EU Agencies as Global Actors: A Legal Assessment of Europol's International Dimension
44 Pages Posted: 7 Oct 2014
Date Written: October 7, 2014
The EU agencies’ evolving international dimension triggers complex questions regarding the legal nature of their global activities, their legal status as global actors, the legal mandate of these bodies to pursue international cooperation. In addressing these questions, first, a general legal-analytical framework for assessing the international dimension of the EU agencies is advanced. Second, Europol’s international cooperation legal framework and practice are closely examined with a view to providing a legal diagnosis of the current standing of this agency as a global actor. It is argued that under the principle of institutional balance and the present-day Meroni requirements there is room for Europol and EU agencies in general to develop an international dimension. EU agencies’ potential as global actors is limited in that these bodies are bound to act on a technical level performing various administrative actions on the international plane. In this context, whereas the technical-administrative agreements concluded by Europol bind ultimately the Union under international law, they are legally acceptable as long as they remain within the scope of agency’s mandate, and are in line with the overall external action of the Union.
Keywords: EU agencies, Europol, international cooperation, institutional balance, EU external relations
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