The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is an agency of the European Union (EU) with responsibility for civil aviation safety. It carries out certification, regulation and standardisation and also performs investigation and monitoring. It collects and analyses safety data, drafts and advises on safety legislation and co-ordinates with similar organisations in other parts of the world. The idea of a European-level aviation safety authority goes back to 1996, but the agency was legally established only in 2002; it began its work in 2003. Based in Cologne, Germany, the agency was created on 15 July 2002 as the "European Aviation Safety Agency", and reached full functionality in 2008, taking over functions of the Joint Aviation Authorities. It was renamed the "European Union Aviation Safety Agency" in 2018. European Free Trade Association countries participate in the agency. The United Kingdom was a member until the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020. The responsibilities of the agency include the analysis and research of safety parameters, authorizing foreign operators, and advising the European Commission on the drafting of EU legislation. It also implements and monitors safety rules, gives type certification of aircraft and components, and approves organisations involved in the design, manufacture and maintenance of aeronautical products.