How can the Ombudsman help?
The European Ombudsman investigates complaints from individuals, businesses and organisations about maladministration by the institutions, bodies and agencies of the European Union. Maladministration occurs if an institution or body fails to act in accordance with the law or the principles of good administration, or violates human rights.
Maladministration can include administrative irregularities, unfairness, discrimination or the abuse of power, for example in the managing of EU funds, procurement or recruitment policies. It also includes the failure to reply, or the refusal or unnecessary delay in granting access to information in the public interest. Complainants do not have to have been affected by the issue(s) complained about.
The European Ombudsman cannot investigate complaints against national, regional or local administrations in the Member States, even when the complaints are about EU matters. A complaint must be made within two years of the date when the person affected became aware of the facts. The complainant must first have contacted and tried to resolve the matter with the institution in question. The Ombudsman cannot investigate matters that are subject to legal proceedings.