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The emergence and expansion of the European Union agencies has been considered by some as one of the most significant developments in the institutional structure of the EU. Against this background, it is not surprising that European agencies have been examined comprehensively by legal scholars, political scientists and specialists in public administration In spite of the great number of studies existing on EU agencies, one aspect of their activity has remained underexplored, namely their performance in the international arena. The European agencies are increasingly interacting in various ways with actors outside the EU and they tend to become increasingly visible actors in international arena.
This book explores the role of the European agencies in EU external relations and on the international plane. It scrutinizes the international cooperation mandate, the tasks and instruments entrusted to EU agencies, together with their legal status as actors with a global dimension. The book is focused around four main questions: How is the international dimension of the EU agencies designed and what are the legal implications of this design?; What is the legal nature of the main international cooperation instruments concluded by the EU agencies?; What is the legal status of the EU agencies on the international level and, in particular, can EU agencies acquire international legal personality?; and how does the international dimension of the EU agencies fit within the Union’s legal-institutional system?
The book goes on to set out in detail three case studies the European Aviation Safety Agency, Frontex and Europol in order to shed light on the complexities of the daily international cooperation practice of the EU agencies.