Page last updated at 19:41 GMT, Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Guide to EU agencies

Below is a list of some other EU institutions, including the main agencies:

European Chemicals Agency (ECHA)

The agency manages the technical, scientific and administrative work to implement REACH, the EU's registration system for chemicals. Based in Helsinki.

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)

Based in Stockholm, ECDC identifies and monitors current and emerging threats to human health from infectious diseases, such as HIV/Aids, influenza and Sars.

Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO)

Based in Angers, France. The CPVO administers plant variety rights, a specific form of industrial property rights relating to new plant varieties, across the EU.

European Medicines Agency (EMEA)

Located in London. The EMEA coordinates the scientific resources of the EU states to ensure a high level of evaluation of medicines in Europe.

European Agency for Health and Safety at Work (EU-OSHA)

Based in Bilbao. The EU-OSHA promotes safety and health in the workplace. It runs a network of Health and Safety websites, and publishes specialist information on Health and Safety issues.

European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)

Based in Cologne, Germany, EASA acts as a monitoring and advisory body on aviation safety standards across the EU.

European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop)

Set up in 1975 and based in Thessaloniki, Greece, this agency serves as a reference centre for vocational education and training. It provides information on, and analyses vocational education and training systems, policies, research and practice.

European Police Office (Europol)

Europol aims to improve coordination between police forces across the EU to combat international organised crime. Based in The Hague.

European Police College (Cepol)

Cepol, based in the UK, brings together senior police officers from across Europe to encourage cross-border co-operation in the fight against crime, and in maintaining public security and law and order.

European Committee of the Regions

The Commitee of the Regions is a representative assembly with the job of giving local and regional authorities a voice at the heart of the European Union. Its members are drawn from municipal and regional authorities in the 27 member states. The Committee gives opinions but does not have any formal powers.

European Environment Agency (EEA)

The EEA promotes sustainable development and provides information on environmental issues to policy makers and the public. Based in Copenhagen.

European Agency for the Management of Operational Coordination at the External Borders of the Member States of the EU (Frontex)

Based in Warsaw, Frontex helps EU countries control the EU's external borders and repatriate illegal immigrants. Its role has increased with the surge in migrant traffic to the EU from Africa and the former Soviet Union.

European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)

Located in Parma, EFSA provides independent scientific advice on food safety issues for producers and consumers.

European Foundation for the Improvement of Living And Working Conditions (Dublin Foundation)

Establised in 1975 and based in Dublin, Eurofound is a tripartite body which provides guidance and advice to social policy makers on living and working conditions.

European Institute for Security Studies (EUISS)

The EUISS is an autonomous agency set up in 2001 as part of the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). Its role is to research and monitor major security and defence issues, and promote dialogue on all security issues between the EU and the United States and Canada.

European Investment Bank (EIB)

The European Investment Bank is an EU financing institution. Its task is to contribute towards integration, balanced development and the economic and social cohesion of member countries. The EIB also raises large volumes of funds which help to finance capital projects.

European Investment Fund

The EIF is an offshoot of the European Investment Bank (EIB), based in Luxembourg and jointly owned by the EIB, the European Commission and some 28 European banks and financial institutions. The Fund is the EIB's specialised financial institution, responsible for looking after portfolio guarantees and venture capital.


Eurojust's role is to work to enhance co-operation and co-ordination between national investigation and prosecution authorities on matters of organised crime. The agency is based at The Hague, in the Netherlands.

European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA)

The Maritime Safety Agency provides technical and scientific advice to the EU Commission on safety at sea and the prevention of pollution by ships. It also monitors the development and implementation of new maritime legislation.

European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA)

Located in Lisbon, Portugal, the EMCDDA collects and disseminates information on drugs and drug addiction in Europe.

European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA)

Based in Vienna, Austria, the FRA (formerly EUMC) provides information on racism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism, and advises on action to combat such phenomena. The FRA also recommends good practice regarding the integration of migrants and ethnic and religious minority groups.

European Ombudsman

Jacob Soderman was elected the first EU Ombudsman after the office was established by the Maastricht Treaty in 1995. His role is to deal with complaints of maladministration by EU institutions from EU citizens.

European Satellite Centre (EUSC)

The EUSC, based in Torrejon, near Madrid, processes information from satellite imagery in support of the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP).

European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)

The EESC serves as an advisory/consultative body to the Commission, Council and Parliament on relations with employers' organisations, trade unions, farmers, consumer groups and professional associations. The EESC is the only way for these interest groups to have a formal say on draft EU legislation.

European Training Foundation (ETF)

Located in Torino, Italy, the ETF acts as a centre of expertise for the development of training and skills in the EU.

Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM)

Located in Alicante, Spain, the OHIM manages and provides information on trade mark regulations across the EU.

Translation Centre for Bodies in the European Union

Set up in 1994 and based in Luxembourg, Translation Centre's coordinates translation services for the other EU agencies.

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