Evaluation of the EU Agencies under the remit of DG Employment: Eurofound, Cedefop, ETF and EU-OSHA

Decentralised agencies were set up by the EU to perform technical and scientific tasks that help the European institutions implement policies and make decisions. However, recent European elections and Eurobarometer surveys have consistently revealed disenchantment with the EU institutions. Periodic evaluation was necessary of the four agencies under the remit of DG EMPL: Eurofound, Cedefop, ETF AND EU-OSHA, under the Commission’s Better Regulation Guidelines and the Financial Regulation, in order to ensure spending was appropriate. It was also unclear how potential synergies between these agencies could be exploited, and if any existing overlaps in their roles could be minimised to achieve EU policy priorities more efficiently in the future.  

To evaluate the effectiveness, efficiency, relevance and European added value of these four agencies during the period 2011-2016, as well as assessing them from a cross-cutting perspective, PPMI adopted a diverse set of tools and methodologies. First, the research team completed a large programme of desk research and conducted analyses of monitoring, administrative and other internal data. Second, PPMI surveyed stakeholders, members of the Governing Boards, and staff members from each agency. Third, a large interview programme was conducted with the management, staff and stakeholders of all the agencies, both at EU and national level. Finally, PPMI supported the European Commission in conducting an open public consultation, cost-benefit analysis and the development of 20 case studies.

Our evaluation informed revisions to the Founding Regulations, aiming to better align the functioning of EU-OSHA, Eurofound, and Cedefop to the Common Approach on EU decentralised agencies. It was suggested that a set of changes be applied to the management of these agencies to enable them to better achieve their objectives and increase efficiency, to optimise existing and exploit new synergies. If implemented, these changes will contribute to more efficient management, and to increased effectiveness, relevance and European added value among the four agencies.

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