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Decision in case OI/3/2018/JN on the European Commission’s failure to adequately answer correspondence concerning an EU-funded project reducing health related social and gender inequalities and barriers

1. The complainant, a Norwegian county council, participated in an EU-funded project that focused on reducing health related social and gender inequalities and barriers to social and economic participation. Further to an audit, the European Commission declared certain costs claimed by the complainant ineligible. The complainant challenged the Commission’s assessment and was dissatisfied with the Commission’s reply. Therefore, it turned to the Ombudsman in April 2018.

2. The Ombudsman’s inquiry team contacted the Commission and asked it to send to the complainant a further reply addressing in more detail its arguments and concerns. The Commission replied to the complainant on 8 August 2018 and explained in detail why it considered the costs in question ineligible.

3. The Commission has sent an adequate and exhaustive reply, clarifying its position and the grounds for its decision to recover the funds. Since the Commission adequately addressed the complainant’s concerns, this complaint is resolved and I have decided to close the case[1].


Marta Hirsch-Ziembińska

Head of Inquiries and ICT - Unit 1

Strasbourg, 07/02/2019


[1] This inquiry has been dealt with under delegated case handling, in accordance with Article 11 of the Decision of the European Ombudsman adopting Implementing Provisions