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Showing 1 - 20 of 231 results

Decision in case 10/2021/DDJ on how the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) assessed the experience of a candidate in a selection procedure for EU staff in the field of international cooperation

Tuesday | 18 May 2021

The case concerned how the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) assessed the complainant’s professional experience in a selection procedure for recruiting EU civil servants in the field of international cooperation.

The Ombudsman found nothing to suggest a manifest error how the selection board assessed the complainant’s qualifications. The Ombudsman therefore closed the inquiry with a finding of no maladministration.

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.

Decision in case 1107/2020/NH on the European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) alleged leak of confidential information on an active substance used in pesticides

Friday | 12 February 2021

The case concerned an article published in a French newspaper, in which the journalist claimed to have had access to a confidential letter sent by the complainants to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) as part of a process for renewing the approval of an active substance used in pesticides. The complainants contended that EFSA had leaked that letter to the press, and that it did not have appropriate safeguards in place against unauthorised disclosure of confidential information by staff members. The complainants also argued that EFSA had not been objective and impartial in its statements to the press.

The Ombudsman found that the complainants had sent the letter in question not only to EFSA, but to other actors as well. Since EFSA was not the only body in possession of the letter, it was not possible to determine with certainty that EFSA had leaked the letter to the press. EFSA had conducted two internal inquiries into possible leaks and concluded that there was no evidence the leaks had come from an EFSA staff member. The Ombudsman found nothing to suggest that EFSA lacked proper safeguards against leaks. Regarding EFSA’s statements to the press, the Ombudsman concluded that EFSA had not breached its duties of objectivity and impartiality.

The Ombudsman closed the inquiry with the finding that there had been no maladministration by EFSA in this case.