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Ombudsman welcomes ECDC’s transparency measures

Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly has welcomed steps taken by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) to improve the transparency of its work.

Following the Ombudsman’s suggestions, the ECDC put in place measures to make it easier for the public to follow the evolution of its scientific advice and to see the data underlying its scientific assessments. It also committed to more transparency around its exchanges with international partners, such as the World Health Organisation.

In line with the Ombudsman’s proposals on improving communication, the ECDC said that its planned new communication policy will target the general public, be more proactive in its contacts with media, and enhance its digital communication. The ECDC also said it intends to review its language policy - the Ombudsman had suggested that making the ECDC’s public information available in more official EU languages would help it to reach a wider audience.

The ECDC was responding to an own-initiative inquiry by the Ombudsman, which was part of the Office’s wider strategic work on the response of the EU administration during the COVID-19 crisis. The Ombudsman also looked into the transparency of decision making by the European Commission, the Council, the European Medicines Agency and the European Investment Bank during the pandemic.