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Letter from the European Ombudsman informing the President of the European Parliament of his intention to retire

Available languages: en

Mr Martin Schulz, President
European Parliament
Rue Wiertz 60
1047 Brussels

Strasbourg, 13 March 2013

Dear Mr President,

At the end of March 2013, I will have completed 10 years in office as European Ombudsman.

Since January 2003, the European Parliament has honoured me three times, initially by electing me to act as the European Union's guardian of good administration and subsequently by renewing twice the mandate and trust it originally bestowed upon me. 

Throughout this period, Parliament has consistently, actively and materially encouraged and supported my efforts better to serve citizens of the European Union, and substantively to contribute to the deepening of the rule of law in the European legal order and to strengthening the Union's democratic principles and practices. Whether in plenary during its debates on my annual reports or through its committees, especially its Committee on Petitions, Parliament systematically and concertedly extended its powerful and influential support to my efforts to expand the frontiers of good administration, to uphold the principles enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights, and to promote accountability, transparency and, ultimately, a culture of service in the EU institutions and their staff.

I am deeply grateful for this support and will cherish it as one of the highlights of my years at the service of the great experiment in institution-building and political engineering designed to promote peace, democracy, and respect for human rights, which the European integration project pre-eminently represents and which the European Parliament, as the sole EU institution enjoying direct democratic legitimacy, pre-eminently embodies.

Mr President,

After ten wonderful years, during which I have done my utmost best to live up to the trust which the European Parliament so generously placed in me, the time has come for me to look beyond my public life at the European Union level, and to seek to resume my erstwhile role as a student of, rather than as an actor in, public life, and as an active private citizen. In making this choice, I am heartened by the thought that this resumption of my long-standing commitment to scholarship and to active citizenship will be the happy beneficiary of the profoundly enriching impact which my years as European Ombudsman have had on my thinking and, indeed, life experiences.

With these considerations in mind, I wish to inform you of my intention to retire from office, to thank you and, through you, all your predecessors in the high office you occupy, for your trust, confidence, and support during the past ten years, and to invite you to launch the procedure for the election of a new European Ombudsman to take office on 1 October 2013.

Sincerely yours,

P. Nikiforos Diamandouros