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Decision of the European Ombudsman on complaint 835/22.8.96/GL/FR/VK against the European Commission

Strasbourg, 16 July 1997

Dear Mr. L.,

By letter of 21 August 1996, you lodged a complaint to the European Ombudsman. In your complaint, you alleged that the General Secretariat of the European Commission has failed to reply to your letter of 21 July 1994. Furthermore, you alleged that you did not receive any response to your note to the 'rédaction du bulletin de l'Union Européenne' of 25 April 1994. Both letter were in relation to the established standards of International Organisation for Standardization (ISO).

By letter of 2 December 1996, the Ombudsman asked the Commission for its comment on your complaint. In its letter of 3 March 1997, the Commission transmitted its comments. The Commission made the following points:

-The Commission has studied the complaint of Mr. L. in relation to the letters which have not been answered.

-The first letter of Mr. L. was addressed to the 'rédaction du bulletin de l'Union Européenne' in form of a note in which he drew the attention to factual elements without asking for a response.

-The letter of 21 July to the Secretariat General though required indeed a response. The Commission regretted that - due to problems in the internal coordination - these letters remained unanswered. The Commission stated that it dealt with the matter and that it has answered replied to the complainant's letters in substance. This letter was sent as of 3 March 1997.

The comments of the Commission were forwarded to you on 20 March 1997. By letter of 12 March 1997, you sent a copy of your reply to the Commission's letter of 3 March 1997 to the Ombudsman. In your reply you expressed your satisfaction with some issues of substance that have been raised by the Commission. You expressed a different opinion on the subject of internal coding of the Union (le codage interne).

Decision of the European Ombudsman:

You complained to the Ombudsman about the fact that your letters to the Secretariat General of the Commission and to the 'Rédaction du bulletin de l'Union Européenne' were not answered.

The Commission has acknowledged that it should have replied earlier to the complainant's letters of 25 April and 21 July 1994 and has apologised for its failure to do so. No further remark by the Ombudsman is therefore necessary.


It appears from the European Commission's comments and the complanant's observations that the Commission has taken steps to settle the matter and has thereby satisfied the complainant. The ombudsman has therefore decided to close the case.

Yours sincerely,


Jacob Söderman