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Showing 1 - 20 of 351 results

Decision in case 212/2016/JN on the European Commission’s annual reviewing of Member States’ export credit agencies

Monday | 03 December 2018

The case concerned the adequacy of the European Commission’s annual reviewing of export credit agencies — national bodies that give financial support to companies doing business in risky markets — in particular with respect to the protection of human rights and the environment.

The Ombudsman inquired into the matter and found that the Commission’s methodology and procedures could be improved. In particular, the Ombudsman recommended that the Commission should engage in a dialogue with Member States and other stakeholders with a view to improving the template used by Member States to compile the reports on export credit agencies which they are required to submit to the Commission each year. The Ombudsman also recommended that the Commission, for its part, should enhance the analysis and evaluation content of the annual reviews of export credit agencies which it submits to the European Parliament.

The Commission informed the Ombudsman that it would consult the Council, Parliament and the European External Action Service, and engage with civil society, in order to implement the Ombudsman’s recommendations. In particular, the Commission will propose to the Council Working Group on Export Credits a revised checklist template to be used by Member States for their annual reports. The Commission will also consider drawing up relevant guidance for Member States’ reporting.

As the measures announced by the Commission adequately address the Ombudsman’s recommendations, the Ombudsman closed her inquiry but asked the Commission to report back within one year.

Recommendation of the European Ombudsman in case 212/2016/JN on the European Commission’s annual reviewing of Member States’ export credit agencies

Wednesday | 23 May 2018

The case concerned the adequacy of the European Commission’s annual reviewing of export credit agencies - national bodies that give financial support to companies doing business in ‘risky’ markets - in particular with respect to the protection of human rights and the environment.

The Ombudsman inquired into the matter and found that the Commission’s methodology and procedures could be improved. In particular, she suggested that the Commission should engage in a dialogue with Member States and other stakeholders with a view to improving the template used by Member States in compiling the reports on export credit agencies which they are required to submit to the Commission each year. The Ombudsman also proposed that the Commission, for its part, should enhance the analysis and evaluation content of the annual reviews of export credit agencies which it submits to the European Parliament.

The Commission rejected the Ombudsman’s proposals mainly because it considers that their implementation would require an amendment to the existing legislation. The Ombudsman disagreed with the Commission’s position and has now made recommendations to the Commission in the same terms as those of her earlier proposals.  The Ombudsman believes that the Commission’s annual review, which it sends to Parliament, should amount to more than a compilation of the content of the annual reports received from the Member States and that it should contain an informed and detailed evaluation of the performance of the export credit agencies, particularly, as regards respect for human rights and the environment.

Decision in own-initiative inquiry OI/7/2016/MDC on the decision of the European Union Delegation to Armenia not to conclude a Grant Contract

Monday | 19 February 2018

This own-initiative inquiry is based on a complaint made by an association of Armenian NGOs called the Citizens' Protection League (CPL). It concerns the decision of the European Union Delegation to Armenia not to conclude a Grant Contract with CPL following the Delegation’s discovery of an error in its initial assessment of the CPL application. CPL argued that the Delegation’s decision was not based on sound reasons.

In the course of the Ombudsman’s inquiry, the European Commission acknowledged that the action taken initially by the Delegation, once it realised that an error had occurred in the evaluation process, was not appropriate. However, the Commission also showed that the error detected required that the evaluation of CPL’s application be redone and, thus, that the Delegation was not in a position to conclude the Grant Contract with CPL.

The Ombudsman therefore closed the inquiry with a finding of no maladministration.

Decision in case OI/14/2015/ZA concerning a selection procedure for a post at the EU Delegation to Albania

Monday | 10 July 2017

The case concerned a selection procedure for a post at the EU Delegation to Albania. The complainant was unhappy at not having been shortlisted for the post, as she believed that she fulfilled all the required criteria. She requested information on her application and the reasons why she was not the shortlisted. The Delegation failed to reply to her request in a timely manner.

The Ombudsman inquired into the matter. In the course of the inquiry, the Delegation replied to the complaint, thereby resolving this aspect of the complaint. As regards the decision not to shortlist the complainant, the Ombudsman found the Delegation’s explanation of its decision to be reasonable and closed the inquiry with a finding of no maladministration. The Ombudsman suggested that the European External Action Service should give guidance to Delegations on the need to keep candidates informed where selection competitions have been delayed. The Ombudsman also suggested that the European External Action Service should include, in the ‘EU Delegations’ Guide for Local Agents’, more detailed requirements regarding the type of information to be included in the list/excel spreadsheet drawn up by selection committees.

Décision dans l’affaire 593/2016/MDC, concernant la résiliation d’un contrat de services par la Commission européenne et son absence de réponse à une lettre

Friday | 07 July 2017

L’affaire concernait la résiliation d’un contrat de services par la Commission européenne. Le plaignant affirmait que la Commission n’aurait pas répondu à ses lettres, qu’elle aurait résilié le contrat de services sans motif valable et qu’elle aurait tardé à régler les factures qui lui avaient été adressées. Il demandait également à être indemnisé pour les retards de paiements et les dommages.

La Médiatrice a mené l’enquête sur ces allégations. Pour ce qui est de la première, elle a conclu que, puisque la Commission a fini par répondre aux lettres du plaignant, la question avait été réglée. En ce qui concerne la deuxième allégation, qui porte sur la présumée résiliation du contrat sans motif valable, la Médiatrice a conclu qu'il n’y avait pas eu de mauvaise administration de la part de la Commission, puisque le contrat donnait à celle-ci le droit de le résilier à tout moment et que, en tout état de cause, la Commission avait bien fourni un motif valable de résiliation. En ce qui concerne la troisième allégation, la Médiatrice a conclu qu’une solution avait été trouvée au problème des retards de paiement des factures, puisque la Commission a finalement versé au plaignant les sommes dues pour le travail effectué et qu’elle a accepté de verser des intérêts de retard. Enfin, en ce qui concerne la demande d’indemnisation, la Médiatrice a conclu qu'il n’y avait pas lieu de faire d’enquête supplémentaire sur la question, puisque la Commission a versé au plaignant une indemnité pour le préjudice subi et que le contrat ne prévoyait aucune indemnité pour aucun autre type de dommages.

Decision in case 969/2016/JN on the rejection by the European Union Advisory Mission Ukraine of the complainant’s application in a selection procedure

Friday | 13 January 2017

The case concerned the rejection by the European Union Advisory Mission Ukraine (EUAM) of the complainant’s application in a selection procedure. The Ombudsman inquired into the issue and found that there was no maladministration as regards the rejection of the application. The Ombudsman further found that a one-level administrative review mechanism is sufficient. Finally, the Ombudsman was pleased to be informed that the European External Action Service has now decided to amend the message it sends to rejected candidates in order to include information on available remedies.

Decision in case OI/7/2015/ANA concerning the European Commission's refusal to give access to its comments on draft Serbian legislation

Friday | 02 September 2016

The case concerned the Commission's refusal to grant public access to its opinion on the draft Serbian law on Free Legal Aid.

The Ombudsman inquired into the issue and carried out an inspection of the document concerned. The Ombudsman assessed the information on file and found the Commission's refusal was justified under the relevant applicable rules on access to documents (Regulation 1049/2001).

Therefore, the Ombudsman closed the case with a finding of no maladministration. That said, the Ombudsman's findings are based on the interpretation of the law as it applied on the date on which the Commission gave its decision on the complainant's confirmatory application. Nothing precludes the Commission, acting in the public interest, to strive for greater transparency in the manner in which it conducts the pre-accession negotiation and as the negotiation progresses or is eventually concluded. The entry into force of the draft Free Legal Aid Act, the provisional closure of Chapter 23 of the accession negotiations and the eventual Serbian accession to the EU are all times when the Commission could reassess the situation so as to establish whether the reasons justifying its refusal to grant access to the requested document still apply. The Ombudsman trusts that the Commission will carry out this reflection.

Decision of the European Ombudsman on complaint 1708/2014/JVH against the European Commission concerning a decision to reject the complainant's application to work on an EU-funded project

Thursday | 19 May 2016

In July 2014, the Commission rejected the complainant's application to work as an expert on a project in Indonesia because she had already committed to work on an EU-funded project in Liberia taking place at the same time. The complainant re-applied when the project in Liberia was delayed due to the Ebola crisis, pointing out that she was in fact available to work on the project in Indonesia.

The Ombudsman found that the Commission is entitled to request experts to be available to work exclusively on projects for specified periods. She noted that the complainant had declared that she would be available to work, on an exclusive basis, on two overlapping projects. The complainant did not explain this contradiction when she made her initial application. On the basis of the information provided, the Ombudsman considers that the Commission was correct in rejecting the complainant’s first application. With regard to the second application, the complainant did, in fact, state that the on-going Ebola crisis in Liberia meant that she was in fact free to work on the project in Indonesia. The Commission then re-examined her situation. In the Ombudsman's view, it made a fair and reasonable judgement when it concluded that the complainant was unable to guarantee her availability. Thus, the Ombudsman concludes, the Commission also did not err when it rejected her second application to work on the Indonesian project. However, it does leave questions as to how the Commission deals with the rights of experts caught up in crises such as the Ebola-outbreak.

The Ombudsman closed the inquiry with a finding of no maladministration. She suggested to the Commission that, where a project has to be suspended, it should be prepared to release any affected expert from an exclusivity commitment.