in which a number of authors deduct the principle of institutional balance from the Meroni ruling, applying it to the functioning of agencies, thereby misconstruing the original concern which the Court sought to express through this principle. In the last part the article links this legal discussion to the political discussions on the future framework for the agencies, identifying a critical role for the Commission in supporting the above mentioned dominant legal reasoning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-305
JournalMaastricht Journal of European and Comparative Law
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

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