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

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Ombudsman opens inquiry into transparency of Council legislative work

The European Ombudsman, Emily O'Reilly, has opened an inquiry into whether the Council of the EU allows sufficient public scrutiny of the evolving discussions on draft EU laws.

Ombudsman urges appropriate Brexit transparency

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

System of unpaid trainees in EU foreign delegations should end

The European Ombudsman has recommended that the European External Action Service pay all of its trainees an appropriate allowance to allow greater access for young people of all backgrounds.

Ombudsman calls on President Juncker to clarify position on Barroso appointment

The European Ombudsman, Emily O'Reilly, has called on President Juncker to clarify the Commission’s position on former Commission President Barroso’s appointment as non-executive chairman and adviser at Goldman Sachs.

Draft guidelines for public officials' interactions with lobbyists

The European Ombudsman has drawn up practical guidelines for public officials' interactions with interest representatives and is inviting comments from all interested parties. You can send us your feedback until 28 February 2017.

Transparency of trilogues

The European Ombudsman called for more transparency of EU law-making by publishing key documents in informal trilogues negotiations

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Ceremony for the Award for Good Administration

Five months after the European Ombudsman launched the first edition of the “Award for Good Administration” and 90 nominations later, it is time to hold the award ceremony. It will take place on 30 March from 10.00 to 12.00 in Brussels. There will be several category winners and one overall winner. The ceremony can be followed on Twitter #EOaward and our Instagram account gives a great idea of the range and quality of projects that have been received.

Further information about the award is available at the activities page.

To watch the event live, simply connect to this page at 10am on Thursday, 30 March 2017.

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?

  • 28 March 2017
    • Case opened -
      The European Commission's failure to carry out a human rights impact assessment before approving the inclusion of a Sector Understanding on Export Credits for Coal-fired Electricity Generation Projects as Annex VI to the OECD Arrangement on Officially Supported Export Credits
  • 27 March 2017
    • Correspondence -
      Letter from the Ombudsman to the Secretary-General of the Council of the EU concerning public information on the UK's withdrawal from the EU (SI/3/2017/KR)
  • 23 March 2017
    • Decision -
      Decision in case 239/2017/JUF on the failure by the European Commission to answer correspondence
  • 22 March 2017
    • Decision -
      Decision in case 1310/2016/BKB on the European Commission’s decision not to allow the complainant to participate in the certification procedure for EU officials to be able to apply for posts in a higher function group
    • Case opened -
      The Commission’s failure to provide a timely reply to a request for public access to documents concerning the project "ENLETS disseminates best practice"
  • 20 March 2017
    • Decision -
      Decision in case 1100/2015/NF concerning the European Commission’s Network on Unconventional Hydrocarbon Extraction
  • 17 March 2017
    • Decision -
      Entscheidung im Fall 137/2017/KM über das Versäumnis der Europäischen Kommission, auf ein Schreiben des Beschwerdeführers zu den Verhandlungen über ein Dienstleistungsabkommen zu antworten
  • 15 March 2017
    • Decision -
      Decision in case 129/2017/AMF on the European Commission’s closure of an infringement complaint against Spain
    • Decision -
      Decision in case 119/2017/AMF on the European Commission’s closure of an infringement complaint against Spain
    • Decision -
      Decision in case 63/2017/BKB on the application by the European Committee of the Regions of the rules on payment of household allowance to staff members and their spouses