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Showing 1 - 20 of 166 results

Decision in case 181/2019/PB on how the European Investment Bank conducted a job interview

Thursday | 23 January 2020

The complainant sat a written test and interview at the European Investment Bank (EIB) as part of a recruitment procedure. She complained to the Ombudsman about the interview panel’s allegedly disrespectful behaviour towards her. She also alleged that the internal review of her case conducted by the EIB was not impartial.

The Ombudsman stresses the importance of carrying out job interviews in a professional and respectful manner. In this case, the complainant left the interview with a sense of not having been treated with respect. To seek to avoid the types of issue that arose in this case in future, the Ombudsman drew attention to the shortcomings she identified and closed the case with a suggestion for improvement.

Decision in case 1081/2018/SRS on a public consultation carried out by the European Commission on reforming investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) by creating a multilateral system

Tuesday | 17 December 2019

The case concerned a public consultation organised by the European Commission on reforming investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) by creating a multilateral system. The complainant considered that the consultation was not in line with the relevant rules, notably that the timing and scope of the consultation meant that respondents could not provide effective input to the decision-making process. The complainant was also concerned that the Commission had misrepresented the results of the consultation.

The Ombudsman found that the consultation was in line with the applicable rules. She considered that, in defining the scope of the consultation, the Commission had balanced the need for clarity on a technical matter with the aim of making consultations accessible to the broadest possible audience, including non-experts. A further important element was that the Commission had invited participants to provide input in other formats, including by submitting position papers.

The Ombudsman also found that the Commission had not misrepresented the results of the consultation in the ‘impact assessment report’ it produced. However, she stressed that the Commission should ensure that any summaries of the results of public consultations that it makes available should provide an accurate overview for decision makers. She saw room for improvement in this case in terms of how the Commission summarised the outcome.

While the Ombudsman thus closes the inquiry having found no maladministration, she makes two suggestions for improvement to the Commission.

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 402/2018/MH on how the European Investment Bank dealt with concerns about its 2017 staff elections

Thursday | 17 October 2019

The complainant is a member of staff at the European Investment Bank. His complaint to the Ombudsman was about how the EIB dealt with his concerns about an IT incident during the 2017 staff elections.

The Ombudsman inquired into the complainant’s concerns. She agreed that it was inappropriate for a candidate to have had access to the electronic voting platform during the election. She noted, however, that the EIB had reacted quickly to the incident and that it has, in the meantime, taken measures to prevent such incidents in the future.

On this basis, the Ombudsman concluded that no further inquiries were justified, and closed the case.

Decision in case 383/2019/MMO on how the European Medicines Agency evaluated a tender to carry out efficacy and safety studies on medicines

Friday | 27 September 2019

The case concerned how the European Medicines Agency (EMA) evaluated a tender for a contract to carry out efficacy and safety studies on medicines. The complainant claimed that EMA unfairly concluded that its consortium would not be in a position to complete studies within the foreseen timeframe. The complainant also contended that EMA did not give the consortium the opportunity to clarify its tender, which it had done with other tenderers. 

The Ombudsman found that EMA had been justified in not requesting clarifications about the complainant’s tender, and had not treated it unfairly.

The Ombudsman thus closed the inquiry finding no maladministration.

Decision in case 1501/2019/MIG on the European Parliament’s decision to declare inadmissible requests to verify that two ‘European political parties’ comply with core EU values

Tuesday | 17 September 2019

The case before the Ombudsman concerned a decision by the European Parliament to declare inadmissible two requests from an NGO to initiate a procedure to verify if two political parties in Parliament should continue to enjoy the status of ‘European political parties’. A ‘European political party’ enjoys certain benefits, including funding.

An independent ‘Authority’, appointed by the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission, is empowered to grant a political party the status of ‘European political party’ provided the party meets certain conditions. One of these conditions is that the party complies with the core values of the EU, namely respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities.

Parliament can decide, either on its own initiative, or in response to a request from a ‘group of citizens’, to ask the independent Authority to verify if a European political party continues to comply with these core values. Parliament’s Rules of Procedures state that such requests can be submitted by a group of at least 50 EU citizens.

The complainant provided Parliament with a list of persons who it claimed supported its two requests. Parliament informed it that, in accordance with its Rules of Procedures, these persons should sign the requests. When the complainant did not provide signed requests, Parliament informed the complainant that the requests were inadmissible.

The Ombudsman found that Parliament was entitled to ask the complainant to provide it with signed requests. Since the complainant did not provide the signed requests, despite a number of reminders, the Ombudsman found no maladministration by Parliament.