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Letter: The European Ombudsman Invites Comments from the Public (OI/3/2003/JMA)

Strasbourg, 28-04-2004

On 19 November 2003, the European Ombudsman opened an own initiative inquiry into the subject of the integration of persons with disabilities, in particular as regards the measures implemented by the European Commission to ensure that persons with disabilities are not discriminated against, in their relations with the institution.

In order to ensure that persons with disabilities were informed of this initiative and had the opportunity to make their views known, the Ombudsman publicised all relevant documents pertaining to the inquiry on his website ( A considerable number of persons and organisations subsequently wrote to the Ombudsman in order to welcome his initiative and to stress the seriousness of the problem that he had undertaken to examine.

On 3 and 18 March 2004, the Commission sent its opinion to the Ombudsman. In it, the institution refers to a number of proposals, both legislative and non-legislative, which it has taken in recent years to ensure that the principle of equality of opportunity can become a reality for its staff and/or relatives with disabilities, and for those who wish to participate in recruitment processes.

The Commission's opinion is available on the Ombudsman's website in all the official languages of the EU.

The Ombudsman considers it important to give the public, and in particular persons with disabilities, the opportunity to comment on the Commission's opinion before deciding on the next step in the inquiry. He therefore welcomes comments on the Commission's opinion to be submitted by 31 May 2004 at the latest. Comments should preferably be sent via e-mail ( and mention reference "OI/3/2003". Comments sent by post or fax will also be taken into account.

All comments received will be registered, examined and included in the Ombudsman's file on the inquiry. The Ombudsman may forward such comments to the Commission and will make them available to the public on request.