You have a complaint against an EU institution or body?

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

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.

News

Tuesday | 21 April 2020

Ombudsman asks EU institutions to ensure transparency of EU COVID-19 response

The European Ombudsman has written to the Presidents of the European Commission and the European Council recognising their extraordinary efforts to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic and making some proposals for how to maintain high transparency standards during the crisis.

The Ombudsman said that all decisions related to the pandemic - including those taken under accelerated or emergency procedures - need to be taken as transparently as possible, while temporary measures should be publicised, explained, and regularly reviewed.