Working groups in the Commission

Working groups in the Commission

A working group consists typically of one or more representatives of each country under the direction of the Commission in Brussels. The Commission has about 3,000 secret working groups to manage policy areas and present ideas and proposals. They are also used to create networks in order to secure support for the Commission’s thinking and proposals.

José Manuel Barroso gave Jens-Peter Bonde a list of 3,094 working groups on the day the European Parliament voted to appoint Barroso as Commission President in 2004. The list was nicknamed in the Commission as the Bonde List. 

Six months later the Commission officially published a list of 1684 working groups on its website: management committees and various other groups had by then been excluded from the list.

In 2009, the published list contained close to 1000 working groups and more than 1,600 if sub groups usre counted as well.

The Commission President also promised to give the European Parliament the names of advisers in the many working groups. However, Barroso was persuaded by his staff to go back on his promise, referring to the rules on personal data protection.

Subsequently, the European Parliament’s Committee on Budgetary Control unanimously demanded disclosure of the names.

The Commission promised a complete database with all advisors from 2009. The published database is not complete. Only persons appointed by the Commission can be found in the "Register of Expert Groups and Other Similar Entities".

There is a complete list of around 300 administrative working groups producing around 2000 legal acts per year at the adress: 




Bonde List