How is EMSA governed?
Governance of the Agency is exercised across three broad areas:
- management, led by the Executive Director,
- the Administrative Board, and
- a system of institutional checks and balances that are common to the EU institutions in general.
Management. The current Executive Director is Markku Mylly from Finland who took up duties on 1 September 2012.The Agency's Executive Director is appointed by the Administrative Board for five-year periods. The former Executive Director, Willem de Ruiter, was appointed in 2003 and his term was renewed in 2008.
The Executive Director is responsible for defining and achieving the Agency's strategic objectives, and for establishing long term co-operation with the relevant European Commission departments and the Member States.
The internal organisation is organised into three departments (A: Corporate Services; B: Implementation and; C: Operations). Each department has three units (A: Human resources and Communication; Legal and Financial Affairs and; Operations Support; B: Safety Assessments & Inspections; Ship Safety and; Marine Environment, Training and Statistics); C: Pollution Preparedness and Response; Vessel Traffic and Reporting Services and; Satellite based monitoring services). This structure ensures the proper management of the growing number of tasks and staff within the Agency, which now has more than 200 staff members (temporary agents, permanent staff, seconded national experts and contract agents included).
Each year, objectives, budgets and planning are outlined in an annual work programme, subject to approval from the Administrative Board. Recently, the Agency's management also set out a 5-year strategy for the Agency, also subject to Administrative Board approval.
Administrative Board. The Administrative Board supervises the work undertaken by the Executive Director. The current chairman of the EMSA Administrative Board is Frans Van Rompuy. The Deputy Chairman is Achim Wehrmann. The Administrative Board is composed of one representative of each Member State (27), 4 representatives of the Commission and 4 professionals from the sectors most concerned (see List of representatives). Norway and Iceland have reached an agreement with the European Union which allows them to participate fully in the work of EMSA.
The Administrative Board is entrusted with the necessary powers to establish the budget, verify its execution, adopt the appropriate financial rules, establish transparent working procedures for decision making by the Agency, approve its work programme and annual report, examine requests for technical assistance from Member States, define a policy for visits to the Member States and appoint the Executive Director.
EU Institutional checks and balances. In addition to the Administrative Board, EMSA is subject to numerous checks and balances in common with other EU institutions and decentralised agencies. These can be summarised as:
- external audit by the European Court of Auditors (twice a year);
- discharge by the European Parliament (once a year);
- internal audit by European Commission Internal Audit Service (once a year);
- opinion of the European Commission on the agency's staff policy plan (once a year);
- approval by the European Parliament of the establishment plan (once a year);
- periodical evaluation of agencies (every five years in the EMSA founding regulation: the first evaluation, dating from 2008, can be found here);
- agreement by the European Commission on implementing rules to staff regulations (for each rule);
- compliance with Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 by the European Data Protection Supervisor (by prior notification and upon complaint);
- the European Anti-Fraud Office (upon complaint);
- the Ombudsman (upon complaint);
- Civil Service Tribunal — Court of First Instance — European Court of Justice (upon complaint).