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European Ombudsman Award for Good Administration 2017 - Winners and shortlisted nominations

Overall winner

Project 52 DG SANTE, European Commission
EU collaboration to help patients with rare diseases

The European Commission’s policy on rare diseases encourages cross-border collaboration and exchange of expertise to improve the lives of the 30 million people living with a rare disease in Europe. 23 European Reference Networks (ERNs) aim to improve diagnosis, care and treatment options for patients.


Excellence in collaboration


Project 16 DG ENV / DG Climate, European Commission
A breath of fresh air

The LIFE programme provides financial support for environmental and climate action projects in the EU. In Małopolska, Poland, concentrations of benzopyrene are 100 times greater than in London. The LIFE team from DG Environment, DG Climate and the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) worked with regional authorities and civil society to leverage €800 million (in addition to an initial €15 million), helping the region implement an air quality plan for the benefit of its 3.4 million citizens.


Category shortlist

Project 23 DG ECHO, European Commission
A quick route to humanitarian assistance 

Within 10 weeks, several units within DG European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), with the strong political support of Commission Cabinets together with other DGs, the Council and the Parliament managed to have a Council regulation adopted, a budget secured, technical issues solved, grant agreements to humanitarian partners signed, staff deployed and humanitarian assistance provided to thousands of refugees in Greece.

Project 25 DG EMPL, European Commission
Changing mindsets about vocational skills

Within six months, an ambitious policy proposal became a major European initiative mobilising thousands of companies, vocational education and training providers, social partners, researchers, teachers and trainers, and national agencies, and reaching out to young people and their parents.

Project 57 DG SANTE, European Commission
Inter-institutional collaboration to fight antimicrobial resistance

The European Commission (DG for Health and Food Safety), the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), have joined forces to address antimicrobial resistance (AMR), one of the most serious global public health threats. The collaboration includes data collection and is an example of how the combined expertise from different EU bodies benefits EU citizens and supports national efforts.

Excellence in open administration


Project 36 DG REGIO, European Commission
Open data platform for EU funds

The Open Data Platform informs the public about the planning, implementation and achievements of EU policies for cohesion, employment, fisheries, and rural development. The platform features five funds, 28 countries, 530 programmes, and covers 42% of the EU budget. It provides intuitive visualisations of the investment themes. It also meets the demand from specialised audiences for detailed data on EU funds.


Category shortlist

Project 5 European Court of Auditors
Transparency portal at the European Court of Auditors

The Transparency Portal gives citizens access to information on the European Court of Auditors and its audit work on the European budget, programmes and funds.

Project 45 DG RTD, European Commission
Simplifying EU research and innovation programmes

A Web interface – the Participant Portal – provides a user-friendly one-stop shop for thousands of researchers, SMEs and other beneficiaries of EU research and innovation funding. Complex systems managed previously by different DGs and services have been replaced by a single streamlined and uniform system for the whole framework programme. 

Project 46 DG DEVCO, European Commission
Empowering staff to act with fairness towards civil society and citizens

The DG for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO) manages a budget of about €82 billion, meaning it frequently engages with civil society and contractors, especially when contractual disputes arise. To better handle Ombudsman and court cases, DEVCO organised a central structural set-up so that inquiries are objectively assessed by a second pair of eyes; Ombudsman and court decisions are analysed and made available to all staff, and DEVCO management informs staff of lessons learnt each year.

Excellence in citizen / customer focused services delivery


Project 9 OSHA/EUIPO/CdT
Managing multi-lingual websites

Web, communication and language technology teams at three EU agencies – European Union Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA), European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and the Translation Centre for the Bodies of the European Union (CdT) – collaborated on a project that makes the running of multilingual websites a lot more manageable. EU citizens can access EUIPO’s and EU-OSHA’s websites in their own languages to inform themselves about IP and health and safety matters.


Category shortlist

Project 8 Eurostat
Statistics are not boring!

To meet the new needs of its readers, Eurostat released a digital publication. It describes energy through statistics by using pictures, interactive infographics, animations and short texts. Many questions usually asked by citizens on energy are answered in the publication.

Project 44 DG GROW, European Commission
Helping citizens know their rights in the Single Market

The Single Market Service Centre (SMSC) provides citizens and businesses with information, advice and help on how to realise their rights in the Single Market. It also connects public authorities across Europe, enabling them to carry out cross-border procedures delivering these rights, and monitors how the EU and its Member States contribute to the completion of the Single Market. The focus is on people wanting to live, work, travel, study or do business in another EU country.

Project 61 DG EAC, DG IT, European Commission
New web tool for European Solidarity Corps registration

The Commission’s DG Education, Youth, Sport and Culture (EAC) and DG Informatics (DIGIT) developed a new, powerful web tool, which allowed 10 000 volunteers to register in less than one week for the European Solidarity Corps. Users were for the first time able to register with social media accounts.

Excellence in communications


Project 19 European Central Bank
Innovative communication at the European Central Bank

The websites of the European Central Bank (ECB) and of the Banking Supervision explain complex monetary and supervisory topics in simple language and use various formats such as videos and infographics. Explainers are published in all EU languages. The Bank has also revamped its visitors’ programme, opening its doors to a wide range of groups. The overall aim is to help people understand the responsibility and role of the ECB.


Project 51 DG GROW, European Commission
Movable European Space Exhibition

More than one million people visited the European Space Expo during its tour of 32 major European cities. The Expo presented key information on the European space programmes – from satellite navigation (Galileo and EGNOS) to Earth observation (Copernicus) – in an engaging and entertaining way. Highlights included an interactive hologram of the earth's atmosphere and a model of the 'Galileo' satellite.


Category shortlist

Project 6 DG COMM, European Commission
Communication campaign to promote benefits of EU programmes

The “EU working for you” campaign was the first ever corporate communication campaign, running from November 2014 to March 2015 in six EU countries. The campaign involved thorough research and pre-testing, and was accompanied by a full scale evaluation by an independent consultancy firm. The campaign reached 115 million citizens.

Project 17 DG BUDGET, European Commission
 EU results – a collection of EU-funded projects

This is the first collaborative project across the Commission to better communicate the concrete results of EU funding. The website is a single entry point that showcases projects from all EU funding areas – from employment, regional development, research and education to the environment, humanitarian aid, energy and many others – managed either centrally by the Commission or locally by national authorities or partner organisations.

Excellence in innovation


Project 21 The EU agency for Network and information security - ENISA
Redefining European cyber cooperation 

The project is a cyber crisis simulation executed in real-time (over 48 hours) after two years of planning. The project brought together top IT experts from banks, cybersecurity, transport and energy companies from all Member States. 1000 participants were trained over the project’s lifetime.


Category shortlist

Project 10 EDPS
EU data protection mobile app

The app was an innovative and informative way to promote and improve the legislative process, especially in relation to data protection. The app was also a useful tool during trilogues on the General Data Protection Regulation (2015-2016), allowing users to easily compare the proposed texts from the Commission, the Parliament and the Council alongside European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) recommendations.

Project 35 DG REGIO, European Commission
Facilitating access to credit for Spanish Small and Medium-sized Enterprises

This project allowed fast and efficient credit access to Spanish Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and has become a model for use in other Member States. By the end of 2016, the European Investment Fund had signed operational agreements with 12 Spanish financial intermediaries, providing loans to some 22 000 SMEs for a total amount of more than €2 billion.

Project 40 DG Grow, European Commission
The European Professional Card

The European Professional Card (EPC) is the first EU-wide electronic procedure for the recognition of professional qualifications. The nominating team worked very closely with national authorities and stakeholders to ensure the smooth and timely implementation of the EPC. The Card was introduced in January 2016 for five highly mobile professions. In the first year, 2 100 EPC applications were submitted and more than 700 EPCs were issued.

Excellence in international cooperation


Project 2 DG ECHO, European Commission
Assisting people in need in Europe and the world

The Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) monitors and coordinates the EU's response to emergencies around the clock every day. Staffed by trained officers, the ERCC organises the deployment of relief items and specialised teams from the Member States to respond to emergencies.


Category shortlist

Project 64 JRC
Transporting nuclear materials from Germany to the US

The Joint Research Centre (JRC) played a key role in organising the transportation of nuclear materials (plutonium, high-enriched uranium) from Karlsruhe, Germany, to Savannah River, USA, in the framework of the Global Threat Reduction Initiative (GTRI). Despite serious challenges, the project was successfully completed within 24 months.

Project 31 DG CONNECT, European Commission
The BELLA project: providing broadband connectivity between Latin America and Europe

The submarine cable will improve access and cooperation between Latin America and Europe, in particular between research facilities on both continents such as the Astronomical and Cosmic Ray Observatories in Chile or the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland. 

Special category


Project 62 Council of the European Union
Compassionate care at the Council of the EU’s medical service

The Council of the EU’s medical service cares for thousands of staff members and visitors every year and performs its tasks in a professional yet compassionate manner. Doctors and nurses also helped victims of the Maelbeek metro attack in Brussels in 2016. Following this attack, the medical service set up a network of staff who are trained to provide first aid in case of serious incidents.