You have a complaint against an EU institution or body?

Search inquiries

Case
Date range
Keywords
Or try old keywords (Before 2016)

Showing 1 - 20 of 180 results

Decision on how the European Commission handled concerns about the composition of the High Level Forum on Capital Markets Union and alleged conflicts of interest of some of its members (case 1777/2020/KR)

Wednesday | 27 October 2021

This complaint-based inquiry concerned the High Level Forum on the proposed EU Capital Markets Union, a Commission expert group. The Forum gathered senior industry executives and top international experts and scholars to develop new ideas on related policies for the Commission and, in 2020, produced a report with recommendations.

Following an extensive inspection of Commission documents and a meeting with the Commission as part of the inquiry, the Ombudsman identified two instances of maladministration:

1. A number of Forum members with links to financial institutions were considered by the Commission as being independent and representing the public interest. With the aim of mitigating the risks of conflicts of interest that the Commission had identified, it applied general measures. The Ombudsman carefully assessed these measures and deemed them to be insufficient.

2. Based on the flawed categorisation of Forum members, the Commission made public a split between Forum members that were supposed to be independent and Forum members that represented a common interest of different stakeholder organisations that deviated significantly from what it was in reality.

The Ombudsman issued a recommendation.

The Commission’s reply to the Ombudsman’s recommendation presented no new information and does not alter the inquiry findings.

The Ombudsman closes her inquiry by confirming her findings and recommendation.

 

Decision in case 1564/2020/TE on the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority’s refusal to grant public access to the votes and debates of its Board of Supervisors on draft regulatory technical standards

Tuesday | 18 May 2021

The case concerned the refusal of the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) to grant public access to the voting results and related reasoning concerning its Board of Supervisors’ decision on a draft regulatory technical standard on packaged retail and insurance-based investment products.

The Ombudsman inquired into the matter and came to the preliminary assessment that draft regulatory technical standards, as adopted by EIOPA’s Board of Supervisors, and any documents related to their adoption, constitute important elements of the process for the adoption of the ensuing delegated act by the European Commission. In this context, the Ombudsman was not convinced by the arguments put forward by EIOPA to refuse public access and she took the preliminary view that EIOPA should release the requested information.

EIOPA positively replied to the Ombudsman’s preliminary assessment. EIOPA committed to disclosing the requested information and to ensuring that future minutes of its Board of Supervisors contain appropriate information on Board members’ votes concerning decisions on legislative documents. The Ombudsman welcomed EIOPA’s reply and the steps taken, and closed the inquiry.

Recommendation in case 1777/2020/KR on how the European Commission handled concerns about the composition of the High Level Forum on the EU Capital Markets Union and alleged conflicts of interest of some of its members

Tuesday | 04 May 2021

The case concerned the High Level Forum on the proposed EU Capital Markets Union, a Commission expert group. The Forum gathered senior industry executives and top international experts and scholars to develop new ideas on related policies for the Commission.

The Forum had two types of members:

Type A - who were appointed in their personal capacity to act independently and in the public interest;

Type B - members who represented a common interest of different stakeholder organisations.

The complainant was concerned that a number of Type A members had links to financial institutions and could, as such, not be considered independent. After the Forum’s recommendations were made public, these members’ declarations of interests were no longer publicly available. In general, the complainant was concerned that the Forum’s composition was insufficiently broad and diverse.

The Ombudsman inquiry found two instances of maladministration:

1. Instead of following its own rules on conflicts of interest for Type A members, the Commission applied general measures to mitigate risks of conflicts of interest. These measures were insufficient.

2. Consequently, the split between the two types of Forum members deviated significantly from the balance that the Commission claimed it struck, and made public.

Based on her inquiry, the Ombudsman recommends that the Commission diligently apply its rules regarding conflicts of interest for individuals applying to be appointed as Type A members of expert groups. Other mitigating measures to address risks of conflicts of interest of Type A members may be taken in addition, but should not substitute the Commission’s rules to this end.