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Showing 1 - 20 of 21 results

Decision in case 171/2019/NH on how the European External Action Service dealt with a request for whistleblower protection and a recruitment procedure in an EU mission

Monday | 19 October 2020

The complainant was a staff member in an EU civilian mission who reported what he considered to be corrupt practices at the European External Action Service (EEAS). He asked the EEAS to protect him as a whistleblower, but the EEAS did not reply. The complainant became concerned that the EEAS advertised his post and carried out the selection procedure as a measure of retaliation against him. He appealed against the outcome of the selection procedure but the EEAS did not reply.

In the course of the Ombudsman’s inquiry, the EEAS replied to the complainant’s appeal and his request for whistleblower protection.

The Ombudsman also inquired into the complainant’s concern about retaliation and found no evidence of retaliation regarding the way in which the EEAS had carried out the selection procedure. She thus closed the case with a finding of no maladministration.

Decision of the European Ombudsman in case 2119/2018/LM on concerns about possible blacklisting by Europol of an applicant in staff selection procedures

Thursday | 05 March 2020

The complainant turned to the Ombudsman because he was concerned that Europol had black-listed him from its staff recruitment procedures after he had raised concerns and complained to OLAF about a previous staff selection procedure.

The Ombudsman notes that the complainant is a highly qualified individual, who was shortlisted once by Europol. His concerns are thus understandable. In this case, however, the Ombudsman did not find evidence to suggest that the complainant had been unsuccessful in subsequent staff selection procedures for anything other than objective reasons. She thus closed the case with a finding of no maladministration.

Decision in case 1234/2018/TM on how an EU delegation to a non-EU country dealt with an individual who raised concerns about an EU-funded project

Thursday | 27 June 2019

The case concerned how an EU delegation to a non-EU country responded to an individual who made allegations of wrongdoing and misconduct by a member of staff at the delegation. The complainant wanted to know how to report these issues formally and receive whistleblower protection.

In the course of the inquiry, the European External Action Service (EEAS), which is responsible for the EU’s delegations, provided a better reply on the options available to the complainant. The EEAS thus settled the matter. To avoid similar problems arising in the future, the EEAS should publish on its website the rules that it applies in this area and the options available to individuals who might want to report wrongdoing. The EEAS could also consider adopting a similar approach to the one it applies for EU missions, which it introduced following an own-initiative inquiry of the Ombudsman.

Decision in case 1884/2017/JF on the European Commission’s failure to reply clearly to questions relating to the evaluation of a project submitted under a Horizon 2020 call for proposals

Monday | 26 November 2018

The case concerned the European Commission’s failure to reply clearly to a number of questions about the evaluation of a project proposal submitted in response to a call for proposals under Horizon 2020, the EU Research and Innovation Programme. The Commission provided the necessary replies during the Ombudsman’s inquiry and the matter was settled.

However, in the course of the inquiry the Ombudsman came across a matter not raised in the complaint, namely how the Commission deals with conflicts of interests of experts who evaluate project proposals. The Ombudsman found the Commission’s way of dealing with such conflicts could be improved. She therefore made a suggestion for improvement.

Decision in case 366/2017/AMF on how the European Investment Bank handled concerns about gender discrimination and equal opportunities for its staff

Wednesday | 17 October 2018

The case concerned the reporting, by a staff member of the European Investment Bank (EIB), of alleged gender discrimination at the EIB, particularly at management level.

The Ombudsman inquired into the issue and found that the EIB had failed to reply to the report in a comprehensive manner, including by not providing an overview of the actions being taken to achieve gender balance. The Ombudsman recommended that the EIB correct those failures and suggested that the EIB also improve its whistleblowing policy by including a provision setting a deadline for the EIB to reply to reports made by staff.

The EIB has accepted the Ombudsman´s suggestion and recommendations. The Ombudsman thus closes the inquiry. At the same time, the Ombudsman encourages the EIB to increase its efforts to achieve balanced gender representation at all levels of management and to aim higher than its current target of 33% women in management positions by 2021. As noted elsewhere by the European Commission, organisations that embrace a diverse workforce and are inclusive to all tend to deliver better results, innovate more and are able to take better decisions.

Decision in case 429/2017/AMF on the European Commission´s alleged failure to protect an EU staff member as a whistleblower

Tuesday | 29 May 2018

The complaint in this case was made by a Member of the European Parliament and concerns an EU staff member who alleged that she was harassed in the context of her work within the European Commission. The complainant stated that the staff member was a whistleblower and that the Commission had failed to protect her.

The Ombudsman inquired into the issue and found that the Commission had treated the staff member fairly and in accordance with the applicable rules.

The Ombudsman closed the inquiry with the finding that there had not been any maladministration by the European Commission.

Decision in case 1517/2017/JF on the early termination of the complainant’s contract as an accredited parliamentary assistant by the European Parliament

Thursday | 08 February 2018

The case concerned the early termination of the complainant’s contract as an accredited parliamentary assistant. When the European Parliament failed to reply to his complaint about his contract being terminated, the complainant turned to the Ombudsman.

In the course of the Ombudsman’s inquiry, the Parliament explained why it considered the termination of the complainant’s contract to be justified. It also replied to the other concerns raised by the complainant.

After thoroughly examining the Parliament’s reply, and in the absence of any arguments from the complainant that could call the Parliament’s position into question, the Ombudsman concluded that no further inquiries into the complaint were justified.