Renforce Conference ‘Legitimate Delegation of Regulatory and Enforcement Powers to EU Agencies?’

The number and powers of EU agencies have been growing (in both quantitative and qualitative terms) without an explicit legal basis provided for in the EU Treaties. EU agencies are no longer merely information-gathering assistants of the European Commission and national authorities, in fact they may enjoy decision-making and supervisory powers. For example, among the recently created agencies (2010) is the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) which can adopt individual decisions directed to national supervisory authorities and financial markets’ participants and which has become exclusively responsible for registering and supervising, including the power to sanction, credit rating agencies. Considering the potential strength of the given powers, it is not surprising that the delegation of discretionary powers to ESMA has been recently challenged before the Court of Justice of the European Union (Case C-270/12 Action brought on 1 June 2012 – United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland v Council of the European Union, European Parliament).

Delegating regulatory and enforcement powers to EU agencies affects the horizontal and vertical balance of powers in the EU since the creation of and delegation to EU agencies reshuffles tasks and responsibilities between EU and national levels as well as among EU institutions. Yet, since this development is neither regulated at the treaty level specifically nor backed up by relevant treaty provisions, the question becomes whether the ongoing agencification in the EU is democratically legitimate.

To address this question the Utrecht Centre for Regulation and Enforcement in Europe (RENFORCE) organises a one-day conference on Friday 16 May 2014 (in Utrecht). The invited speakers, which include academics and practitioners, will discuss the development of growing delegation of regulatory and enforcement powers to EU agencies in general (Part I) and in the case of ESMA in particular (Part II) as well as address the question of EU agencies’ democratic legitimacy in light of the expected ‘ESMA’ judgment in January 2014 (Part III). For the full programme of the conference (in pdf), please click here. This conference falls within the scope of one of the main strategic programmes of the University of Utrecht, i.e., Institutions.

The speakers of the conference include Prof. Dr. Edoardo Chiti (University of La Tuscia), Prof. Dr. Griller (University of Salzburg), Mr. Felix Flinterman (ESMA), Mr. Bart Kiewiet (CPVO Former President), Prof. Dr. Niamh Moloney (LSE/ESMA), Ms. Marloes van Rijsbergen (UU), Ms. Miroslava Scholten (UU), Mr. Michael Smethers (EASA) and AG Niilo Jääskinen who has recently delivered his opinion to the Court of Justice of the European Union in the ‘ESMA’ case.

The conference will be opened by Prof. Mark Bovens (UU). The panels will be chaired by Prof. Dr. Linda Senden (UU), Dr. Ton van den Brink (UU), and Prof. Dr. Paul Craig (Oxford University).

For more information, please, do not hesitate to contact Ms. Miroslava Scholten ( ) and Ms. Marloes van Rijsbergen ( ).

This event has reached maximum capacity. Therefore registration is unfortunately no longer possible.

Image Source: European Commission –