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Decision of the European Ombudsman in the case 661/2021/ABZ on how the European Commission (Your Europe Advice) responded to enquiries concerning Brexit and the Withdrawal Agreement

Dear Mr X,

On 7 April 2021, you submitted a complaint to the European Ombudsman against Your Europe Advice concerning the above issue. Your Europe Advice is an EU advice service operated under a contract with the European Commission.

Regarding the part of your complaint that is about the advice provided by Your Europe Advice related to the acquisition of property in Czechia, we find, after a careful analysis of all the information you provided with your complaint, that there was no maladministration.

Your Europe Advice provided you with a corrected version of the advice on the same day that you submitted your request for clarifications. Your Europe Advice also responded in a substantive and reasonable manner to your additional requests on this matter. We therefore consider that Your Europe Advice has dealt adequately with your enquiry and we close our inquiry into this aspect of your complaint.

Regarding the remaining aspects of your complaint, I am sorry to have to tell you that, for the reasons set out below, the Ombudsman is unable to deal with them in detail at this stage.

The Ombudsman must follow certain rules for dealing with complaints[1]. One of these rules[2] is that the complainant must first have contacted the EU body concerned with a view to resolving the problem, before complaining to the Ombudsman. In this way, the EU body in question will have an opportunity to deal with the problem at an early stage and without the need to involve the Ombudsman.

Based on the documentation you have sent us we were unable to verify that you have raised the remaining concerns outlined in your complaint with Your Europe Advice. Unfortunately, this means that the Ombudsman cannot deal with these aspects of your complaint at this stage[3].

However, our preliminary view based on the information available is that Your Europe Advice appears to have dealt with your requests in a reasonable manner.

I realise that this decision will disappoint you, but I hope that the above information and explanations are nevertheless helpful.

Yours sincerely,

Tina Nilsson
Head of the Case-handling Unit

Strasbourg, 28/04/2021

 

[1] These are set out in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and in the Statute of the European Ombudsman.

[2] Set out in Article 2(4) of the Statute of the European Ombudsman.

[3] Full information on the procedure and rights pertaining to complaints can be found at https://www.ombudsman.europa.eu/en/document/70707.