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Inquiry into complaint 1697/2016/ANA concerning the ECB and the "Group of 30"

Available languages: en
  • Case: 1697/2016/ANA
    Opened on 17 Jan 2017
  • Institution(s) concerned: European Central Bank

Dear Mr President,

I have received a complaint against the European Central Bank from Mr Kenneth Haar, acting on behalf of an NGO. I have decided to open an inquiry into this complaint.

As you will see from the copy of the complaint attached to this letter, this is a broad-ranging complaint which concerns the President of the ECB’s membership of the "Group of 30" (G30) (www.group30.org) as well as the involvement of senior ECB people in the work of the G30. You will be aware that in 2012 the same complainant (Corporate Europe Observatory) made a somewhat similar complaint which was the subject of an inquiry by my predecessor (Case 1339/2012/FOR). In making this new complaint, the complainant argues that the context in which the ECB now operates is quite different to that which prevailed at the time of the 2012 Ombudsman inquiry. Accordingly, it argues, it is appropriate that all of the issues relating to the ECB and the G30 should be considered in the current context.

At this early stage in my inquiry, I acknowledge the need to reflect on this new context. However, I have taken no position in relation to any of these matters except to consider that they warrant further inquiry.

As a first step in my inquiry, I would ask that the ECB facilitate an inspection of all relevant ECB-held documents which will help my Office gain a fuller understanding of the extent and range of the ECB’s overall involvement with the G30. I also propose that we use the opportunity of the inspection meeting to discuss some specific aspects of the complaint with the relevant ECB officials. Following that discussion and exploration of the issues, it is likely that I will ask the ECB for a written response to the complaint.

I would be grateful if your officials would contact Dr Antonios Antoniadis (+32 2 2831550; antonios.antoniadis@ombudsman.europa.eu), Principal Legal Officer in my Office, with a view to making the necessary arrangements for the inspection and discussion.

Yours sincerely,

Emily O' Reilly

European Ombudsman

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