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Showing 1 - 20 of 209 results

Decision in case 1315/2018/LM on how the European Commission handled a complaint about how the national agency of Cyprus manages the Erasmus+ Youth Programme

Wednesday | 20 November 2019

The complainant is the president of two organisations that run Erasmus+ youth programmes in Cyprus. He complained to the European Commission about the behaviour of the Cypriot national agency, in charge of implementing the Erasmus+ programme at national level. In his view, the Commission did not investigate his complaint properly and he therefore turned to the Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman found that the European Commission had handled the complaints reasonably and in line with its role under the Erasmus+ Regulation. The Ombudsman therefore closed the case with a finding of no maladministration.

Decision in case 765/2018/PB about the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training and its handling of two recruitment procedures

Wednesday | 20 November 2019

The case concerned the way in which the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop) conducted two staff recruitment procedures.

The Ombudsman found that, by not applying all the assessment criteria when assessing the applications, Cedefop had committed maladministration in one of the procedures. In light of the Court of Auditor’s recent call for immediate corrective action by Cedefop regarding its staff recruitment procedures and the fact that Cedefop’s management now seems intent on addressing the issues in question, the Ombudsman does not find it necessary to make a recommendation to Cedefop arising from her finding of maladministration.  

The Ombudsman, however, asked Cedefop to inform her within three months of this decision of all the measures it has recently taken, or plans to take, to improve its recruitment procedures. To promote public trust in its recruitment procedures, Cedefop should publish these measures on its website.

Decision in case 858/2018/KT on how the European Medicines Agency dealt with a request for reimbursement of travel expenses in a staff selection procedure

Tuesday | 22 October 2019

The complainant was dissatisfied with how the European Medicines Agency (EMA) had dealt with his request for reimbursement of travel expenses for attending a job interview. He argued that EMA’s reimbursement policy was unfair to candidates living outside the EU.

The Ombudsman noted that EMA is entitled to limit the reimbursement of travels costs and that it has a margin of discretion in deciding how exactly to do this. The Ombudsman found EMA’s rules to be reasonable and, on this basis, found no maladministration. She nevertheless welcomed the fact that EMA has since changed its rules for reimbursing travel from outside the EU, as the new policy has an even more rational calculation method.

Decision in case 303/2019/NH on the European Commission’s assessment of academic qualifications when selecting trainees

Monday | 07 October 2019

The case concerned how the European Commission assesses academic qualifications when it selects its trainees. The Commission rejected the complainant’s application due to “inadequate academic qualifications” as he had obtained his bachelor’s degree in two years instead of three. The Commission explained that it rejected all applicants with less than three years of studies.

In the course of the Ombudsman’s inquiry, the Commission admitted the complainant to the selection procedure for the traineeship programme. The Commission also changed its practice for assessing academic qualifications. It now accepts all applicants who have a three-year degree obtained in less than three years.

The Ombudsman closed the case as settled and welcomed the Commission’s decision to change its practice. She suggested to the Commission that it update its traineeship website to reflect better the new practice for assessing academic qualifications.

Closing note on the Strategic Initiative on the leave rights of certain EU staff members and the best interests of the child (SI/1/2019/AMF)

Tuesday | 01 October 2019

This strategic initiative aimed at assisting the EU institutions in protecting the best interests of children in their staff policies. To this end, the Ombudsman asked the European Parliament, the Council of the EU and the European Commission to inform her about their internal policies regarding the leave rights of staff members who become parents through surrogacy.

Based on the replies received, the Ombudsman encourages all EU institutions to adapt their internal rules so that the leave rights of staff members who become parents through surrogacy are clearly defined and aligned with those of other staff members who become parents.

Decision in case 133/2019/KT on how the European Parliament dealt with a request for feedback and reimbursement of travel expenses in a staff selection procedure

Thursday | 26 September 2019

The complainant was dissatisfied with the European Parliament not giving him written feedback on his job interview and not reimbursing him the travel expenses for attending that interview.

The Ombudsman found that Parliament was not required to give the complainant detailed written feedback. Parliament nevertheless chose to give the complainant feedback over the telephone, which the Ombudsman welcomed. The Ombudsman also found that Parliament’s decision not to reimburse the complainant was in line with its rules in place at the time and respected equal treatment among candidates for the same category of post.

Parliament has since changed its rules so that candidates for contract agent posts are now eligible to receive a financial contribution towards their travel expenses when attending interviews and tests. The Ombudsman welcomes this change and thus closes the case with a finding of no maladministration.

Decision in case 1506/2018/JF on the alleged differential treatment regarding the daily allowance paid to an expert working on a twinning project run by the Delegation of the European Union in Albania

Friday | 20 September 2019

The case concerned the daily allowance paid to the complainant, an expert working on a twinning project in Albania.

The local Delegation and the twinning project leader agreed to pay a reduced daily allowance to the complainant. The project leader subsequently recruited two other experts whom it paid a higher daily allowance. Dissatisfied, the complainant asked that his allowance be raised with effect from the beginning of his work on the twinning project. The Delegation agreed to raise the allowance but refused to apply it retroactively. The complainant then turned to the Ombudsman arguing that the Delegation’s position was discriminatory.

The Ombudsman found that the applicable rules allowed experts to be paid different daily allowances. These rules also allowed the amounts of the allowance to be changed, but for the future only. The Ombudsman concluded that the Delegation had acted in accordance with the applicable rules and closed the case with a finding of no maladministration.

Decision in case 730/2018/KT on how the European Medicines Agency reimburses the travel expenses of applicants attending interviews and tests in its staff selection procedures

Tuesday | 10 September 2019

The case concerned the reimbursement policy that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) applies for applicants travelling to its premises in the context of staff selection procedures. The complainant was concerned that EMA´s reimbursement policy, which does not reimburse the full travel costs, but is based on a flat-rate system, is unfair and discriminatory.

The Ombudsman found EMA’s justification of its reimbursement policy to be reasonable. The Ombudsman therefore closed the case with a finding of no maladministration.

Decision in case 242/2018/KT on how the European Personnel Selection Office accommodated a left‐handed candidate in a selection procedure for EU civil servants

Friday | 05 July 2019

The case concerned unequal treatment of left-handed candidates in a selection procedure for EU civil servants organised by the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO). The complainant complained that, unlike right-handed candidates, he was given a computer mouse without a scroll wheel.  

The Ombudsman found that the complainant´s argument about being disadvantaged was valid. She therefore proposed that EPSO make sure to provide left-handed and right-handed candidates with computer mice with the same technical functionalities.

In response to the Ombudsman´s proposal, EPSO stated that new computer mice with the same functionalities have already been made available for all selection procedures. The Ombudsman welcomes the measures taken by EPSO and closes the case as resolved.

Decision in case 1353/2018/KT against the European Personnel Selection Office concerning the rescheduling of tests of a candidate with a disability in a selection procedure to recruit EU civil servants

Tuesday | 02 July 2019

This case against the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) concerned the rescheduling of the ‘computer-based tests’ for a candidate with a disability who took part in a selection procedure for EU civil servants. The complainant contended that EPSO did not communicate clearly to him how he could reschedule his test appointment. He further argued that EPSO was wrong to refuse to reschedule an appointment he missed due to illness.

In the course of the inquiry, EPSO informed the Ombudsman that, prior to the test, all candidates can make requests online to reschedule. In this case, EPSO assisted the complainant by directly asking the contractor carrying out the tests to reschedule his appointment twice.

The Ombudsman also found that EPSO was justified in refusing to reschedule the test that the complainant missed, as he had not provided a medical certificate proving that he was unable to attend due to illness. The Ombudsman therefore concluded that there was no maladministration by EPSO.

Decision in case 2170/2017/JF on the European Commission’s allegedly wrong interpretation of the Directive on the recognition of professional qualifications

Tuesday | 02 July 2019

The case concerned a letter the European Commission sent to the Italian authorities setting out its interpretation of the Directive on the recognition of professional qualifications. The complainant claimed that the interpretation was wrong and in breach of the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union.

As it is only the Court of Justice which can provide an authoritative interpretation of EU law, the Ombudsman limited the inquiry to examining whether the Commission adequately explained its interpretation to the complainant. She finds that, overall, the Commission has addressed the arguments raised by the complainant and provided reasonable replies.

The Ombudsman therefore concludes that no further inquiries into the complaint are justified and closes the case.