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Letter to the EU Agencies informing them of the European Ombudsman's own-initiative inquiry OI/1/2014/PMC concerning whistleblowing

Morten Kjærum


European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights

Schwarzenbergplatz 11

1040 WIEN


Strasbourg, 24/07/2014

Subject: The Ombudsman's own-initiative inquiry concerning whistleblowing (OI/1/2014/PMC)

Dear Mr Kjærum,

Article 22c of the Staff Regulations, which entered into force on 1 January 2014, stipulates that EU institutions and bodies shall lay down internal rules covering the protection of whistleblowers and the provision of information to them, as well as the procedure for handling complaints made by whistleblowers concerning the way they were treated as a result of reporting serious irregularities.

In view of the importance of this new provision, I decided to address an own-initiative inquiry to the EU institutions and bodies represented in the College of the Heads of Administration[1], asking them to inform me of the steps they have taken, or intend to take, to give effect to Article 22c. Please find attached the letter sent to the President of the European Commission opening this own-initiative inquiry. The letters to the other institutions concerned are in similar terms.

The own-initiative is inquiry is not at this stage addressed to the EU agencies. However, it seems useful that the agencies be informed of the inquiry. Given FRA's current role as chair of the network of EU agencies and as their representative in the College of the Heads of Administration, I would appreciate it if you could forward this letter and its annex to the EU agencies for information.

Yours sincerely,

Emily O'Reilly


  • Ombudsman's letter to the Commission concerning OI/1/2014/PMC

[1] The own-initiative inquiry is addressed to the European Parliament, the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, the Court of Justice of the European Union, the European Court of Auditors, the European External Action Service, the European Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions, and the European Data Protection Supervisor. As the EU Staff Regulations do not apply to the European Central Bank or European Investment Bank, this inquiry is not addressed to them.