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Decision in case 960/2016/TM on the European Investment Bank´s alleged failure to handle a complaint in a timely manner

Monday | 04 December 2017

The case concerned the alleged failure of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Complaints Mechanism to handle a complaint in a timely manner. The Ombudsman inquired into the issue and found that the delay was justified due to the complexity of the subject matter of the complaint. The Ombudsman therefore found no maladministration by the EIB.

Decision in case 1102/2016/JN on the Commission’s failure to reply to correspondence and to fully disclose a document

Friday | 13 January 2017

The case concerned the Commission’s failure to reply to the complainant’s correspondence in the context of a financial audit at the Member State level. Following the Ombudsman’s intervention, the Commission replied. It disclosed the document requested by the complainant but redacted some personal data (names of physical persons). The Ombudsman found that the Commission correctly justified the redaction under Regulation 45/2001.

Decision of the European Ombudsman in case 1229/2014/ZA on OLAF's handling of allegations concerning mismanagement of EU funds in Greece

Monday | 12 October 2015

The complainant informed OLAF of alleged mismanagement of EU funds in Greece. OLAF failed to acknowledge the complainant's correspondence and failed also to inform the complainant of whatever action it had taken and of the outcome. Following the Ombudsman's intervention, OLAF acknowledged the procedural shortcomings in its handling of the case and apologised. It also took steps to avoid similar situations in the future. Finally, OLAF informed the complainant of the steps it had taken as regards the substance of its case. The Ombudsman concluded that OLAF had settled the complaint. However the Ombudsman made a further remark with a view to improving OLAF procedures as regards its monitoring of closed cases transmitted to competent national authorities.

Decision of the European Ombudsman closing her own-initiative inquiry OI/8/2014/AN concerning the European Commission

Monday | 11 May 2015

This own-initiative inquiry concerns how the European Commission ensures that the fundamental rights enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union are complied with when EU cohesion policy is implemented by Member States. It was launched as the Union embarked on a new seven-year period of funding, covering 2014-2020, under a new legal framework.

EU cohesion policy seeks to reduce disparities between the levels of development of the various regions in the EU. Given the visibility of the Union in the projects that are funded through the cohesion policy – from improving emergency services in Romania to removing minefields in Croatia – the Ombudsman believes that the Commission should do all in its power to ensure respect for fundamental rights as the money is spent. The fact that the Commission is not directly responsible for managing the funds should never be used as a reason for not acting if fundamental rights have been, or risk being violated.

The own-initiative inquiry has involved the Commission, national ombudsmen and representatives of civil society. On the basis of their feedback, the Ombudsman has produced eight guidelines for improvement to support the Commission as it supervises the Member States in this area.

Contribution from LUMOS

Monday | 23 March 2015

Contribution from Eurochild

Friday | 06 March 2015

Decision of the European Ombudsman closing the inquiry into complaint 1205/2013/JF against the European Commission

Thursday | 05 March 2015

The case concerned a Swedish company that participated in a project financed by the European Commission's FP7 programme. Whilst the project was being implemented, the Commission decided to audit the company. The company disagreed with the audit results and, after the Commission had confirmed them, lodged a complaint with the European Ombudsman alleging a lack of objectivity on the part of the Commission and a failure to comply with the applicable rules.

The Ombudsman inquired into the issue and found no maladministration by the Commission. In particular, the audit results relating to the company's labour costs were based on the information that was available to the Commission at the relevant time. She suggested to the complainant that if it has further evidence, it consider submitting it to the Commission for its consideration. As regards the calculation of the company's productive time, the information which the complainant provided did not appear to be sufficient to permit the Commission to calculate the actual individual productive time, in accordance with the requirements of the FP7 rules. Consequently, the Ombudsman closed the case.

Contribution from ENIL-ECCL

Wednesday | 25 February 2015