You have a complaint against an EU institution or body?

Search inquiries

Showing 1 - 20 of 97 results

Decision in case 541/2014/PMC concerning the European Commission's decision to co-finance, under different conditions, two simultaneous programmes promoting the sale of olive oil in third countries

Monday | 11 April 2016

The complainant, a consortium of olive oil producers from Italy, complained to the Ombudsman concerning the Commission's decision to co-finance, under different conditions, two simultaneous programmes promoting the sale of olive oil outside the EU. In the complainant's view, inconsistencies between the terms of these programmes resulted in a competitive advantage for Spanish olive oil producers.

In the course of her inquiry, the Ombudsman found that the EU legislator had adopted new regulations with provisions on improved coordination of the two funding programmes, which implies that cases such as the present will not occur in the future. The Ombudsman thus considered the systemic aspect of the complaint to have been resolved. However, the Ombudsman found that she was not in a position to address the complainant's individual situation. She therefore closed the case.

Decision of the European Ombudsman closing the inquiry into complaint 403/2014/MHZ against the European Commission

Tuesday | 01 March 2016

The case concerned the European Commission's handling of an infringement complaint regarding the use of EU Cohesion funds in Poland in the field of infrastructure and the environment. The complainant, an eco-farmer, is concerned about the protection of the local environment and the appropriate use of EU funds. He submitted an infringement complaint to the Commission arguing that the public consultations process in Poland was not being conducted satisfactorily. He complained that the Commission had closed his complaint without proper examination of his submission.

The Ombudsman inquired into the complaint and suggested that the Commission should review its approach to verifying whether the Member States fully comply with the public consultations requirements in the case of projects supported by EU funds. She also suggested that the complainant's supporting evidence attached to his particular complaint to the Ombudsman be examined from the environmental perspective and that the Commission's Representation in Poland organise a meeting with the complainant to help him to understand the Commission's views more fully while allowing the Commission to better understand the complainant's concerns. The Ombudsman was satisfied with the Commission's reply to the first two suggestions. In the case of the third suggestion (a meeting with the complainant), the Ombudsman accepted the Commission's view that such a meeting might not be an efficient use of resources in relation to complaints already finalised; but she encouraged the Commission to keep open this possibility in the event of the complainant raising new issues in the future. The Ombudsman closed the case on this basis.  

Decision in case 2354/2013/ANA on the European Commission's handling of Ireland's changes to its Rural Development Plan

Wednesday | 09 September 2015

The Ombudsman inquiry stemmed from two related complaints, from an Irish Member of the European Parliament and an Irish farmer, concerning the European Commission's approval of a change, made by Irish authorities, to the eligibility criteria for granting aid to livestock farmers located in disadvantaged areas. The complainants alleged that the Commission, by approving the changes, failed to recognise that the Irish authorities were obliged to respect the principles of legitimate expectations and legal certainty.

The Ombudsman inquired into the issue and found that there was no maladministration by the Commission.

Failure to reply

Friday | 27 March 2015

Decision of the European Ombudsman closing the inquiry into complaint 1348/2013/EIS against the European Commission

Wednesday | 25 March 2015

The case concerned the method for calculating a quality index of durum wheat on the basis of which a premium was paid to farmers in the EU until 2009 under the Common Agricultural Policy. The premium was paid only in the case of durum wheat suitable for use in the manufacture of semolina and pasta products. The complainant wrote to the Commission and argued that the contested method was erroneous and had a distortive effect, but the Commission did not modify it. He complained to the European Ombudsman that the Commission had failed to provide him with an adequate reply. The Ombudsman inquired into the issue and found no maladministration by the Commission.

Access to documents

Wednesday | 05 November 2014

Decision of the European Ombudsman closing the inquiry into complaint 1869/2013/AN against the European Commission

Monday | 03 November 2014

The case concerned eighteen applications for access to documents made in accordance with Regulation 1049/2001. The documents sought related to the procedure followed in amending Regulation 540/2011. In all, the applications involved almost 300 documents. The applications were made by a multinational group active, among others, in the field of crop protection solutions. Since it considered that the processing of the applications created a significant administrative burden, and would impede it from performing its other tasks, the Commission proposed, on the basis of Article 6(3) of the Regulation, to disclose the requested documents over a period of time. The complainant considered the proposed timetable unreasonable. The Ombudsman inquired into the issue and found that, in the absence of an agreement on staggered disclosure, the complainant was entitled to consider that the Commission had refused to grant access. While the Commission failed to deal with the requests within the relevant time limits, the Ombudsman took the view that the circumstances of the case justified the time it had taken the Commission to process the requests. The Ombudsman therefore concluded that there had not been any maladministration on the part of the Commission. The Ombudsman, by way of a further remark, noted that some of the documents sought appeared to have been drawn up in the course of a legislative process and, as such, should have been made directly accessible. Had this been done, there would have been no need for the complainant to have made specific access applications for those documents under Regulation 1049/2001.

Decision of the European Ombudsman closing the inquiry into complaint 730/2014/DK against the European Commission

Thursday | 28 August 2014

The case concerned the European Commission's refusal to grant public access to a document concerning Italy's olive oil stocks for the marketing year 2013-2014.

The Ombudsman carried out an inspection of the document in question, as held by the Commission. She found that the document contained commercially sensitive data and therefore the Commission was right to refuse its disclosure. She therefore closed the case with a finding of no maladministration.

Decision of the European Ombudsman closing the inquiry into complaint 1717/2012/ER against the European Commission

Friday | 23 May 2014

The case concerns the European Commission's decision to close two infringement complaints against Italy regarding the correct implementation of EU legislation on the common catalogue of agricultural plant species varieties. The key issue was whether a person, who was late in seeking a renewal of the acceptance of a particular variety in the catalogue, should be required to make a fresh application or have a late renewal application accepted. Making a fresh application, as opposed to a renewal application, would involve quite significant effort and expense; in particular, it would require undergoing a new 'value for cultivation and use' (VCU) test. The complainant, a stakeholder in an Italian agricultural enterprise, alleged that the arguments put forward by the Commission in support of its decision were not convincing.

After a thorough investigation, the European Ombudsman concluded that the arguments relied upon by the Commission were convincing. Its main argument was that it would not be proportionate to ask for a new VCU test in the case of late requests for renewal of the acceptance of a plant variety in the national catalogue. The Ombudsman also noted that the alleged infringement concerned the very specific case of two durum wheat varieties and that the legal issue behind the complaint was highly controversial. In all the circumstances, and having regard also to the margin of appreciation enjoyed by the Commission in the case of infringement complaints, the Ombudsman was persuaded by the position adopted by the Commission. She therefore closed the case with a finding of no maladministration.