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60th Rome Treaty anniversaryη Ευρώπη σου - Η δικτυακή πύλη των δημόσιων ευρωπαϊκών και εθνικών υπηρεσιών άμεσης σύνδεσης

Decision in case 900/2017/NF on the European Commission’s handling of a request for clarifications concerning its reimbursement scheme for experts

Διαθέσιμες γλώσσες  :  en
  • Υπόθεση  :  900/2017/NF
    Εκκίνηση έρευνας στις 21 Ιουν 2017 - Απόφαση στις 13 Σεπ 2017
  • Εμπλεκόμενο θεσμικό όργανο :  Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή

1. In March 2017, the complainant, a former Member of the European Parliament (MEP), participated in a workshop organised by the European Commission, to which she had been invited as an independent expert. After the workshop, the complainant contacted the Commission, asking it to clarify the rules on the reimbursement of expenses incurred by people from outside the Commission invited to attend meetings in an expert capacity[1]. The complainant was concerned about the clarity and equal application of these rules and she considered that the Commission had failed to adequately explain the rules to her. The response given by the Commission did not satisfy the complainant and she therefore turned to the Ombudsman in May 2017.

2. The Ombudsman opened an inquiry into the complainant’s concerns and asked the Commission to provide the complainant with a reply addressing the issues raised by her, that is, the application of the reimbursement rules by different Commission Directorates-General; the timeframe for reimbursement; the information provided to experts in advance of a meeting; and a more general request for a better explanation of the rules and their application in practice. The Ombudsman also asked the Commission to reply to the complainant in her own language in order to facilitate communication.

3. The Commission sent its reply to the complainant on 31 July 2017. It gave a comprehensive explanation of its rules on the reimbursement of expenses and replied exhaustively to the specific issues raised by the complainant. In particular, the Commission explained that the same reimbursement rules apply to all its Directorates-General and that the deadline for reimbursement is 30 days. The Commission also explained where and how it informs experts of the reimbursement rules, such as on a dedicated website and in notification letters. To prevent misunderstandings from reoccurring in the future, the Commission committed to explicitly stating in the invitation letters to private sector experts whether they would be entitled to specific types of allowances for a particular meeting. The Commission also provided the complainant with a translation of its reply in her own language.

4. As the Commission has now given the complainant sufficient clarifications, and given that the complainant appears to be satisfied with the Commission’s reply[2], this complaint is resolved and the Ombudsman closes the case.

5. The Commission’s commitment to provide more information in the invitation letters to private sector experts is welcomed.

 

Tina Nilsson

Head of Inquiries ‐ Unit 4

Strasbourg, 13/09/2017

 

[1] Commission Decision of 5 December 2007, Rules on the reimbursement of expenses incurred by people from outside the Commission invited to attend meetings in an expert capacity: http://ec.europa.eu/employment_social/egf/docs/reglementation_experts_2008_en.pdf

[2] The Ombudsman invited the complainant to comment on the Commission’s reply by 7 September 2017. The complainant chose not to make any comments.

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Υπόθεση  :  900/2017/NF