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Showing 1 - 20 of 89 results

Decision in case 757/2017/NF on how the European External Action Service grants certain benefits to its staff having worked in an EU delegation in a non-EU country

Thursday | 27 June 2019

The case concerned the practice the European External Action Service (EEAS) has in place for granting certain benefits to staff members who are re-assigned to its headquarters in Brussels after having worked in an EU delegation in a non-EU country.

The complainant, an EEAS staff member who was transferred from a non-EU country to an EU delegation within the EU, considered that the EEAS was wrong not to grant him those benefits for the sole reason that his place of employment was not Brussels.

The Ombudsman found that the EEAS’s approach to granting the benefits is reasonable in light of its mobility policy for staff. However, to improve the framework the EEAS has in place in this area, the Ombudsman makes three suggestions for improvement.

Decision in case 643/2018/MDC on the European Investment Bank’s failure to reply to correspondence and its refusal to initiate a harassment procedure

Monday | 17 June 2019

The case concerned the European Investment Bank’s (EIB) failure to reply to correspondence and its refusal to initiate an investigation procedure into a harassment complaint.

After the Ombudsman got involved, the EIB replied and thereby settled the first aspect of the complaint. The Ombudsman also found that, despite two shortcomings that she identified, overall the EIB dealt with the complainant’s harassment allegation in a reasonable way.

The Ombudsman also welcomes the fact that the EIB has adopted a new Dignity at Work policy.

Decision in cases 1401/2017/PB and 1558/2017/PB on issues related to how the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control introduced a new promotion system

Wednesday | 22 May 2019

The cases concerned the introduction of a new promotion system for staff at the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

The complainants considered that the new system did not allow the ECDC adequately to take into account the ‘promotion points’ staff had accumulated under the old system, and that the ECDC did not make sufficient use of the transitional measures it had put in place to balance out the discrepancy.

The Ombudsman did not find maladministration in the ECDC’s actions. However, she drew attention to the fact that staff promotions are meant to motivate high performing EU civil servants, which is in the public interest. She took the view that it would be within the ECDC’s powers to identify what seems to be a small group of staff members concerned by the issues raised in this case, and to consider taking further measures to address the situation.

Decision in case 150/2017/JN on the European Commission's failure to carry out a human rights impact assessment before agreeing to new OECD provisions on export credits for coal-fired electricity generation projects

Thursday | 14 March 2019

The complainant considered that the European Commission had wrongly decided not to carry out a human rights impact assessment before agreeing to new provisions, which were developed within the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), on export credits for coal-fired electricity generation projects.

The Commission considered that no impact assessment was needed because the provisions were not likely to have any significant impact.

The Ombudsman found that the Commission had not carried out any thorough analysis before deciding not to carry out an impact assessment. She found that this constituted maladministration. The Ombudsman recommended that, in the future, in advance of a substantive decision, the Commission should ensure that it systematically assesses whether an envisaged measure, proposal or international agreement is likely to have significant economic, social or environmental impacts, including human rights impacts. The Ombudsman stressed that the Commission should keep a written record of this.

The Commission informed the Ombudsman that it already has in place procedures that address her recommendations.

The Ombudsman notes, however, that the Commission was unable to provide her with a record of the internal analysis carried out in this case before it was decided that no impact assessment was needed.

The Ombudsman therefore calls on the Commission to apply its procedures consistently and to keep a written record of its analysis and assessment. On this basis, the Ombudsman closes the case.

Decision in case 693/2017/PB on the decision of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) to exclude staff in higher grades from promotion

Wednesday | 13 February 2019

The case concerned a decision taken by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control not to promote staff in higher grades in 2016, as it had insufficient budgetary resources that year.

The Ombudsman found that the issue fell within the scope of readjustment to organisational changes and that there had been no maladministration.

Decision in case 842/2018/MMO on how the European External Action Service handled a complaint about psychological harassment

Thursday | 07 February 2019

The case concerned how the European External Action Service handled a complaint from a Seconded National Expert about psychological harassment. The Ombudsman found that the EEAS dealt with the complaint in an appropriate and timely manner. The Ombudsman closed the inquiry finding no maladministration.

Decision in case 1234/2017/PB on how the European Chemicals Agency promoted staff members in 2016

Thursday | 20 December 2018

In this inquiry, the Ombudsman examined aspects of how the European Chemicals Agency promoted staff in 2016.

A member of staff complained that ECHA’s promotion practice on a number of points was not in line with the applicable rules. The Ombudsman found no maladministration and closed the inquiry.

Report of the European Ombudsman on dignity at work in the EU institutions and agencies: SI/2/2018/AMF

Monday | 17 December 2018

This report identifies best practices across the EU civil service in preventing and dealing with harassment. It results from the Ombudsman’s exchanges with 26 EU institutions and agencies.

Decision in case 1943/2017/NF on how the European Personnel Selection Office handled a complaint about a technical problem in a selection procedure for recruiting translators

Thursday | 13 December 2018

The complainant experienced a technical problem when sitting an exam as part of a selection procedure for recruiting translators for the EU civil service. He contended that the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) had not dealt with his subsequent complaint properly. As a consequence of EPSO’s poor communication with the complainant, he had also missed the deadline for making an administrative complaint about his results.

The Ombudsman inquired into the issue and found that EPSO had dealt with the complaint about the technical problem in an appropriate manner. In the course of the inquiry, EPSO also agreed to deal with an administrative complaint from the complainant and EPSO has since taken its decision on that complaint. The Ombudsman thus considered the case to be resolved and closed her inquiry.

However, the Ombudsman suggests to EPSO that it revise its information manual for candidates.  

Decision in case 1392/2018/EIS on the lack of proper response by the EEAS to the complainant about the non-extension of her traineeship in an EU Delegation

Monday | 10 December 2018

The case concerned the lack of proper response by the European External Action Service (EEAS) to the complainant concerning the failure to extend her traineeship in an EU Delegation under the Junior Professionals in Delegation (JPD) programme.

The Ombudsman inquired into the issue and found the EEAS’ position to be reasonable.

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

Decision in case 1651/2016/RM on how the European Commission dealt with a decision by two staff members to transfer-in their national pension rights to the EU pension scheme

Wednesday | 14 November 2018

The case concerned two staff members of the European Commission who decided to transfer-in their pension entitlements from pre-existing national schemes into the EU pension scheme. The complainants claimed that the Commission had failed to provide them with sufficiently clear information prior to their decisions. As a result of the transfers-in, they stated that they would accrue no financial benefits in terms of the final pension they would receive from the EU scheme, whereas they had lost the potential additional income from their national schemes. They argued that this had been foreseeable at the time of the transfer-in.

The Ombudsman took the view that, while the Commission cannot provide direct advice on the precise implications of transfers-in to individual situations, the outcome for the complainants, who were on lower salary grades and at an advanced stage in their careers, was reasonably foreseeable. Given its expertise, the Commission should have been in a position proactively to provide information that made this clear.

The Ombudsman found that there was maladministration in how the Commission managed these requests at the time and how it reacted after it received the staff complaints. However, given that the Commission has, in the meantime, significantly improved the information it gives to staff members and that it can be expected to deal with possible future staff complaints with greater empathy and understanding, a recommendation, arising from the Ombudsman’s finding of maladministration, is not necessary. The Ombudsman, however, makes a suggestion for the future.