Showing 1 - 20 of 86 results
Friday | 29 October 2021
How the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) dealt with a complaint concerning a staff selection procedure in the field of financial rules applicable to the European Union budget
Thursday | 14 October 2021
The European Medicines Agency’s failure to respond to a complaint concerning its advice against the use of ivermectin as a medicine for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19
Tuesday | 20 July 2021
The European Commission’s failure to reply to a request for access to documents in the language of the request
Friday | 26 March 2021
Wednesday | 16 December 2020
Failure by the European Commission to make available an Italian translation of a guidance document on the application of Directive 2006/42/EC on machinery
Thursday | 06 August 2020
Thursday | 02 July 2020
The use of official EU languages when communicating with the public - Practical recommendations for the EU administration
Thursday | 02 July 2020
How the European Commission dealt with comments from an 'interested party' about proposed national technical rules under the Technical Regulations Information Systems (TRIS) database
Tuesday | 07 April 2020
Report - overview of comments received from the EU institutions, bodies, agencies and offices in response to the invitation to comment on the Ombudsman’s draft short guide for the EU administration on ‘the use of official languages when communicating with the public’ (SI/98/2018/DDJ)
Thursday | 26 March 2020
European Commission's follow up reply to the European Ombudsman's inquiry on how the European Commission dealt with comments submitted under the notification procedure set up by the EU Single Market Transparency Directive
Friday | 28 February 2020
Decision in case 773/2018/PL on how the European Union Aviation Safety Agency conducted a consultation on drones
Friday | 29 November 2019
The case concerned the way in which the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) carried out a public consultation. The Ombudsman’s inquiry covered (i) the fact that the consultation was in English only, (ii) EASA’s web-based application to submit comments and (iii) the amount of time stakeholders had to submit comments.
The Ombudsman concluded that citizens who do not speak English were hindered from contributing meaningfully to the consultation. She therefore made a suggestion to EASA to review its practice.
At the same time, the Ombudsman found EASA’s system for submitting comments to be reasonably user-friendly and the amount of time stakeholders had to submit comments to be sufficient. The Ombudsman thus closed the case.
Decision in case 2204/2018/TE on how the European Commission dealt with comments submitted under the notification procedure set up by the EU Single Market Transparency Directive
Thursday | 19 September 2019
The European Commission runs a publicly accessible database, which informs interested parties about national technical regulations communicated to the Commission by EU Member States before their adoption. The database also allows interested parties to submit comments on the proposed national technical regulations.
The complainant is an international technical association for generation and storage of power and heat. It submitted comments on proposed technical rules that Germany intended to introduce.
As the German authorities had requested the Commission to keep information about the measures confidential, only limited information about these measures was accessible via the public database. The complainant took issue with this. The complainant was also concerned about how the Commission dealt with its comments, as it did not receive a substantive reply from the Commission after it made its comments.
The Ombudsman found no maladministration in how the Commission dealt with the complainant’s comments made under the notification procedure. The Ombudsman suggested, however, that the Commission provide clear information in its acknowledgements of receipt and on the database website, as to what interested parties can expect in terms of the Commission’s reply to their comments. Regarding the information that is made available, the Ombudsman expects the Commission carefully to monitor Member States’ use of confidential notifications under the Single Market Transparency Directive and to take the necessary measures in case of suspected abuse of the confidentiality provision.
The conduct of a public consultation by ECHA and the procedure followed by the Commission concerning the banning of lead bullets in shooting on wetland areas
Thursday | 18 July 2019
Decision in case 766/2018/PL on how the European Chemicals Agency conducted a consultation on a proposal to restrict lead in gunshot
Tuesday | 16 July 2019
The case concerns how the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) conducted a consultation of stakeholders on a proposal to restrict lead in gunshot used in wetlands. The complainant took issue with the wording of the questions and the fact that the consultation was available in English only.
The Ombudsman considers that the questions, and the opportunity to send general comments, allowed participants to express their views freely. Regarding languages, however, the Ombudsman found ECHA’s justification for using English only to be inadequate.
The Ombudsman therefore welcomes ECHA’s commitment for the future to consider translating into other languages at least parts of its consultations. Where ECHA restricts the use of languages, it should put in place relevant safeguards such as making available a summary in all EU official languages, making relevant supporting material available in as many languages as possible and, above all, making clear that responses can be submitted in any EU official language. This latter element is a fundamental right.
The Ombudsman closed the case with a suggestion to ECHA to avoid similar problems arising in the future.
Decision in case 649/2019/TE on the Council’s failure to make available a German translation of a press release
Tuesday | 16 July 2019
The complaint concerned the fact that a press release containing remarks made by European Council President Donald Tusk on 6 February 2019 was made available in English, French and Irish only. The remarks were made following a meeting with the Irish Prime Minister.
The complainant had asked the Council to make available a German version of the press release. The Council replied that the press release would eventually be translated into all EU official languages.
The Ombudsman understands that it is the Council’s current practice to make remarks by the European Council President available in all EU official languages only in certain circumstances, for example when speaking after meetings of the European Council. Remarks made by the President following meetings with individual heads of state or government are generally made available either in English only, or in English and French, or in English, French and one additional official language. Thus, contrary to what the complainant was initially told by the Council, the press release in question was not translated into all official languages.
The Ombudsman acknowledges the need to strike an appropriate balance between linguistic diversity and administrative and budgetary constraints when translating documents. She also acknowledges that the EU institutions have some discretion in striking this balance. She considers that it was not manifestly wrong of the Council to make available the press release in question in English, French and Irish. At the same time, she considers that the Council should be transparent and clear about its translation policy and inform citizens accordingly. In this case, it provided misleading information to the complainant. This was regrettable.
Decision in case 1128/2018/TM on the European Commission’s webpages on ‘novel foods’ being available in English only
Thursday | 27 June 2019
The case concerned the European Commission’s webpages on ‘novel foods’, types of food that are produced by new methods or have not previously been consumed by humans on a wider scale. The Commission’s webpages include an online application system for businesses seeking authorisation to market a novel food in the EU. The complainant was concerned that these webpages were available in English only.
In the course of the Ombudsman’s inquiry, the Commission started translating information on the authorisation procedure for novel foods into more EU official languages. The webpages were also revised to include the information that applications may be submitted in any EU language. The Ombudsman found that the Commission had taken steps to solve the complaint and closed the inquiry as settled.
How the European Commission handled comments made under the notification procedure set out in Directive (EU) 2015/1535 regarding German draft rules on the connection and operation of customer installations to the high-voltage grid (TAR Extra High Voltage)
Thursday | 28 February 2019
Friday | 15 February 2019
Decision in case 2108/2018/TE on the European Commission’s allegedly incorrect statements concerning the international language Esperanto
Tuesday | 18 December 2018