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Letter to the President of the European Commission Mr Jean- Claude Juncker concerning promotion of dignity at work in the EU civil service

Mr Jean-Claude Juncker


European Commission

Strasbourg, 24/04/2018

Re: SI/2/2018/AMF Promotion of dignity at work in the EU civil service

Dear Mr President,

As you will know, there has been much discussion recently regarding workplace harassment (including psychological and sexual harassment), on the need for employers to make every effort to prevent such harassment and, where it does occur, to ensure that it is investigated and dealt with speedily and effectively. The growing pervasiveness of online harassment is also emerging as an issue.

While the EU civil service in general has very high standards in this area, dignity at work is an issue of concern among many employees of the EU institutions and bodies. As European Ombudsman, I am committed to promoting the highest possible standards of administration across the EU civil service, including in the area of anti-harassment policies and practices. I am considering, therefore, how best my Office might contribute to the promotion of even higher standards in this area across the EU civil service.

I would like, as an initial step, to gather information on anti-harassment policies and practices across the EU civil service. By gathering this information, I hope to be able to identify particularly good practices and to share these good practices across the EU civil service. Following this initial step, I will decide whether some further steps may be useful. It is in this context that I am now writing to you, and at the same time to other EU institutions and agencies, to seek your cooperation.

I would be very grateful if you would provide my Office with a copy of your institution’s anti-harassment policy or decision as well as a copy of any guidelines or operating procedures relevant to how the policy/decision is given effect. It would be very helpful also to receive a copy of any review undertaken of your policy/decision or of any report(s) on its   implementation. If information is available on the number and/or types (including online) of harassment complaints received, on the outcomes to these complaints, on the time take to deal with the complaints, or other information of this kind, all of this will be very helpful to my Office. If there are any comments or suggestions you would like to make on how to promote good anti-harassment practices, please feel free to share them with my Office.

As I may decide to publish material provided on my Office website, it would be very helpful if your institution would provide an anonymised version of any material which discloses personal data.

I would be very grateful if you could reply by 25 June 2018. If you have any queries on this initiative, please feel free to contact Ms Ángela Marcos Figueruelo (email address and contact number redacted for publication).

Thank you in advance for your cooperation.


Yours sincerely,


Emily O'Reilly
European Ombudsman


N.B. Same letter has been addressed to the following institutions and agencies:

· the European Parliament

· the Council

· the European External Action Service

· the European Economic and Social Committee

· the Committee of the Regions

· the European Data Protection Supervisor

· the Court of Justice of the European Union

· the Court of Auditors

· the European Chemicals Agency

· the European Food Safety Authority

· the European Environment Agency

· the European Aviation Safety Agency

· the European Medicines Agency

· the European Central Bank

· the European Investment Bank,

· the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions

· Europol

· the European Union's Judicial Cooperation Unit

· the European Border and Coast Guard Agency

· the European Institute for Gender Equality

· the European Police College

· the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training

· the European Intellectual Property Office

· the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work  

· the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction