Executive agencies are established by the Commission. Their raison d'être is the efficient management of EU programmes on behalf of the Commission. The lifetime of executive agencies is limited and linked to the duration of the programmes which they manage. The more detailed legal framework for executive agencies is set out in Council Regulation (EC) No 58/2003 of 14 December 2002.
The Research Executive Agency (REA) was legally set up by the Commission in December 2007 to manage parts of the 7th framework programme for research and technological development (FP7). The agency started operations in 2009.
In December 2013, the Commission extended the mandate of the REA (by Implementing Decision 2013/778/EU ). In the future, the REA will continue with the management of remaining FP7 projects but also manage large parts of the new Horizon 2020 Framework Programme (2014-2020) and provide programme-related administrative and logistical support services to other Commission services.
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