The role of the European Ombudsman
The European Ombudsman is an independent and impartial body that holds the EU’s institutions and agencies to account, and promotes good administration. The Ombudsman helps people, businesses and organisations facing problems with the EU’s administration by investigating complaints about maladministration by EU institutions and bodies, but also by proactively looking into broader systemic issues.
In 2020, the Office drew up a new strategy - ‘Towards 2024’- to guide the current mandate of the European Ombudsman. It builds upon the successful ‘Towards 2019’ strategy which aimed to increase the impact, visibility and relevance of the office.
The strategy outlines the Ombudsman’s mission as working with the EU institutions to create a more transparent, ethical and effective administration.
It notes the changing context in which the Office operates notably due to the COVID-19 pandemic and how it has shaped the public’s understanding of what constitutes good administration.
It draws attention to the major policy issues facing the EU - such as dealing with climate change, the migration crisis, and rule of law problems within the EU - noting the importance of maintaining high ethical standards within the EU institutions so citizens trust the decisions and laws that emerge in the coming years.
The strategy aims to achieve four objectives:
- Lasting positive impact on the EU administration - priorities include developing a more systematic and substantive follow-up of the Ombudsman’s work, and strengthening cooperation and dialogues with the EU institutions.
- Continued real-life relevance of the Ombudsman’s work - priorities include identifying the systemic trends in public administration, at EU and national levels, and assessing their implications for European democracy
- Increase citizens’ awareness of the Ombudsman’s work - priorities include developing a participatory approach with stakeholders and multipliers, such as civil society organisations, media, businesses, and other organisations
- Further increase the efficiency of the Office’s work - Priorities include structuring the office, work processes and outreach in a flexible and adaptive way
Concrete actions to achieve the objectives will be planned and evaluated on an annual basis.