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Decision of the European Ombudsman in the above case on the European Commission’s cancellation of a call for proposals concerning a common curriculum for skippers of small commercial vessels

Dear Ms X,

On 10 June 2019, you submitted a complaint to the European Ombudsman against the European Commission concerning the above issue. The Ombudsman has asked me to deal with your complaint and reply to you on her behalf.

After a careful analysis of all the information you provided with your complaint, we have decided to close the inquiry with the following conclusion:

The evidence and information provided in the complaint appear not to give reason for concluding that the European Commission acted with maladministration.

The main issue on which your complaint is based concerns the Commission’s decision to cancel the call for proposals. In this regard, please be informed that the relevant legal rules authorised the Commission to do so[1]. The information you provided to us together with your complaint further suggests that the Commission had sufficient reasons for cancelling the call.

You further argue that the Commission decided to launch the call for proposals too late. However, the Commission’s reply in this regard appears reasonable. The information you provided to us together with your complaint does not show that the time needed by the Commission was unjustified or unreasonable in the given context.

I understand that it must have been disappointing for you not to receive a substantive assessment within the timeframe indicated in the call for proposals, that is October-November 2018, and to be informed instead, on 18 December 2018, that the procedure had been cancelled. However, the information and documents provided to us suggest that the Commission had good reasons for its decision. I also note that the delay was rather short and that the Commission respected the 6-month time limit set out in the Financial Regulation.

In any event, the documents you submitted with your complaint do not contain any information showing that the Commission’s actions in relation to the call for proposals may amount to maladministration or information that would allow us to ask the Commission to reconsider its decision.

While you may be disappointed with this outcome of the case, we hope that you will find these explanations helpful[2]. You are welcome to turn to the Ombudsman again should you encounter problems with an EU institution, body, office or agency.

Yours sincerely,

Marta Hirsch‐Ziembińska
Head of Inquiries and ICT ‐ Unit 1

Strasbourg, 10/09/2019


[1] Article 135(2) of Regulation 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and repealing Council Regulation No 1605/2002, OJ L 298, 16.10.2012, p.1: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?qid=1566203782450&uri=CELEX:02012R0966-20170101

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