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The European Commission and statements made by its President and its Vice-President for Democracy and Demography in the run-up to the Croatian elections

The complaint from two civil society organisations — GONG and the Good Lobby — concerned the participation of the European Commission President and a Vice-President in a video clip supporting the election campaign of a Croatian political party. The complainants questioned whether this was in line with the Code of Conduct for commissioners, and the requirement that commissioners be independent.

The Ombudsman could not find grounds to open an inquiry. However, in light of the public disquiet and concerns raised, the Ombudsman wrote to the Commission and the European Parliament, seeking to clarify the related issues around how the Code of Conduct is applied in the context of election campaigns.

The Commission replied to the Ombudsman, committing to draw up guidelines on how commissioners can participate in national elections.