The Death of the European Agency for Reconstruction: A Peculiar Case of Termination of the Agencies of the European Union

  • Islam Jusufi Epoka University, Tirana, Albania
Keywords: EU, agencies, European Agency for Reconstruction, institutional termination, Western Balkans


Almost each EU member states hosts an EU agency that deals with some issues related to acquis communautaire. From many issues as regards the work and functioning of the EU agencies, the issue of their institutional design is an important aspect to consider. In this context, various changes have been observed in the operations of the EU agencies. The European Agency for Reconstruction (EAR), an EU agency that managed the EU aid to the Western Balkans from 2000 to 2008, proved to be an efficient and effective agency in delivering aid, considering the EU’s cumbersome procedures for contracting and disbursement of the aid. However, the EAR was closed in 2008 despite its successful record. Thus, it is important to consider the case of the EAR and institutional design it offered. By examining the EAR, the paper assesses its structure and operations as a particular institutional design. The paper provides a picture of a comparative model of the EAR in the framework of current EU agencies and their operations. It addresses a set of questions that occupy scholarly work as regards the EU agencies. The paper provides explanations to account for the reasons of the establishment, closure and institutional design of the EAR. The EAR as an EU agency operating in the field of aid management showed some level of independence. Thus, the paper finds evidence that politicization of aid had an impact on the de facto independence of the EAR. While the EAR had autonomy and independence, the way this agency was designed guaranteed the Council and the Commission an important role in the direct control of how the EAR performed its tasks