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Request for further inspection in Strategic inquiry OI/5/2016/AB: The Commission’s handling of infringement complaints under the ʹEU Pilotʹ

Mr Jean-Claude Juncker

President

European Commission

Strasbourg, 07/11/2016

Request for further inspection in Strategic inquiry OI/5/2016/AB: The Commission’s handling of infringement complaints under the ʹEU Pilotʹ

Dear Mr President,

On 12 May 2016, I opened a strategic inquiry on the Commission’s handling of infringement complaints under the ʹEU Pilotʹ. The inquiry covers the Commission’s duty to reach a timely decision under the EU Pilot, communication with complainants and information to the general public. The purpose of the inquiry is to address any possible systemic shortcomings in these areas.

On 29 June 2016, my services carried out a first inspection of documents. After a careful analysis of these documents, I have concluded that it would be useful to inspect a range of individual files, in order to get a better understanding of how the procedure works in practice.

I would therefore appreciate it if in accordance with Article 3(2) of the Statute of the European Ombudsman, you would arrange for my services to inspect the Commission's files on the following cases which had been open for more than one year at the end of 2015:

  • 7908/15/ENVI
  • 2264/11/ENVI
  • 1308/10/ENVI
  • 6448/14/JUST
  • 3884/12/JUST
  • 520/09/JLSE
  • 6591/14/JUST
  • 2031/11/MARK
  • 3896/12/TAXU
  • 5524/13/TAXUThese cases concern four policy areas (Environment, Justice and consumers, Internal market, Taxation and customs) in which a significant number of infringement complaints are submitted every year and in which the Commission has launched many EU Pilot procedures[1]. Please be assured that it is not my intention to single out any particular file but, rather, to address possible systemic issues.It would also be useful if each inspection could be preceded by a meeting in the relevant Directorate-General (DG) to exchange views on how the EU Pilot procedure functions and for my services to obtain clarifications at this early stage.I would be grateful if your services could contact Ms Alice Bossière, strategic inquiries officer, in order to agree on a convenient date for the inspection. The inspection report will be published on my website. Please note that, in accordance with Article 4(8) of the Implementing Provisions of the European Ombudsman, the Ombudsman will not disclose to the public any information that the Commission identifies as confidential during the inspection/meeting, without the prior agreement of the Commission.
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Yours sincerely,

 

[1] See for example Commission’s 33rd Annual Report on “Monitoring the application of European Union law”: http://ec.europa.eu/atwork/applying-eu-law/docs/annual_report_33/com_2016_463_en.pdf