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Decision on how an EU civilian mission dealt with the appeal of a seconded staff member’s performance evaluation (case 95/2022/NH)

Lunes | 10 octubre 2022

The case concerned a negative performance evaluation that an EU civilian mission gave to a seconded staff member. The staff member complained that the evaluation had been unfair because her line managers had not warned her that her performance at work had been poor. She also said that the evaluation report failed to take into account the fact that she had been absent for a long period of time. She claimed that the mission did not handle her appeal against the evaluation fairly.

Based on the inquiry the Ombudsman found nothing to suggest that the evaluation was unfair. She also found that the mission handled the complainant’s appeal in line with the applicable procedures. She therefore closed the inquiry with the conclusion that there was no maladministration.

Decision in case 1877/2019/LM on the European Commission’s decision to offset against a previous outstanding debt a payment due to an association participating in a project under the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme

Lunes | 23 noviembre 2020

The complainant, a non-profit association, is a partner in an EU-funded project under the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme, which is managed by the Research Executive Agency (REA). It had an outstanding debt to the European Commission, which it was paying back in instalments. The Commission decided to offset the ’pre-financing’ payment, which should have been made to the complainant at the start of the project, against the complainant’s outstanding debt with the Commission. The complainant agreed to continue its tasks under the project, but turned to the Ombudsman to seek an alternative solution.

The Ombudsman found that the Commission was legally obliged to offset the pre-financing payment, and that it informed the complainant and the project coordinator about this in good time. The complainant had willingly chosen to participate in the project under these terms. The Ombudsman therefore closed the case with a finding of no maladministration. However, she made a suggestion for improvement to the Commission and the REA on the need to improve communication with project partners in future cases.

Decisión en el asunto 924/2020/TE relativa a la forma en que la Comisión Europea tramitó una solicitud para dejar en suspenso una investigación antidumping durante la crisis de la COVID-19

Martes | 20 octubre 2020

La reclamación se refería a la negativa de la Comisión Europea a dejar en suspenso una investigación antidumping sobre las importaciones de productos de aluminio originarios de China o, alternativamente, a conceder a un importador italiano más tiempo para responder a las solicitudes de información que le había remitido la Comisión.

La Defensora del Pueblo señaló que la Comisión ya había ampliado los plazos, habida cuenta de los retos planteados por la crisis de la COVID-19. Ampliar aún más los plazos podría haber socavado la capacidad de la Comisión para cumplir con la obligación de concluir la investigación antidumping dentro de los plazos legales prescritos al respecto. En consecuencia, la Defensora del Pueblo consideró que la Comisión actuó de forma razonable y cerró el asunto con la conclusión de que no se había producido mala administración.

Decision in case 1878/2019/LM on how the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) dealt with a complaint from a participant in the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme

Jueves | 02 julio 2020

The complainant, a young Italian entrepreneur, participated in an exchange with a more experienced entrepreneur in Germany in the context of the ‘Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme’ set up by the EU Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME). The exchange was terminated early. The complainant considered that EASME had failed to monitor the exchange and he wished to be compensated financially. EASME allowed the complainant another exchange for the remaining period, but it did not grant him any financial compensation.

The Ombudsman found that EASME had investigated the case diligently and that its decision not to pay compensation was in accordance with the rules governing the programmes. The Ombudsman therefore closed the inquiry with a finding of no maladministration. The Ombudsman made a suggestion for improvement to EASME for the purpose of ensuring that the entrepreneurs involved are duly informed of the intention to terminate an exchange early.