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Decision in case 906/2020/VB on a request made by the European Commission to the members of the EU Expert Group on the Birds and Habitats Directive (NADEG) concerning a proposed restriction on lead gunshot in wetland areas

Jueves | 17 diciembre 2020

The case concerned an information paper sent by the European Commission to the members of the Expert Group on the Birds and Habitats Directives (NADEG). In the paper, the Commission asked NADEG members to contact their national authorities to raise awareness about and encourage them to vote in favour of a draft Commission Regulation, which included new restrictions on lead gunshot in wetland areas.

The complainant, an MEP, contended that, in making this request, the Commission was acting beyond its mandate by seeking to influence, through the members of NADEG, a vote on a draft implementing act.

The Ombudsman notes that the Commission has a legitimate interest in seeing its regulatory proposals approved. That having been said, she considers that, in this case, the Commission’s request went beyond what is appropriate to promote its legitimate interest.

The Ombudsman has no evidence that this is a standard Commission practice. As such, and given that the relevant vote has taken place, the Ombudsman finds it sufficient to make the Commission aware of her views on the matter and that no further inquiries are justified.

Decision in case 154/2020/DL on how the Research Executive Agency dealt with a recruitment procedure carried out in the context of an EU-funded project under the Horizon 2020 programme

Lunes | 09 noviembre 2020

The case concerned a recruitment procedure organised by the University of Ljubljana as part of an EU-funded project, under the Horizon 2020 programme. The complainant claimed that irregularities occurred in the recruitment procedure, and reported this to the Research Executive Agency (REA), which is responsible for the implementation of the programme. Dissatisfied with how REA dealt with his complaint, he turned to the Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman found that REA investigated the issue and advised the university on steps to take to address certain shortcomings it had identified. The university followed REA’s advice.

The Ombudsman therefore found that REA dealt appropriately with the matter and closed the case, finding no maladministration.

Decision in case 563/2020/MMO on the non-renewal of an employment contract with the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol)

Miércoles | 28 octubre 2020

The case concerned the non-renewal of the complainant’s employment contract after he had worked for 11 years at Europol.

The Ombudsman noted that there is no obligation on EU agencies to renew fixed-term employment contracts. EU agencies also enjoy wide discretion as regards their internal organisation, which includes defining the conditions for contract renewal. In this case, Europol followed the applicable rules and there is no indication that it committed a manifest error of assessment nor that it abused its power by not renewing the complainant’s contract.

The Ombudsman closed the inquiry finding no maladministration.