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Victory for openness in Parliament recruitment following Ombudsman's intervention

The European Parliament has accepted a recommendation by the European Ombudsman and is now ready to supply all candidates in its recruitment procedures with a copy of their own marked examination papers upon request.

The decision by the Parliament applies to past competitions as well as to all those to be organised by the institution in the future.

The decision by the Parliament follows four complaints that were made to the European Ombudsman, Jacob Söderman, as from April 1999. The complainants had participated in an open competition organised by the Parliament. They complained to the Ombudsman that the Parliament's Selection Board had refused to allow them access to marked copies of their examinations.

In July 2000, the Ombudsman recommended that Parliament should allow the complainants access. However when it replied to the Ombudsman's recommendation in November 2000, the Parliament accepted to provide candidates such access as from 2001, but did not address the question of providing access for candidates, including the complainants, who had already sat competitions.

The Ombudsman therefore again requested that the Parliament give the candidates access to marked copies of their examinations. The Parliament finally agreed to do so in April 2001 and also informed the Ombudsman of its willingness to provide such information to all candidates upon request.

The Ombudsman is delighted with the Parliament's decision, which he believes will help to ensure that candidates have greater confidence in the competition procedure. "The Parliament's decision means that its procedures in this respect are now consistent with those that its Committee on Petitions recommended to the European Commission in the Bösch Report, which was adopted in October 2000".

The Ombudsman's Decision can be found on the Internet at:


For further information, please call Ida Palumbo, Legal Officer, tel. +33 (0) 3 88 17 23 85.

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