Nominations for the European Ombudsman "Award for Good Administration" 2017
Event document - Date Wednesday | 22 March 2017 - City Brussels - Country Belgium - Date Thursday | 30 March 2017
Nominations for the European Ombudsman "Award for Good Administration" in order of receipt:
1. Overhauling dialogue with civil society
The Commission’s dialogue with civil society has set new standards by seeking a balance in representation between economic and non-economic representatives. The number of European NGOs represented in the Directorate-General for Agriculture’s civil dialogue has almost doubled.
European Commission – DG Agriculture and Rural Development – Unit for Relations with other EU institutions and civil society - Project proposed by the Union of European Federalists, Canary islands
2. Assisting people in need in Europe and the world
The Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) monitors and coordinates the EU’s response to emergencies around the clock every day. Staffed by trained officers, the ERCC organises the deployment of relief items and specialised teams from the Member States to respond to emergencies.
European Commission – DG Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations – The Emergency Response Coordination Centre
3. Keeping public administration costs low
Two technical reports demonstrate that it is possible, through the use of Open Source software, for organisations or public administrations to maintain services for the public at no extra costs.
European Commission – Joint Research Centre
4. Rigorous assessment of EU maritime policy
The European Court of Auditors’ report on EU maritime transport will contribute to improving the management and performance of EU maritime transport policy, and will have a direct impact on the economy of several European regions and citizens. The report contains rigorous analysis and uses various audit techniques. It is written in plain language and contains several visuals such as graphs and maps.
European Court of Auditors – Chamber II
5. Transparency portal at the European Court of Auditors
The Transparency Portal gives citizens access to information on the European Court of Auditors and its audit work on the European budget, programmes and funds.
European Court of Auditors – Directorate of the Presidency & Legal Service
6. Communication campaign to promote benefits of EU programmes
The “EU working for you” campaign was the first ever corporate communication campaign, running from November 2014 to March 2015 in six EU countries. The campaign involved thorough research and pre-testing, and was accompanied by a full scale evaluation by an independent consultancy firm. The campaign reached 115 million citizens.
European Commission – DG Communication – Corporate Communication Sector
7. Ensuring excellence in recruitment
The European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) Academy is designed to guarantee a professional competency-based assessment of candidates by giving broad and thorough training to assessors. The aim is to ensure equal opportunities and treatment and objectivity.
European Personnel Selection Office
8. Statistics are not boring!
To meet the new needs of its readers, Eurostat released a digital publication. It describes energy through statistics by using pictures, interactive infographics, animations and short texts. Many questions usually asked by citizens on energy are answered in the publication.
European Commission – Eurostat – Digital Dissemination Unit and Energy Statistics Unit
9. Managing multi-lingual websites
Web, communication and language technology teams at three EU agencies – European Union Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA), European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and the Translation Centre for the Bodies of the European Union (CdT) – collaborated on a project that makes the running of multilingual websites a lot more manageable. EU citizens can access EUIPO’s and EU-OSHA’s websites in their own languages to inform themselves about IP and health and safety matters.
EU-OSHA, EUIPO and CdT
10. EU data protection mobile app
The app was an innovative and informative way to promote and improve the legislative process, especially in relation to data protection. The app was also a useful tool during trilogues on the General Data Protection Regulation (2015-2016), allowing users to easily compare the proposed texts from the Commission, the Parliament and the Council alongside European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) recommendations.
European Data Protection Supervisor
11. A new ethics framework for the European Data Protection Supervisor
The new ethics framework puts several policies (such as the whisteblowing decision and the anti-harassment decision) under the responsibility of the ethics officer who is appointed for five years. This guarantees internal control and consistency on ethical issues.
European Data Protection Supervisor
12. Engaging stakeholders in policy-making
A series of workshops on the collaborative economy brought together entrepreneurs; regulators from local, regional and national administrations; NGOs; academia; and media representatives. Ideas from the workshop fed into a Commission paper on the issue.
European Commission – DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs – Directorate E – Collaborative Economy Team
13. Spreading environmental democracy awareness in the Commission
Aarhus Rights grant citizens access to information, participation in decision-making, and access to justice in environmental matters. The launch of the Network of Aarhus Legal Coordinators helps to bring awareness of environmental democracy to DGs other than DG Environment.
European Commission – DG Environment – Aarhus Team in ENV.E.4, “Compliance and Better Regulation”
14. Promoting citizen-driven accountability
The European Investment Bank (EIB) Complaints Mechanism handles complaints of alleged maladministration committed by the EIB Group. It provides the public with a tool enabling alternative and pre-emptive resolution of disputes. In 2016, the Mechanism dealt with 122 complaints.
European Investment Bank – Division Complaints Mechanism
15. Inter-institutional Test Office for freelance interpreters
The Test Office takes care of the selection process for EU freelance interpreters, which includes providing a constant information service to candidates. The system was built to enable maximum interaction and transparency between the Test Office and the candidates, and includes reference to a specific recommendation made by the Ombudsman regarding the testing of candidates with disabilities.
European Commission – Inter-institutional Test Office – DG Interpretaion – SCIC.C.4
16. A breath of fresh air
The LIFE programme provides financial support for environmental and climate action projects in the EU. In Małopolska, Poland, concentrations of benzopyrene are 100 times greater than in London. The LIFE team from DG Environment, DG Climate and the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) worked with regional authorities and civil society to leverage €800 million (in addition to an initial €15 million), helping the region implement an air quality plan for the benefit of its 3.4 million citizens.
European Commission – LIFE Programme – Project proposed by Regione Lombardia and other stakeholders
DG Environment – Unit D4 LIFE programme
DG Climate Action – Unit A2. Climate Finance, Mainstreaming, Montreal Protocol
Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises – Unit B3, LIFE staff
17. EU Results – a collection of EU-funded projects
This is the first collaborative project across the Commission to better communicate the concrete results of EU funding. The website is a single entry point that showcases projects from all EU funding areas – from employment, regional development, research and education to the environment, humanitarian aid, energy and many others – managed either centrally by the Commission or locally by national authorities or partner organisations.
European Commission – DG Budget – Unit R1
18. Broadening the reach of EU recruitment
The European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) completely overhauled its communication policy within six months following a court ruling so that all of its communication is available in 24 languages. This broadens the reach of the EU institutions’ recruitment. The changes include an online job search tool which allows EU institutions and agencies to upload their job vacancies in 24 languages.
European Personnel Selection Office – Unit 5 Communications Unit
19. Innovative communication at the European Central Bank
The websites of the European Central Bank (ECB) and of the Banking Supervision explain complex monetary and supervisory topics in simple language and use various formats such as videos and infographics. Explainers are published in all EU languages. The Bank has also revamped its visitors’ programme, opening its doors to a wide range of groups. The overall aim is to help people understand the responsibility and role of the ECB.
European Central Bank – Directorate-General for Communications
20. Cross-unit cooperation for dealing with Ombudsman complaints
Teams in three units in DG European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations (NEAR) work together to analyse Ombudsman complaints concerning Neighbourhood countries fairly and objectively and to propose effective remedies.
European Commission – DG NEAR – Units A2, R4 (former B3) and R2
21. Redefining European cyber cooperation
The project is a cyber crisis simulation executed in real-time (over 48 hours) after two years of planning. The project brought together top IT experts from banks, cybersecurity, transport and energy companies from all Member States. 1 000 participants were trained over the project’s lifetime.
European Network Agency for Network and Information Security – Operational Security Unit, Cyber Crisis Cooperation team
22. Helping micro and small enterprises carry out workplace risk assessment
The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) developed a web platform to facilitate workplace risk assessment among Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs). The platform is aimed at reducing occupational accidents and illnesses among MSEs, which account for almost 99% of enterprises in the EU.
European Agency for Safety and Health at Work – Prevention & Research Unit and Communication & Promotion Unit
23. A quick route to humanitarian assistance
Within 10 weeks, several units within DG European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), with the strong political support of Commission Cabinets together with other DGs, the Council and the Parliament managed to have a Council regulation adopted, a budget secured, technical issues solved, grant agreements to humanitarian partners signed, staff deployed and humanitarian assistance provided to thousands of refugees in Greece.
European Commission – DG ECHO
24. Turning micro-finance into theatre
A technocratic presentation on micro finance was turned into a theatre play to better engage and involve the audience. The goal of the presentation was to demonstrate the power of micro-lending. It received 5 000 views through web streaming.
European Commission – DG Economic and Financial Affairs – L2, (EU official on assignment to deliver a presentation on microfinance)
25. Changing mindsets about vocational skills
Within six months, an ambitious policy proposal became a major European initiative mobilising thousands of companies, vocational education and training providers, social partners, researchers, teachers and trainers, and national agencies, and reaching out to young people and their parents.
European Commission – DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion – Unit E3, Vocational Training, Apprenticeships and Adult Learning
26. Providing facilities for people with hearing impairments at the Parlamentarium
Visitors can take a tour accompanied by a video guide in International sign (ISL), Hungarian sign (HSL), Belgian French sign (LSFB) and Flemish sign (VGT). For languages not yet available, deaf citizens can opt for a multimedia guide in International Sign accompanied with a text in their native language.
European Parliament – DG Communication
27. Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs
Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs is a cross-border exchange programme which gives new or aspiring entrepreneurs the chance to learn from experienced entrepreneurs in other participating countries. The aspiring entrepreneur stays between 1 and 6 months with the experienced entrepreneur, learning the skills needed to run a small firm.
European Commission – DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs – Unit H2, Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs Team
28. The European Economic and Social Committee Video Competition
This communication project engaged European citizens in a fresh reflection on the EU. Instead of citizens being asked to fill in surveys or having to submit long written contributions, citizens could record their ideas with a simple (phone) camera.
European Economic and Social Committee – Department D Communication
29. The Audit Budget and Control Committee – promoting early analysis of potential risk issues
The Audit Budget and Control (ABC) Committee allows staff to bring important issues that may represent a risk for DG Communications Networks, Content and Technology (CONNECT) to the attention of senior management at an early stage. The presence of the Internal Audit Service and visits by representatives of the Common Support Service and the Common Audit Service give rise to very constructive collaboration.
European Commission – DG CONNECT – Directorate R; Resources & Support
30. Public funding to support and strengthen a shift from road to rail transport in Italy
Public support for the rail transport sector is only allowed under certain strict conditions. Concluding this project meant the Italian administration, the Directorate- General for Competition and the Legal Service of the European Commission had to work together over a prolonged period of time with limited resources on all sides. The project demonstrated how a can-do attitude on all fronts contributes to getting the green light for an activity which ultimately benefits citizens.
European Commission – DG Competition and the Legal Service
31. The BELLA project: providing broadband connectivity between Latin America and Europe
The submarine cable will improve access and cooperation between Latin America and Europe, in particular between research facilities on both continents such as the Astronomical and Cosmic Ray Observatories in Chile or the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland.
European Commission – DG Communications Networks, Content and Technology
32. Regular stakeholder dialogue on European Structural and Investment Funds
The open, transparent and regular dialogue is aimed at fostering engagement, commitment and ownership of projects supported by these funds. This is beneficial for both the Commission and stakeholders and helps the overall goal of improving growth, jobs and the quality of life of EU citizens.
European Commission – DG Regional and Urban Policy – Political and Inter-institutional Coordination, Strategic Management and Document Management Unit
33. New approach to sustainable urban development in Spain
A quality urban programming integrating several policy fields led to a major shift in urban planning by local entities in Spain. As a result, 70% of those Spanish urban areas with more than 20 000 inhabitants have drawn up integrated Sustainable Urban Development (SUD) strategies. This has in turn led to increased multilevel governance, greater partnership participation and better planning quality.
European Commission – DG Regional and Urban Policy – Unit G2 Spain and Unit DDG.02 Inclusive Growth, Urban and Territorial Development
34. Bringing together Cohesion Policy practitioners from around the EU
This tool helps public service officials from all Member States to meet each other and exchange expertise and best practices related to cohesion policy investments. The Commission acts as ‘matchmaker’ – helping to identify relevant expertise and good practice from which the requesting party could learn. However, the agenda and content of the exchange lies with Member States. How to integrate migrant children into the education system was an example of one such exchange.
European Commission – DG Regional and Urban Policy – Unit E1 Competence Centre for Administrative Capacity Building
35. Facilitating access to credit for Spanish Small and Medium- sized Enterprises
This project allowed fast and efficient credit access to Spanish Small and Medium- sized Enterprises (SMEs) and has become a model for use in other Member States. By the end of 2016, the European Investment Fund had signed operational agreements with 12 Spanish financial intermediaries, providing loans to some 22 000 SMEs for a total amount of more than €2 billion.
European Commission – DG Regional and Urban Policy – Unit G2 Spain
Spanish Ministry of Finance “Hacienda and Función Pública”
36. Open Data Platform for EU funds
The Open Data Platform informs the public about the planning, implementation and achievements of EU policies for cohesion, employment, fisheries, and rural development. The Platform features five funds, 28 countries, 530 programmes, and covers 42% of the EU budget. It provides intuitive visualisations of the investment themes. It also meets the demand from specialised audiences for detailed data on EU funds.
European Commission – European Structural and Investment Funds Open Data Platform Steering Group
DG Regional and Urban Policy – Unit B2 Evaluation and European Semester
DG Agriculture and Rural Development
DG Maritime Affairs and Fisheries
DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion
37. Preventing corrupt practices in EU-funded projects
The pilot project Integrity Pacts – Civil Control Mechanism for Safeguarding EU Funds aims to protect EU funds from fraud and corruption. It is also designed to increase transparency and accountability, enhance trust in authorities and government contracting, contribute to the good reputation of contracting authorities, bring cost savings and improve competition through better procurement.
European Commission – DG Regional and Urban Policy – Unit E1 Administrative Capacity Building and European Solidarity Fund
38. “Europe in my Region” – Encouraging citizens to discover EU-funded projects near them
Four different initiatives (public openings of EU-funded projects, a treasure hunt, a photo competition and a blogging campaign) involved the public in visiting projects and sharing images and experiences via social media during May 2016. The result: over 2 500 projects in 23 countries opened their doors to more than 400 000 visitors to showcase what EU regional projects are achieving.
European Commission – DG Regional and Urban Policy – Communication Unit
39. Improving communication related to the management of Structural and Investment Funds
This project aims to improve management of these funds in Member States by identifying and addressing systemic deficiencies. The results are shared within the unit and the directorate in order to ensure the transfer of knowledge and good practices between Member States.
European Commission – DG Regional and Urban Policy – Directorate C -Unit C2 Audit I
40. The European Professional Card
The European Professional Card (EPC) is the first EU-wide electronic procedure for the recognition of professional qualifications. The nominating team worked very closely with national authorities and stakeholders to ensure the smooth and timely implementation of the EPC. The Card was introduced in January 2016 for five highly mobile professions. In the first year, 2 100 EPC applications were submitted and more than 700 EPCs were issued.
European Commission – DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs – Unit E5 – Team working on the European Professional Card
41. European E-Platform for women entrepreneurs: WEgate
This Platform is a one-stop shop for women of all ages who want to start, run and grow a business. It facilitates access to training, mentoring, advice and business networking for women across Europe. The platform brings together local, national and European stakeholders and peer groups to support new generations of women who use Internet and IT technologies daily.
European Commission – DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs – Unit F2
42. Just Write Clearly!
In June 2016, the DG for Translation (DGT) and the DG for Justice and Consumers (JUST) decided to work together on a six-month pilot project to improve the quality of DG JUST’s written communications. The JUST Write Clearly! project raised awareness of the importance of clear writing among many of the DG’s staff. This then helped staff to make DG JUST’s policies and actions more readily understandable to the public.
European Commission – DG JUST, Communication and Strategic Planning Unit – DGT, Editing Unit
43. EU budget focused on results
The project changed collaboration and communication on the EU budget to achieve maximum benefits for European citizens. The project aims to improve how money is spent based on simple rules that allow working towards project results, rather than project documents. It also aim at improving reporting, accountability and transparency.
European Commission – DG Budget – Unit 02 Performance-based Budgeting
44. Helping citizens know their rights in the Single Market
The Single Market Service Centre (SMSC) provides citizens and businesses with information, advice and help on how to realise their rights in the Single Market. It also connects public authorities across Europe, enabling them to carry out cross- border procedures delivering these rights, and monitors how the EU and its Member States contribute to the completion of the Single Market. The focus is on people wanting to live, work, travel, study or do business in another EU country.
European Commission – DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs – Single Market Service Centre -Unit R4
45. A radical simplification of grant management
A Web interface – the Participant Portal – provides a user-friendly one-stop shop for thousands of researchers, SMEs and other beneficiaries of EU research and innovation funding. Complex systems managed previously by different DGs and services have been replaced by a single streamlined and uniform system for the whole framework programme.
European Commission – DG Research & Innovation – Common Support Centre
DG Research & Innovation
46. Empowering staff to act with fairness towards civil society and citizens
The DG for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO) manages a budget of about €82 billion, meaning it frequently engages with civil society and contractors, especially when contractual disputes arise. To better handle Ombudsman and court cases, DEVCO set up a central structure so that inquiries are objectively assessed by a second pair of eyes; Ombudsman and court decisions are analysed and made available to all staff, and DEVCO management informs staff of lessons learnt each year.
European Commission – DG DEVCO – Unit R3, Team responsible for dispute-handling
47. Explaining the policy behind the tax acronym CCCTB
The Communication Team of the DG for Taxation and Customs Union (TAXUD) made an innovative video focusing on the needs and views of citizens and businesses to support its policy proposal on the Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB). The number of views surpassed 300 000 and the average watching time for these videos was above 80%.
European Commission – DG TAXUD – Unit R2, Communication Team
48. Discover what EU science means for you!
The Visitors’ Centre at the Joint Research Centre (JRC) in Ispra, Italy, explains to the public how science underpins policy-making. The centre uses innovative tools such as 3D globe maps, virtual laboratory tours, physical exhibits to touch and discover, videos, infographics and digital games. Plans for 2017 include making the Visitors’ Centre virtual.
European Commission – DG JRC – Communication Unit, Visits and Visitors Centre
49. Informing Small and Medium-sized Enterprises about EU support programmes
This publicity campaign informed Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) about the benefits and opportunities arising from the Single Market. It made extensive use of social media, including Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to reach a wider audience. A “go local” strategy used focus groups with entrepreneurs to test messages and materials. Success stories were used to reinforce the credibility of the campaign.
DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs
Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises
and the Enterprise Europe Network communication champions from the following countries:
Italy, Spain, France, Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Poland, Portugal, Denmark, Lithuania, Estonia, Czech Republic, Slovenia and Bulgaria
50. Avoiding food wastage
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and the Committee of the Regions (CoR) organise up to 150 big events each year. A project to avoid food wastage was set up to deal with leftover food, allowing it to be redistributed to persons in need, such as homeless people and refugees. In the first year, some 5 500 sandwiches were delivered.
European Economic and Social Committee and European Committee of the Regions, European Eco-Management and Audit System and catering services
51. Movable European Space Exhibition
More than one million people visited the European Space Expo during its tour of 32 major European cities. The Expo presented key information on the European space programmes – from satellite navigation (Galileo and EGNOS) to Earth observation (Copernicus) – in an engaging and entertaining way. Highlights included an interactive hologram of the earth’s atmosphere and a model of the ‘Galileo’ satellite.
European Commmission – DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs
European GNSS Agency
European Union Representation in Rome
52. EU collaboration to help patients with rare diseases
The European Commission’s policy on rare diseases encourages cross-border collaboration and exchange of expertise to improve the lives of the 30 million people living with a rare disease in Europe. 24 European Reference Networks (ERNs) aim to improve diagnosis, care and treatment options for patients.
European Commission – DG Health and Food Safety – Unit C1 Health Programme and Chronic Diseases – Project proposed by EURORDIS – Rare diseases Europe
53. A guide to the statistical treatment of public-private partnerships
In the context of the Juncker Investment Plan for Europe, this guide removed the accounting uncertainties which were hampering the development of public-private partnerships (PPPs) and contributed to the relaunching of PPP projects in many Member States. It helps to better understand the impact of PPPs on government balance sheets and assists public authorities in taking well-informed decisions when using PPP arrangements.
European Commission – Eurostat – Unit D1
54. Informative webinars for the law enforcement community
The European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training (CEPOL) webinars are innovative online learning tools for the EU law enforcement community. In 2016, 87 webinars took place with more than 10 000 participants on topics such as countering terrorism; cybercrime; police ethics, cyberbullying; police cooperation; and cross-border surveillance operations.
CEPOL – Training and Research Unit
55. Research & Science 2016 Conference of the EU Agency for Law Enforcement Training
CEPOL (EU Agency for Law Enforcement Training) organised a major conference on global trends in law enforcement training and education in October 2016 in Budapest. The aim was to facilitate the exchange and development of new ideas and best practices between law enforcement and academia with a view to offering the highest level of law enforcement services to EU citizens.
CEPOL – Training and Research Unit
56. “Science meets Parliaments and Regions”
The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) organised six large scale “Science meets Parliaments and Regions” events in European regions and in Brussels to establish a structured dialogue between policy-makers and scientists. The aim was to improve evidence-informed decision-making across Europe and to bring the benefits of the latest scientific discoveries to the citizens.
European Commission – DG JRC – Unit for Inter-institutional, International Relations and Outreach
57. Inter-institutional collaboration to fight against antimicrobial resistance
The European Commission (DG for Health and Food Safety), the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), have joined forces to address antimicrobial resistance (AMR), one of the most serious global public health threats. The collaboration includes data collection and is an example of how the combined expertise from different EU bodies benefits EU citizens and supports national efforts.
European Commission – DG for Health and Food Safety – EMA – EFSA – ECDC
58. Modernising the publication of EU law
The Official Journal team at the EU’s Publications Office completed a major modernisation process, strongly improving access to EU law. Only the online electronic edition of the EU Official Journal has legal effect, bringing to an end over 60 years of paper-based production and making the publication and access to law easier, faster and cheaper for citizens, legal professionals, administrations and businesses.
European Commission – Publications Office of the European Union – Unit OP.B1 Official Journals and Case Law
59. Helping citizens with information about chemicals
Citizens are increasingly exposed to chemicals every year, through the products they buy and the air they breathe. The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has developed a database including information about 120 000 chemicals, which is easily accessible for both experts and ordinary citizens.
European Chemicals Agency – Dissemination team
60. Online collection software for European Citizens’ Initiative
Thanks to successful cross-sector collaboration between different Directorates- General in the Commission (Secretariat-General and Informatics and Justice and Consumers) an open source software was developed and implemented to support European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) organisers. It is available online, free of charge and has been used by nearly all ECIs so far.
European Commission – Secretariat-General, Work Programme and Stakeholder Consultation Unit, European Citizens’ Initiative Sector – DG Informatics, Corporate Knowledge and Decision-making Solutions Unit, Solutions for Knowledge & Information Management Sector – DG Informatics, Interoperability Solutions for Public Administrations programme
61. European Solidarity Corps website – a story of collaboration
The Commission’s DG Education, Youth, Sport and Culture (EAC) and DG Informatics (DIGIT) developed a new, powerful web tool, which allowed 10 000 volunteers to register in less than one week for the European Solidarity Corps. Users were for the first time able to register with social media accounts.
European Commission – DG EAC and DIGIT DG EAC
62. Compassionate care at the Council of the EU’s medical service
The Council of the EU’s medical service cares for thousands of staff members and visitors every year and performs its tasks in a professional yet compassionate manner. Doctors and nurses also helped victims of the Maelbeek metro attack in Brussels in 2016. Following this attack, the medical service set up a network of staff who are trained to provide first aid in case of serious incidents.
Council of the European Union – General Secretariat of the Council – Directorate Human Resources and Personnel Administration, Medical Service
63. Raising awareness of language use sensitivities
This project seeks to raise awareness in the Commission of the importance of using both French and Dutch in documents listing the addresses of EU institutions in the Brussels Capital Region, out of respect for the fact that this Region is bilingual.
European Commission – DG Research & Innovation
64. Transporting nuclear materials from Germany to the US
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) played a key role in organising the transportation of nuclear materials (plutonium, high-enriched uranium) from Karlsruhe, Germany, to Savannah River, USA, in the framework of the Global Threat Reduction Initiative (GTRI). Despite serious challenges, the project was successfully completed within 24 months.
European Commission – DG JRC – Project Management
65. Improving decision-making on pharmaceutical products
A small team in the Commission’s DG for Health and Food Safety (SANTE) deals with decision-making procedures for pharmaceutical products (both human and veterinary) and constantly improves its procedures and streamlines the process. The team’s work concerns requests for new marketing authorisations, renewals, withdrawals and the designation of orphan medicines.
European Commission – DG SANTE – Unit B.5, DMP team
66. E-Curia: The Court of Justice’s electronic system for exchanging documents
E-Curia is an application that allows parties and participants to proceedings before the Court of Justice and the General Court to exchange procedural documents in a secured manner. Available in all official languages, e-Curia is used by all Member States and by more than 3 000 lawyers and agents.
Court of Justice of the European Union – Registry of the Court of Justice
67. Protecting intellectual property rights in the EU
The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) offers protection of intellectual property rights in 28 EU countries. Every year, over 120 000 EU trademarks are registered. EUIPO develops “smart data”, which is then used to support the decision-making process, increase internal efficiency and improve the services provided to customers and citizens.
European Union Intellectual Property Office – Corporate Governance Service
68. Photo competition: Putting citizens’ stories in the spotlight
The European Environment Agency organised the photo competition “My City” to raise awareness of environmental issues linked to cities and the positive role the EU plays in this area. They received more than 1 100 entries from 36 countries and 3 000 people voted online for their favourite photos.
European Environment Agency – Communications Programme
69. Knowledge sharing through “Connected Commission” platform
The Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) developed the digital “Connected Commission” platform to facilitate information and knowledge sharing, break down information silos and promote cross-Commission collaboration. 19 000 colleagues in the Commission use the system and benefit from the networking and knowledge sharing.
European Commission – DG JRC – Connected Commission and project team members from DGs JRC, Communications Networks, Content and Technology, Human Resources and Security, Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Informatics and Secretariat-General
70. Making trademark applications faster and easier
The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) created the customer services department in order to place more focus on its trademark applicants and guide them on filing more successfully. Through its pre-clearance services, the department enables applicants to submit and access documents with a single click, receive quicker responses to their queries and requests, access EUIPO examiners more easily and have their complaints handled more swiftly.
European Union Intellectual Property Office - Customer Service Department
71. Smart Specialisation Platform
The Commission has established the Smart Specialisation Platform to improve EU investment for innovation and economic growth. The Platform is a team of researchers based at the Joint Research Centre (JRC) in Seville. Using more than 120 participatory events and 20 mutual learning workshops, the team has brought together local, national and European stakeholders to jointly discuss their development priorities.
European Commission – DG JRC – Smart Specialisation Platform (Territorial Development Unit)
72. The Woman Innovators Prize
The Prizes Team in DG Research and Innovation (RTD) develops and manages the EU Prize for Women Innovators and the European Capital of Innovation Award – iCapital. The Women Innovators Prize aims to raise awareness of the need for more innovation and more (including younger) women entrepreneurs, and to recognise the successes of innovative women.
European Commission – DG RTD – Unit B1, Prize Team
73. Futurium: involving citizens in policy-making
Futurium provides every government with an open policy-making model based on bottom-up participation and scientific evidence. Futurium makes the concepts typically used in policy-making, such as visions and policy ideas, understandable by citizens so they can easily participate in policy-making.
European Commission – DG Communications Networks, Content and Technology – Unit R3 Knowledge Management and Support Systems
74. Simplified trademark and intellectual property right search
This application, developed by the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), is accessible from web browsers, mobiles and tablets, and allows users to find similar looking trademarks and other intellectual property rights. It can also be used in the fight against counterfeit goods.
European Union Intellectual Property Office – Digital Transformation Department
75. An instrument to support small businesses
The SME Instrument is the major funding scheme of the EU to support innovative SMEs. For small business time is money. Therefore, trough continued improvement of their process, their team reduced grant signature times for Phase 1 grants from 8 months to 3 months, developed an official twitter channel to answer questions real time, and developed quickly acting one-point of contact "company officers" to follow-up each company personally.
European Commission – European Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises – Unit A2 – SME Instrument
76. A practical guide for developing national qualifications frameworks
The European Training Foundation (ETF) created a 5-step toolkit to help countries across Europe understand and compare qualifications and make them more easily readable. The ETF’s 29 partner countries are implementing, developing or planning national qualifications frameworks (NQFs) based on the European Qualifications Framework (EQF).
European Training Foundation
77. Design Europa Awards
The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) launched the Design Europa award to raise awareness and understanding of the importance of design as an engine for innovation and growth; spread knowledge among Small and Medium- sized Enterprises (SMEs) and designers on existing design protection systems; and reward and recognise successful design management in the industry.
European Union Intellectual Property Office - Communication Service
78. Measuring the value of the EU in transport projects
The Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) created a new performance- based tool that measures the added value of EU-funded projects in the field of transport infrastructure. The tool uses a bottom-up approach: data come directly from the field (beneficiaries) at every stage of the project cycle. INEA analyses that data, measures the impact and publishes the impact/expected results of projects selected for funding on its website.
Innovation and Networks Executive Agency
79. A fast and cost effective route to intellectual property protection
The EU Trademark (EUTM) and the Registered Community Design (RCD) offer intellectual property (IP) protection in all 28 EU Member States, via a single online application, in a single language, and a single payment. Companies can now get significantly wider protection, cut costs and save time by applying in one place instead of in 28.
European Union Intellectual Property Office - Operational Department
80. Fighting counterfeiting and piracy
The Observatory on infringements of intellectual property rights, within the EU’s Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), has developed a unique network with participants from the public and private sectors to fight against counterfeiting and piracy. The aim is to prevent damage to the economy and the job markets as well as to protect citizens’ health and safety.
European Union Intellectual Property Office – European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights - Observatory team
81. Bringing the EU administration closer to citizens
In order to streamline the EU’s rules on administrative law, the European Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) drafted a proposal for a regulation on an administrative law procedure for the EU institutions, under the supervision of specialised academics. The EP’s plenary overwhelmingly supported the draft regulation in June 2016. It is now up to the Commission to reply.
European Parliament – DG for Internal Policies of the EU – Secretariat of the Committee on Legal Affairs
82. Helping companies and individuals secure their intellectual property rights
Over the past five years, 27 intellectual property (IP) offices across the EU, along with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), have been cooperating through the European Trade Mark and Design Network. Online services, open IP databases and specialised search tools have been rolled out across the EU. The aim: to make it easier, quicker and more efficient for all companies and individuals to secure their IP rights.
European Union Intellectual Property Office – International Cooperation and Legal Affairs Department
83. Improved communication through stakeholder surveys
In order to improve its communication strategy, the EU Agency for Railways (ERA) conducts large stakeholder surveys, including EU institutions, different actors within the railway industry and the general public. These survey help effective engagement with stakeholders, improve ERA’s online presence; and tell the story behind ERA.
European Union Agency for Railways
84. Open science at the European Food Safety Authority
Scientific panels of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) are responsible for most of the scientific advice EFSA produces. Since 2014, EFSA has run the “Open Plenaries” project, giving citizens and stakeholders the chance to take part in the meetings. There are plans to hold a live video streaming of all EFSA’s open expert meetings in 2017.
European Food Safety Authority – Transparency and Engagement in Risk Assessment
85. Database on toxicity of chemicals contained in food
The EU Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) database “OpenFoodTox” provides detailed information about the toxicity of over 4 400 chemicals in the food and feed chain. It took five years to compile all available scientific information and to bring it together in this database. The result is increased transparency on EFSA’s risk assessments and data that are opened up for research.
European Food Safety Authority – Scientific Committee & Emerging Risks Unit, Evidence Management Unit
86. Making EU communication open and accessible
The European Committee of the Regions (CoR), developed two Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) to help regional and local authorities navigate their way through the EU’s complex institutional set-up and decision-making process. They reached out to over 15 000 participants from more than 100 countries.
European Committee of the Regions – Directorate for Communication
87. Beehive project: Helping to safeguard Brussels’ biodiversity
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) regularly calls for biodiversity in its policy recommendations. It runs a bee-keeping project in Brussels, which confirms its commitment to a sustainable urban environment and highlights the global importance of protecting bees. The two beehives are located on the EESC’s rooftop.
European Economic and Social Committee – Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment Unit
88. Efficient recruitment of contract agents
The EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), based in Alicante, recently started to recruit new contract agents via specific EPSO lists. As many candidates were either unwilling to move to Spain or not suited for the job profiles, EUIPO started – in close cooperation with EPSO – a call for expressions to set up a new database of candidates, making the selection process much more efficient.
European Union Intellectual Property Office - Human Resources
89. Bringing Europol to citizens’ attention
Europol is using innovative techniques to explain its law enforcement work to citizens. Among the methods it used in 2016 was an advent calendar highlighting the EU’s most wanted fugitives and an infographic outlining the role of the newly established European Counter Terrorism Centre. Towards the end of the year, Europol also re-launched its website with a more modern and user-friendly design.
Europol – Corporate Communications – Corporate Affairs Bureau
90. Working together towards a sustainable environment
The EU Joint Research Centre (JRC) in Ispra, Italy, covering an area of 167 hectares and with 138 heated buildings, achieved a series of environmental goals through working with local authorities. The result has been a yearly reduction in the Centre’s environmental footprint and an increase in trust between the JRC and citizens.
European Commission – DG JRC – R.I. Safety, Security & Site Management, Ispra