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Showing 1 - 20 of 98 results

Decision in case 338/2020/VB on the European Personnel Selection Office’s decision not to admit a candidate to the next phase of a selection procedure for security officers for the EU institutions

Monday | 13 July 2020

The case concerned the European Personnel Selection Office’s decision not to admit the complainant to the next phase of a selection procedure for security officers due to his lack of professional experience.

The Ombudsman found that the selection board had examined the information provided in the complainant’s application and assessed it against the eligibility criteria. The Ombudsman did not identify a manifest error in how the selection board assessed the application, and closed the inquiry with a finding of no maladministration.

Decision in case 222/2020/EWM on how the European Medicines Agency dealt with the authorisation of the medicine Kalydeco for use by children with a specific form of cystic fibrosis

Wednesday | 03 June 2020

The case concerned how the European Medicines Agency (EMA) dealt with a request to authorise a medicine called Kalydeco. Kalydeco is used to treat cystic fibrosis, a serious illness caused by a number of different gene mutations.

The complainant, whose three-year old son has a specific form of cystic fibrosis, expressed concerns that EMA had incurred delays in approving the drug for use in children with this specific form of cystic fibrosis.

During the inquiry, on 20 April 2020, EMA informed the complainant and the Ombudsman that its scientific experts had, after examining all the scientific and medical evidence they needed, approved Kalydeco for use in children with the form of cystic fibrosis that affects the complainant’s child.

The Ombudsman found that no unjustified delays had occurred. EMA was also clear and transparent, and showed great care, in its contacts with the complainant.

The Ombudsman concluded that there was no maladministration by EMA and closed the inquiry.

Decision in case 1481/2019/MH on how the European Commission dealt with an infringement complaint against the Netherlands concerning the importation of potentially unsafe lighters

Friday | 06 March 2020

The case concerned the time taken by the European Commission to deal with a complaint from a manufacturer of lighters alleging that the Netherlands was infringing EU law. The complainant was particularly concerned that the Commission had not taken the next formal step in the procedure since July 2014, when it had asked the Netherlands for further information about the case.

The Ombudsman acknowledges that more than nine years to conduct an investigation into an infringement complaint is a very long time. However, based on the Commission’s extensive information gathering and its analysis, and the extent of its engagement with the Dutch authorities and the complainant, the Ombudsman has not found undue delay in the Commission’s handling of this case. Over the nine-year period, the Commission had approximately six rounds of information gathering with the Netherlands, while the complainant submitted reports and studies on more than 18 occasions. The complainant also met with the Commission at least 13 times.

As the Commission has now sent a letter to the complainant informing it of its intention to close the case, the Ombudsman considers that no further inquiries are justified.

Decision in case 41/2019/NH on the European Commission’s decision to recover an overpaid amount of child allowances from a staff member

Friday | 11 October 2019

The case concerned the European Commission’s decision to recover from a staff member an overpaid amount of EU child allowances. The allowances had been paid for the children of the staff member’s husband. The decision was based on the fact that national child allowances paid to the former wife of the staff member’s husband had not been deducted from the EU allowances.

The Ombudsman found that the Commission was entitled to recover the amounts because the staff member should have realised that she was being paid too much. The Ombudsman therefore closed the case with a finding of no maladministration.

Decision in case 757/2017/NF on how the European External Action Service grants certain benefits to its staff having worked in an EU delegation in a non-EU country

Thursday | 27 June 2019

The case concerned the practice the European External Action Service (EEAS) has in place for granting certain benefits to staff members who are re-assigned to its headquarters in Brussels after having worked in an EU delegation in a non-EU country.

The complainant, an EEAS staff member who was transferred from a non-EU country to an EU delegation within the EU, considered that the EEAS was wrong not to grant him those benefits for the sole reason that his place of employment was not Brussels.

The Ombudsman found that the EEAS’s approach to granting the benefits is reasonable in light of its mobility policy for staff. However, to improve the framework the EEAS has in place in this area, the Ombudsman makes three suggestions for improvement.

Decision in case 643/2018/MDC on the European Investment Bank’s failure to reply to correspondence and its refusal to initiate a harassment procedure

Monday | 17 June 2019

The case concerned the European Investment Bank’s (EIB) failure to reply to correspondence and its refusal to initiate an investigation procedure into a harassment complaint.

After the Ombudsman got involved, the EIB replied and thereby settled the first aspect of the complaint. The Ombudsman also found that, despite two shortcomings that she identified, overall the EIB dealt with the complainant’s harassment allegation in a reasonable way.

The Ombudsman also welcomes the fact that the EIB has adopted a new Dignity at Work policy.

Decision in cases 1401/2017/PB and 1558/2017/PB on issues related to how the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control introduced a new promotion system

Wednesday | 22 May 2019

The cases concerned the introduction of a new promotion system for staff at the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

The complainants considered that the new system did not allow the ECDC adequately to take into account the ‘promotion points’ staff had accumulated under the old system, and that the ECDC did not make sufficient use of the transitional measures it had put in place to balance out the discrepancy.

The Ombudsman did not find maladministration in the ECDC’s actions. However, she drew attention to the fact that staff promotions are meant to motivate high performing EU civil servants, which is in the public interest. She took the view that it would be within the ECDC’s powers to identify what seems to be a small group of staff members concerned by the issues raised in this case, and to consider taking further measures to address the situation.

Decision in case 150/2017/JN on the European Commission's failure to carry out a human rights impact assessment before agreeing to new OECD provisions on export credits for coal-fired electricity generation projects

Thursday | 14 March 2019

The complainant considered that the European Commission had wrongly decided not to carry out a human rights impact assessment before agreeing to new provisions, which were developed within the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), on export credits for coal-fired electricity generation projects.

The Commission considered that no impact assessment was needed because the provisions were not likely to have any significant impact.

The Ombudsman found that the Commission had not carried out any thorough analysis before deciding not to carry out an impact assessment. She found that this constituted maladministration. The Ombudsman recommended that, in the future, in advance of a substantive decision, the Commission should ensure that it systematically assesses whether an envisaged measure, proposal or international agreement is likely to have significant economic, social or environmental impacts, including human rights impacts. The Ombudsman stressed that the Commission should keep a written record of this.

The Commission informed the Ombudsman that it already has in place procedures that address her recommendations.

The Ombudsman notes, however, that the Commission was unable to provide her with a record of the internal analysis carried out in this case before it was decided that no impact assessment was needed.

The Ombudsman therefore calls on the Commission to apply its procedures consistently and to keep a written record of its analysis and assessment. On this basis, the Ombudsman closes the case.

Decision in case 693/2017/PB on the decision of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) to exclude staff in higher grades from promotion

Wednesday | 13 February 2019

The case concerned a decision taken by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control not to promote staff in higher grades in 2016, as it had insufficient budgetary resources that year.

The Ombudsman found that the issue fell within the scope of readjustment to organisational changes and that there had been no maladministration.