You have a complaint against an EU institution or body?

Available languages:
  • ENEnglish

Decision in case 945/2018/JAP on the European Parliament’s failure to reply to correspondence concerning gender discrimination in Poland (different retirement age for men and women)

1. On 16 September 2017, the complainant sent an e-mail to the President of the European Parliament concerning gender discrimination in Poland. In particular, he complained about the national legislation, which re-introduced differentiation of the retirement age for men and women. He expected Parliament to provide him with a substantive reply. As he did not receive any reply, he turned to the European Ombudsman on 18 May 2018.

2. The Ombudsman’s inquiry team contacted the European Parliament, which then replied to the complainant on 2 July 2018. Parliament explained that it had taken note of the complainant’s concerns about the changes to the retirement in Poland. It observed that the European Commission had dealt with the issue under point 4.3.1 Retirement age and the power to prolong the mandate of judges of its Reasoned Proposal in accordance with Article 7(1) of the Treaty on European Union on the rule of law in Poland[1]. Parliament invited thus the complainant to read the information provided by the Commission.

3. Parliament further explained that it is for the Commission together with the Court of Justice of the European Union to ensure that EU law is correctly applied in all EU Member States. In this context, the Commission initiated infringement proceedings against the Polish government for changes the new Law on the Ordinary Courts makes and, specifically, the retirement regime it introduces (i.e. gender discrimination).

4. Finally, Parliament noted that on 13 June 2018, Members of the European Parliament held a debate on the independence of the Polish judiciary[2]. The Commission has also addressed the issue of re-introduction of differentiation of the retirement age in Poland through parliamentary questions[3].

5. As an adequate reply has now been sent, this complaint is resolved[4] and I have decided to close the case[5].

 

Marta Hirsch-Ziembińska

Head of Inquiries and ICT - Unit 1

Strasbourg, 20/07/2018

 

[1] Reasoned proposal in accordance with Article 7(1) of the Treaty on European Union regarding the rule of law in Poland, Proposal for a Council Decision on the determination of a clear risk of a serious breach by the Republic of Poland of the rule of law, COM(2017) 835 final, available at: http://ec.europa.eu/newsroom/just/document.cfm?action=display&doc_id=49108

[2] Extracts are available at the following link: https://multimedia.europarl.europa.eu/de/independence-of-the-judiciary-in-poland-debate_I156959-A_a

[3] http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getAllAnswers.do?reference=E-2017-006214&language=EN

Moreover, the Commission’s Representation to Poland has designed a special website devoted to this issue: https://ec.europa.eu/poland/news/170810_retirement_age_pl

[4] If the complainant considers that the institution’s reply is not satisfactory, it is open to him/her/it to make a new complaint to the Ombudsman.

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