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2 0 1 2 a n n u a l r e p o r t
5.4. Legal Counsel
5.4.1. Key achievements
Key deliverables provided by the Legal Coun-
sel Unit in 2012 mainly related to the drafting
of the Authority’s legal framework and the
provision of legal advice pertaining to fields
across the EBA departments and units. The
unit also managed and oversaw the organisa-
tion and functioning of the two main governing
bodies, i.e. the Board of Supervisors and the
Management Board. The unit operates both
on its own initiative and after requests, and
has a mandatory function vis-à-vis the imple-
mentation of the governing bodies’ decision-
making process.
Resources in the unit were also allocated to
the provision of legal advice related to the
EBA’s founding regulation, the drafting and
interpretation of implementing rules, rules of
procedure, codes of conduct, together with the
drafting of numerous decisions taken by the
Board of Supervisors, the Management Board,
the Chairperson and the Executive Director,
all of which were required for the Authority
to fulfil its duties as intended in its founding
Numerous other legal responsibilities were
derived from the EBA’s institutional setting
such as inter alia, the negotiation and drafting
of agreements and other undertakings, advis­
ory support, conclusion of contracts, service-
level agreements, framework agreements,
MoU’s and the completion of all related for-
The unit oversaw requests related to transpar-
ency and public access to documents pursu-
ant to Regulation (EU) No 1049/2001, provided
interpretation of the Staff Regulations and the
Conditions of Employment of Other Servants
(CEOS), and dealt with complaints received dir­
ectly from individuals and also those received
via the European Ombudsman’s office.
Furthermore, the unit was also responsible for
issues related to intellectual property rights,
professional secrecy, and also to data protec-
tion in light of Regulation (EU) No 45/2001
whereby the unit liaised with the Office of the
European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS).
In 2012 the unit liaised with the European Anti-
Fraud Office (OLAF) and oversaw the accession
of the EBA to the Interinstitutional Agreement
concerning the terms and conditions for inter-
nal investigations in relation to the prevention
of fraud, corruption and any illegal activity det-
rimental to the Union’s interests.
Maintaining high ethical standards is a key pri-
ority for the EBA. It is important in retaining the
legitimacy of the Authority’s role and in protect-
ing the Authority’s interests and reputation.
Maintaining appropriate standards of behav-
iour lends credibility to the EBA’s work. Within
this context, in 2012 the Legal Unit developed
ethics guidelines, which are applic­able to all
EBA staff, regardless of grade or category.
The unit also dealt with protocol and matters
arising in connection with the Authority’s re-
lations with EU Member States, EU accession
or candidate countries, non-EU countries, in-
ternational organisations, and relations with
the host state. Regarding the latter, the unit
oversaw the notion of privileges and immuni-
ties and saw to the successful conclusion of
both the revised administrative agreement
and a new headquarters agreement with the
host state.
One of the key challenges in 2012 was related
to the proactive contribution to the further
overall development of the EBA’s legal frame-
work, as the unit advises on any internal is-
sues which could potentially give rise to litiga-
tion, providing legal advice and assistance on
and managing cases of litigation at both ad-
ministrative and judicial levels and represent-
ing the EBA in legal disputes before the ESA’s
Joint Board of Appeal, the European Civil Ser-
vice Tribunal, the General Court and the Court
of Justice of the European Union.
Existing rules of procedure were amended and
updated, such as those relating to the EBA
Board of Supervisors, whilst new rules of pro-
cedure were drafted, such as those relating to
the internal processing rules on the investiga-
tion regarding breach of Union law. Elections
for positions within the EBA’s structures were
conducted and overseen, such as for mem-
bers of the EBA Management Board and the
EBA Mediation Panel.
Apart from preparing legal instruments, the
unit also addressed questions relating to the
interpretation of the Treaty on European Union
and the Treaty on the Functioning of the Euro-
pean Union, and contributed to the EBA’s legal
position vis-à-vis the European Union institu-
tions and bodies.
Throughout 2012 the unit continued to provide
legal assistance pertaining to fields across the