The REA is a funding body set up by the European Commission to manage EU programmes.
The lifetime of an executive agency is limited and linked to the length of the programmes they manage. A more detailed legal framework for executive agencies is set out in Council Regulation (EC) No 58/2003.
The REA was originally set up in December 2007 to manage parts of the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7) which ran from 2007 to 2013. The agency started operating in 2009.
In 2013, the Commission extended REA's mandate further, delegating a great part of the Horizon 2020 programme to the agency.
In February 2021, the Commission renewed and extended the agency’s mandate once again through the Commission implementing decision (EU) 2021/173 which establishes the six executive agencies. Under the 2021-2027 EU long-term budget, the REA manages several EU programmes and support services.
REA has its own legal personality, but is supervised and controlled by the European Commission. The agency is managed by its director together with its steering committee.
Memorandum of Understanding between the REA and its parent DGs (8 February 2016)
Like all managers in the agency, the director is an EU official from the European Commission.
The director is responsible for making sure the agency implements all its tasks and executing the agency's administrative budget.
Marc Tachelet has been the director of the agency since April 2017.
The REA’s steering committee represents the Commission and makes sure the agency carries out its assigned tasks.
It provides high-level management along with the director. It adopts the agency's administrative budget and annual work programme, approves the annual activity report and adopts rules for personnel management and public access to documents.
The steering committee is composed of five members and three observers - all senior managers from the Commission. Its chairman is Jean-Eric Paquet, Director-General of the Commission's research and innovation department.