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Showing 1 - 20 of 598 results

Decision in case 1233/2019/MMO on how the European Commission ensures that Member State governments spend European Structural and Investment Funds in line with the obligations stemming from the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Thursday | 30 July 2020

The case concerned the use of European Structural and Investment Funds (ESI funds) for the construction of institutional care facilities for persons with disabilities in Hungary and Portugal. The complainant considered that the European Commission should have taken action on these projects, as it believed them to be at odds with the EU’s obligations to ensure people with disabilities are supported to live independently and to be included in the community.

The Ombudsman already had occasion, in the course of an earlier inquiry, to set out her views on the use of ESI funds on institutions rather than to promote independent living. The Ombudsman was encouraged by the Commission’s follow-up to her suggestions in that case, received in the course of this inquiry, and in particular the greater ambition it is showing for the 2021-27 programming period.

In this case, the Ombudsman finds that, as regards the first phase of the ‘deinstitutionalisation’ process in Hungary, the Commission has not acted in a sufficiently timely manner. Due to the lessons learnt in that phase, however, the Commission has shown greater caution as regards the use of ESI funds to continue the deinstitutionalisation process in that Member State. In the case of Portugal, the Ombudsman trusts that the Commission will act upon the findings and recommendations of the UN and the upcoming expert report in an effective manner.

On this basis, the Ombudsman closes the inquiry. She will now examine with the members of the European Network of Ombudsmen the need for further work in this area, in particular in light of the problems encountered in institutional care facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. She also sets out three suggestions for improvement to address the issues identified in this case.  

Decision in case 736/2019/PB on how the European External Action Service (EEAS) calculated work-experience in a recruitment procedure for an EU mission

Monday | 13 July 2020

The case concerned an individual who applied for a job with the European External Action Service (EEAS), specifically at a mission in a third country. The EEAS concluded that the complainant did not have the required number of years of work experience, and therefore rejected the application. The complainant felt that the EEAS had communicated poorly about this matter, and therefore turned to the Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman found that there had not been maladministration in how the  EEAS dealt with the complainant. She therefore closed the inquiry. However, she made certain suggestions to improve the EEAS administration in this area.

Decision of the European Ombudsman in case 1873/2018/LM on how the European Commission handled a request from an EU civil servant to transfer national pension rights into the EU pension scheme

Thursday | 18 June 2020

The case concerned the transfer of national pension rights into the pension scheme for EU staff members. In 2009, the European Commission put thousands of applications on hold because it believed it needed to update the rules governing the pension scheme. The complainant argued that the resulting delay in handling her application was in breach of the principles of good administration.

While the Ombudsman identified administrative shortcomings in terms of delays and inadequate information to the complainant, the inquiry showed that the Commission is now in compliance with principles of good administration. To avoid similar problems in future, the Ombudsman suggested to the Commission that it improve the procedure by introducing a deadline for determining the admissibility of requests to transfer pension rights or explain why it is not feasible or reasonable to do so. The Ombudsman also invited the Commission to take contact with the complainant on the matter of ex gratia compensation.

On this basis, the Ombudsman closed the case.