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Entscheidung der Europäischen Bürgerbeauftragen in ihrer strategischen Untersuchung OI/4/2016/EA über die Behandlung von Menschen mit Behinderungen durch die Europäische Kommission im Rahmen des Gemeinsamen Krankheitsfürsorgesystems für EU-Bedienstete

Donnerstag | 04 April 2019

2015 stellte ein Ausschuss der Vereinten Nationen fest, dass das Krankenversicherungssystem für EU-Bedienstete, das Gemeinsame Krankheitsfürsorgesystem (GKFS), nicht mit dem Übereinkommen der Vereinten Nationen über die Rechte von Menschen mit Behinderungen (UNCRPD) vereinbar ist. Der Ausschuss empfahl, das GKFS dahingehend zu überarbeiten, dass es einen umfassenden Schutz für Gesundheitsbedürfnisse in Verbindung mit Behinderungen bietet.

Nachdem Beschwerden von Mitarbeitern eingegangen waren, die Schwierigkeiten hatten, ihre eigenen medizinischen Behandlungskosten oder die Kosten ihrer Familienangehörigen vollständig erstattet zu bekommen, führte die Bürgerbeauftragte eine strategische Untersuchung durch. Sie stellte fest, dass das Versäumnis der Europäischen Kommission, als Reaktion auf die Empfehlung des Ausschusses wirksame Maßnahmen zu ergreifen, einen Missstand in der Verwaltungstätigkeit darstellte. Sie empfahl der Kommission daher, die für das GKFS geltenden Vorschriften zu überarbeiten. Sie unterbreitete der Kommission ferner eine Reihe von Vorschlägen, wie die Bedürfnisse von Menschen mit Behinderungen im Rahmen des GKFS berücksichtigt werden sollen, sowie zur Notwendigkeit, das Personal entsprechend zu schulen und die Interessenträger ordnungsgemäß zu konsultieren, um sicherzustellen, dass das GKFS den Bedürfnissen von Menschen mit Behinderungen gerecht wird.

Die Kommission hat geantwortet und erklärt, sie werde die für das GKFS geltenden Vorschriften überarbeiten und die meisten Vorschläge der Bürgerbeauftragten weiterverfolgen.

Da die Kommission ihre Empfehlung angenommen hat, schließt die Bürgerbeauftragte ihre strategische Untersuchung ab. Angesichts der Bedeutung des Themas fordert sie die Kommission auf, innerhalb von sechs Monaten über die Umsetzung der Empfehlung Bericht zu erstatten. Die Bürgerbeauftragte bekräftigt zudem ihren Vorschlag, dass die Kommission ihre Vorschriften von 2004 zur Berücksichtigung der Bedürfnisse von Bediensteten mit Behinderungen überarbeiten sollte.

Decision in case 1455/2015/JAP on the conditions at a test centre for a selection competition organised by the European Personnel Selection Office

Dienstag | 07 November 2017

The case concerned the European Personnel Selection Office’s (EPSO) handling of a complaint about the conditions at a test centre for a selection competition for EU civil servants. The complainant had been assigned a computer beside the entrance door, and claimed the disruption caused by people entering and leaving the room negatively affected her performance. Her attempts to have her concerns dealt with by staff at the test centre were unsuccessful and she subsequently complained to EPSO. Dissatisfied with how EPSO dealt with her complaint, she then turned to the Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman inquired into the issue and requested that EPSO look into the complaint more thoroughly. The Ombudsman’s inquiry team also met with representatives from EPSO and the contractor responsible for managing the tests, and visited a test centre at EPSO’s headquarters. The Ombudsman concluded that, overall, further inquiries in this case were not justified; however, she made a number of suggestions for improvement to EPSO.

Decision in case 969/2016/JN on the rejection by the European Union Advisory Mission Ukraine of the complainant’s application in a selection procedure

Freitag | 13 Januar 2017

The case concerned the rejection by the European Union Advisory Mission Ukraine (EUAM) of the complainant’s application in a selection procedure. The Ombudsman inquired into the issue and found that there was no maladministration as regards the rejection of the application. The Ombudsman further found that a one-level administrative review mechanism is sufficient. Finally, the Ombudsman was pleased to be informed that the European External Action Service has now decided to amend the message it sends to rejected candidates in order to include information on available remedies.

Decision of the European Ombudsman closing the inquiry into complaint 52/2014/EIS concerning the decision of the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) to have due regard to the force majeure principle in open competitions

Donnerstag | 17 November 2016

The complainant, who works for the Court of Justice of the European Union on a temporary contract, applied for an EPSO competition to recruit conference interpreters. The Notice of Competition stated that completed applications had to be submitted by 6 August 2013 at noon. The complainant missed the deadline. On 7 August 2013, she informed EPSO that she had been hospitalised from 5 to 6 August 2013 and therefore had not been able to complete her application on time. On 7 August 2013, she requested EPSO to extend the deadline. EPSO refused. Its main reason for refusing was, it stated, that it must treat all applicants equally.

The Ombudsman inquired into the issue and made the preliminary finding that EPSO had failed to consider whether the complainant’s circumstances amounted to a situation of force majeure. She thus recommended that EPSO (i) acknowledge that there are situations where, because of force majeure, it is fair and proper that candidates should be given a new deadline; (ii) clarify the circumstances in which such a new deadline should be set; and (iii) inform candidates accordingly. EPSO initially rejected the Ombudsman's recommendations and argued that it would be difficult to draw a line between different justifications put forward by candidates and to set out how candidates would prove that force majeure had occurred. It added that allowing candidates to invoke force majeure would jeopardise both the smooth running of open competitions and the equal treatment of candidates. It also referred to statistics which, it argued, proved that dealing with all the requests for deadline extensions after the deadline has expired would be an administrative burden for EPSO.

However, following meetings between Ombudsman and EPSO staff, EPSO finally accepted the recommendations of the Ombudsman in principle. As regards the specific case of the complainant, however, the Ombudsman noted that the competition in question had ended. She also noted that the complainant had chosen not to comment on the response of EPSO to her recommendations. In view of this, the Ombudsman considered that there were no grounds for further inquiries into whether the complainant’s case met the requirements of force majeure that EPSO now, in principle, agrees to apply.

Decision in case 1874/2013/MG on alleged irregularities in a European Commission tendering procedure

Montag | 29 August 2016

The complainant is an IT company which participated in a Commission tender. The Commission asked all tenderers to complete two case studies to allow it to evaluate their technical abilities.

The complainant took issue with the fact that one of the case studies was very similar to a tender recently organised by an EU agency. It alleged that this gave the companies which had won that tender a competitive advantage in the Commission tender. The complainant also took issue with the Commission's decision not to disclose the names of the persons who evaluated the proposals for the Commission.

Following her inquiry, the Ombudsman concluded that the Commission's design of the tender procedure did not confer a competitive advantage on the winning tenderer. As regards the disclosure of the names of the evaluators, the Ombudsman suggests that the Commission consider releasing such names in the future.

Decision of the European Ombudsman in case 1083/2015/ANA concerning Eurojust's reimbursement of travel expenses to candidates invited to an interview

Dienstag | 12 Juli 2016

The case concerned Eurojust's policy for the reimbursement of travel expenses of candidates invited to an interview.

The complainant turned to the Ombudsman alleging that Eurojust's reimbursement policy was unfair and discriminatory towards candidates residing outside the EU. In support of his allegation, the complainant noted there was a ceiling of 500 EUR for candidates residing outside the EU whilst, in some cases, a higher ceiling applied for travel from within the EU.

The Ombudsman inquired into the issue and found that, by increasing the reimbursement for candidates residing outside the EU to the highest ceiling applicable to candidates travelling inside the EU, Eurojust has taken appropriate action to settle the case.