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Closing note on the Strategic Initiative with the European Commission to improve the Transparency Register (SI/7/2016/KR)

Jueves | 27 junio 2019

The Transparency Register was set up by the European Commission and Parliament in 2011 to allow the public to monitor the activities of interest representatives (or “lobbyists”) who seek to influence the formulation and implementation of EU legislation and policy. Overall, the Register has been successful and while there are gaps, it is improving over time.

In 2016, the Commission organised a public consultation on several proposed reforms aimed at improving the Transparency Register.

In this context, the Ombudsman opened a ‘strategic initiative’, to contribute to this important debate and to monitor developments by writing to the Commission on the issue.

In January 2018, inter-institutional negotiations began between the Parliament, the Council of the EU and the Commission on the Commission’s proposal to revise and improve the Transparency Register. These negotiations have not yet led to a successful outcome.

The Ombudsman encourages the incoming Parliament, the Council and the incoming Commission to renew their efforts to improve the Transparency Register given the importance of this matter for public trust in the EU.

Decisión de la Defensora del Pueblo Europeo con motivo de su investigación estratégica OI/4/2016/EA sobre el tratamiento dado por la Comisión Europea a las personas con discapacidades en virtud del Régimen Común de Seguro de Enfermedad para el personal de la UE

Jueves | 04 abril 2019

En 2015, un comité de la ONU determinó que el régimen de seguro de enfermedad para los miembros del personal de la UE ―el Régimen Común de Seguro de Enfermedad (RCSE)― contravenía la Convención de la ONU sobre los Derechos de las Personas con Discapacidad (CDPD). Este comité recomendó la revisión del RCSE al objeto de que ofreciera una cobertura global para las necesidades de atención sanitaria relacionadas con discapacidades.

Tras recibir reclamaciones de miembros del personal que habían experimentado problemas para obtener el reembolso íntegro de los gastos médicos en que ellos o sus familiares hubieran incurrido, la Defensora del Pueblo Europeo llevó a cabo una investigación estratégica, en la que concluyó que la no adopción por parte de la Comisión Europea de medidas eficaces siguiendo la recomendación del comité representaba un caso de mala administración. Por tanto, recomendó que la Comisión revisara las normas que regulan el RCSE. Además, realizó varias sugerencias a la Comisión sobre la cobertura que el RCSE ofrece a las personas con discapacidades y sobre la necesidad de formar al personal y consultar a todas las partes interesadas para garantizar que este régimen aborde las necesidades de las personas con discapacidades.

La Comisión contestó que revisaría las normas que regulan el RCSE y adoptaría las medidas necesarias para dar seguimiento a la mayoría de las sugerencias de la Defensora del Pueblo Europeo.

Habida cuenta de que la Comisión aceptó su recomendación, la Defensora del Pueblo Europeo archivó la investigación estratégica, pero, por la importancia del asunto, solicitó a la Comisión que, en un plazo máximo de seis meses, le informara de las medidas adoptadas para aplicar la recomendación. La Defensora del Pueblo Europeo también confirmó su sugerencia a la Comisión en la que le instaba a revisar sus normas de 2004 sobre la consideración de las necesidades de los miembros del personal con discapacidades.

Decision in case 1641/2015/ZA on the European Personnel Selection Office’s refusal to allow the complainant to apply under two concurrent competitions for recruiting translators and failure to explain the reasons for applying this practice

Martes | 17 julio 2018

The case concerned the European Personnel Selection Office’s (`EPSO`) practice of not permitting candidates to apply for more than one concurrent recruitment competition for EU civil servants even where they fulfilled the criteria. EPSO refused to allow the complainant to apply under two concurrent competitions for recruiting translators for the EU institutions, and failed to convincingly explain the reasons for applying this practice.

The Ombudsman found that this practice could have the consequence of hindering the recruitment of the most qualified persons and that, accordingly, EPSO should be able to provide convincing reasoning as to why it has this practice. The Ombudsman found that EPSO´s failure to provide such reasoning to the complainant constituted maladministration. She found also that any continuation of the practice, in the absence of solid reasoning, would necessarily also constitute maladministration. The Ombudsman therefore recommended to EPSO that it immediately review its policy in relation to this practice.

In response, EPSO set up an internal reflection group to conduct a detailed impact assessment of any policy change in this area. The assessment will be presented to EPSO's Management Board by December 2018. The Board must take the final decision. As EPSO is acting on her recommendation, the Ombudsman has decided to close the case.

Decision in case 1984/2015/JN on the European Commission’s decision to deem ineligible costs claimed by a partner in an EU-funded project for combatting racism against Roma people

Miércoles | 23 mayo 2018

The case concerned a decision by the European Commission to deem ineligible certain costs claimed by a non-governmental organisation, which participated in an EU-funded project aimed at combatting racism against Roma people. The complainant argued that the Commission had not properly examined the evidence before determining that the costs were ineligible.

The Ombudsman inquired into the issue and found that there was no maladministration by the Commission.

Decision in case 1333/2015/MDC concerning the decision of the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) to exclude the complainant from a competition on the grounds that his diploma was not relevant

Miércoles | 23 mayo 2018

The complainant was excluded in 2013 from a competition to recruit administrators in the field of audit run by the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO). He was excluded on the basis that his academic qualifications were not sufficiently relevant to the post advertised. The complainant pointed out in his complaint to the European Ombudsman that several candidates who had been admitted to the same competition in 2010 had diplomas that were the same as, or less relevant than, his diploma. He argued that if the other candidates’ qualifications were sufficient in 2010, then his diploma should be sufficient also in 2013.

The Ombudsman inquired into the issue and found that the 2013 competition was the same competition as that originally run in 2010 and that the same criteria regarding qualifications should apply in 2013 as in 2010. The Ombudsman found maladministration by EPSO and recommended that EPSO ask the Selection Board to revise its decision on the complainant’s qualifications.

EPSO refused to accept the Ombudsman’s recommendation without providing

convincing reasons for its position. The Ombudsman therefore closed the case with a finding of maladministration.