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Areas of work

The European Ombudsman’s work covers a broad spectrum of issues. Her work is organised on the website under the following general categories:

Ensuring EU bodies guarantee the transparency of the EU’s decision-making process, including public access to documents and information, as well as the role of lobbying.

Making sure EU institutions account for and properly explain decisions, and reply to people seeking clarifications. Guaranteeing citizens’ rights to participate in the EU’s decision-making process, including language rights and accessibility, and the proper functioning of public consultations and the European Citizens’ Initiative.

Ensuring the highest ethical standards are maintained by EU officials in office and regarding subsequent jobs and ‘revolving doors’. Addressing conflicts of interest, as well as the role of advisors and experts. Protecting whistleblowers who seek to disclose wrongdoing.

Verifying that the EU’s institutions and bodies manage funding programmes and tenders for which they are responsible, and deal with funding partners and contractors in a fair and procedurally correct manner.

Ensuring that the EU’s institutions and bodies guarantee fundamental rights in their work, and fulfil their commitments under the Charter of Fundamental Rights. This includes data protection and the rights of people with disabilities.

Problems faced by individuals, businesses or organisations in their dealings with the EU’s institutions and bodies, including their right to be heard, to receive a timely reply, to good administration and to courteous public service. This also implies ensuring the institutions adopt a fair and balanced approach in how they use their discretion in handling cases.

Problems faced by existing and former staff members with the EU’s institutions and agencies, relating to working conditions and rights, as well as those seeking employment with the EU.

Top cases

News

Wednesday | 24 June 2020

Ombudsman issues guidelines to EU administration on the use of official EU languages

The Ombudsman has published a set of recommendations to the EU administration on the use of official EU languages when communicating with the public.

The recommendations give guidance on how and when to communicate in which languages, and what general practical steps to put in place.

Press release

Monday | 11 May 2020

Ombudsman inquiry finds the EBA should have forbidden Executive Director’s move to finance lobby group

European Ombudsman Emily O'Reilly has found that the European Banking Authority (EBA) should not have allowed its former Executive Director to become CEO of a financial lobby association. The Ombudsman also found the EBA did not immediately put in place sufficient internal safeguards to protect its confidential information when the planned move became clear.

News

Thursday | 07 May 2020

Ombudsman welcomes Council response on presidency sponsorship guidelines

The Ombudsman has welcomed the Council of the EU’s decision to consider issuing guidelines on corporate sponsorship for Member States holding the six-month EU presidencies.