01/11/2021

Open calls for registering at the European Commission Expert Groups and Other Similar Entities to support its activities

Categories: News

Tags: Experts | European Commission


Currently, there around 38 open calls for application to work within the European Commissions's Expert Groups and Other Similar Entities.

What is a Commission expert group?

A consultative body:

  • set up by the Commission or its departments to provide them with advice and expertise
  • composed of public and/or private sector members
  • which meets more than once.

Gathering expertise from various sources may include gathering the views of various stakeholders.

There are 2 types of Commission expert groups:

  • formal - set up by Commission decision
  • informal - set up by an individual Commission department that has obtained the agreement of the Commissioner and Vice-President responsible and of the Secretariat-General.

What is the role of Commission expert groups?

They advise the Commission in relation to:

  • the preparation of legislative proposals and policy initiatives
  • the preparation of delegated acts
  • the implementation of EU legislation, programmes and policies, including coordination and cooperation with Member States and stakeholders in that regard
  • where necessary, the prepariation of implementing acts at an early stage, before they are submitted to the committee in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 182/2011.

Expert groups are not set up to engage in general debate with stakeholders or the public; rather, they provide a forum for discussion on a given subject and on the basis of a specific mandate involving high-level input from a wide range of sources and stakeholders that takes the form of opinions, recommendations and reports.

This input is not binding on the Commission , which remains fully independent regarding the way it takes into account the expertise and views gathered. When proposing new policies and measures, the Commission always tries to find the best solution in the general interest of the EU and its Member States.

Moreover, experts groups are not the Commission's only source of expert input . When gathering the full range of views on an issue, it also has recourse to studies, European agencies, green papers, public consultations, hearings, and so on. Overall stakeholder participation and representation should therefore always be seen in the light of all the initiatives the Commission takes.

How do Commission expert groups work?

  • They can be either permanent or temporary .
  • They are chaired by a Commission representative , a person appointed by the Commission, or a person that the group has elected by simple majority.
  • They act at the request of the Commission or the chairman, with the Commission's agreement.
  • In agreement with the Commission, they can set up sub-groups to examine specific questions on the basis of a clearly defined mandate. These sub-groups are dissolved as soon as they have fulfilled their mandate.
  • The Commission’s representatives in the group may invite experts with specific knowledge of a subject on the agenda to take part in the work of the group or sub-group on an ad-hoc basis.
  • The Commission’s representatives in the group may grant observer status to individuals, organisations and public authorities, either by direct invitation or as a result of a call for applications, as appropriate. The Chair may allow observers and their representatives to take part in discussions and provide expertise. However, they cannot vote or take part in drawing up the expert groups' recommendations or advice.
  • In principle, participants are not paid for their input, although the Commission may reimburse travel and subsistence expenses . Only in exceptional and duly justified cases can Type A members and invited experts acting in a personal capacity be paid a 'special allowance', i.e. remuneration.
  • Meetings are generally held on Commission premises .
  • It is usually the Commission that prepares documents and draft agendas, organises meetings, drafts minutes, and so on.

The Register lists both Commission expert groups and other similar entities, i.e. consultative entities set up by the Union legislator and not by the Commission, which have a similar or identical role to that of Commission expert groups and are administered and financially managed by the Commission.

For each expert group, the Register provides valuable information including on the Commission department which is running the group, as well as on its members, its mission and tasks. The Register also includes relevant documents which are produced and discussed by the groups.

Expert groups explained provides more information about the applicable rules.

check the open calls here

If you are looking for how to register as an evaluator of Horizon Europe projects, check this piece.