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Showing 1 - 20 of 56 results

Decision in cases 1512/2018/JN and 1533/2018/JN on the Research Executive Agency’s decision to recover funds in the context of an EU-funded project

Thursday | 11 April 2019

The cases concerned how the Research Executive Agency (‘REA’) assessed a project focusing on the development of a technology. The complainant was concerned that the REA’s conduct and assessment had been unfair.

The Ombudsman examined the evidence provided by the complainant and found that the REA had taken adequate actions to settle the issues raised by the complainant. The Ombudsman thus closed the inquiry.

Decision in case 758/2017/MDC on Frontex’s allegedly discriminatory language policy

Tuesday | 02 April 2019

The case concerned an Italian citizen’s request to obtain an Italian language version of a document from the European Border and Coastguard Agency (Frontex).

The Ombudsman’s inquiry focused on Frontex’s language policy in its external communications. The Ombudsman recommended that Frontex make general information about the Agency available on its website in all the EU languages. She also recommended that Frontex publish its language policy on its website in all the EU official languages.

As Frontex accepted her recommendations, the Ombudsman closed the inquiry, suggesting that Frontex develop a more comprehensive language policy for its external communications as soon as possible.

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.

Decision in case 877/2017/NF on the European Commission’s preliminary examination of allegedly unlawful state aid

Thursday | 24 May 2018

The case concerned the European Commission's examination of information on contracts signed between the complainant, a forestry and logging company, and Nordrhein-Westfalen, a German state (Land), regarding the delivery of wood. The contracts are subject to court proceedings in Germany, where Nordrhein-Westfalen argued that they constitute illegal state aid. Following submissions from Germany and the complainant's competitors, the Commission launched a preliminary examination of the contracts in 2013. The complainant submitted a complaint to the Ombudsman after the Commission refused to conclude the preliminary examination.

The Ombudsman inquired into the issue. She agreed that it is appropriate for the Commission to await the outcome of the ongoing court proceedings in Germany. Furthermore, the complainant has procedural rights and remedies available as a party in the German court case. The Ombudsman thus concluded that there was no maladministration by the Commission for not yet having concluded the preliminary examination of the alleged state aid.

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 case 4/2018/TM on the European Commission’s alleged failure to intervene in a dispute on custody rights

Monday | 05 February 2018

The complainant claimed the European Commission had wrongly refused to intervene in a dispute on custody rights between her and the father of her child.

The Ombudsman took the view that the Commission’s explanation for its decision was reasonable and found that there had been no maladministration.