My ambition is to support the EU institutions in becoming more effective, transparent and accountable by strategically increasing the visibility and impact of the work of the European Ombudsman.

Emily O'Reilly, 30 June 2014

The wall

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60th Rome Treaty anniversaryYour Europe - The portal to on-line European and national public services

EU agencies - How to manage the risk of reputational damage

The European Ombudsman, Emily O'Reilly has hosted an event on Wednesday 18 October on how agencies can uphold the highest ethical and transparency standards so as to protect themselves from reputational damage.

Ombudsman launches public consultation on Council transparency

The European Ombudsman, Emily O'Reilly, has invited feedback on how the Council of the EU can make its law-making work more transparent

Ombudsman's Annual Report 2016

The European Ombudsman, Emily O'Reilly, has launched her Annual Report for 2016. Concerns about transparency in the EU administration accounted for the biggest proportion of the cases

Ombudsman launches list of Dos & Don’ts to help EU officials deal with lobbyists

The European Ombudsman, Emily O'Reilly, has published practical advice for EU officials on interacting with interest representatives.

Ombudsman urges appropriate Brexit transparency

The European Ombudsman has asked the European Commission to ensure transparency during the upcoming Brexit negotiations

Ombudsman asks nine questions on handling of Commissioners’ post-mandate jobs

European Ombudsman, Emily O'Reilly, has asked the Commission to reply to nine questions about the role of its Ad Hoc Ethical Committee and how the Commission deals with the post-mandate activities of Commissioners, including its ...

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What we do

The European Ombudsman investigates complaints about maladministration in the institutions and bodies of the European Union.

If you are a citizen of a Member State of the Union or reside in a Member State, you can make a complaint to the European Ombudsman. Businesses, associations or other bodies with a registered office in the Union may also complain to the Ombudsman.

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Who we are

Emily O'Reilly took office as European Ombudsman on 1 October 2013.

She is the former National Ombudsman of Ireland and National information Commissioner of Ireland (2003-2013), and an award-winning political editor, broadcaster, and author.

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The institution has a highly qualified, multilingual staff.

This means that we can deal with your complaint in your language as one of the 24 EU languages that we work in. We are committed to making our service fully accessible to people with disabilities.

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How it works

Who can turn to the European Ombudsman?

Citizens, NGOs, associations, businesses, universities, journalists...

  • With complaints concerning an EU institution, office or agency
  • Who have already tried to solve the problem with the EU body concerned
  • When the issue is not over two years old
  • Where there is no other legal action underway

The Ombudsman can help with

  • Unfair treatment by EU bodies
  • Problems with EU tenders/contracts
  • Late payments from EU funds
  • Refused access to documents
  • Delays in dealings with EU bodies
  • Undisclosed or improper lobbying

What can the Ombudsman do?

  • Follow-up your complaint with the EU body
  • Help find a fair solution to your problem
  • Issue recommendations to EU bodies
  • Inspect EU documents

How to contact the Ombudsman?

  • You can contact the Ombudsman in the 24 official EU languages
  • Fill out the easy online complaint form
how to contact the ombudsman

What's new?

  • 16 November 2017
    • Decision -
      Decision of the European Ombudsman in her strategic inquiry OI/6/2014/NF concerning the composition and transparency of European Commission expert groups
  • 15 November 2017
    • Speech -
      Address to European Parliament on Annual Report 2016
    • Correspondence -
      European Ombudsman targeted consultation - The Joint Sickness Insurance Scheme (JSIS) and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) (OI/4/2016/EA)
  • 06 November 2017
    • Decision -
      Decision in case 1767/2017/KM on how Frontex handled a request for access to documents relating to the Triton Joint Operation on border control
    • Decision -
      Decision in case 1723/2017/TE on the Court of Justice of the EU’s alleged failure to reply appropriately to a request for access to documents
  • 30 October 2017
    • Correspondence -
      Reply from the European Commission to the Ombudsman's inquiry into complaint 811/2017/EA on whether the ‘Group of Personalities' should be considered to be an expert group
  • 20 October 2017
    • Visit -
      Event summary - EU agencies - How to manage the risk of reputational damage
  • 17 October 2017
    • Decision -
      Decision in case 1475/2016/JAS on the European Medicines Agency’s handling of the referral procedure relating to human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines
  • 13 October 2017
    • Correspondence -
      Reply from the European Commission to the European Ombudsman's letter opening strategic inquiry OI/6/2017/EA on the accessibility of websites and online tools that it manages
  • 12 October 2017
    • Case opened -
      The European Commission’s handling of requests for access to documents on how it deals with and tries to prevent the unauthorised disclosure of its documents