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Letter to the Commission informing it of the Ombudsman's targeted consultation in OI/8/2014/AN

Mr Jean-Claude Juncker
European Commission

Strasbourg, 18/12/2014

Own-initiative inquiry OI/8/2014/AN concerning the respect for fundamental rights in the implementation of the EU cohesion policy

Dear Mr President,

On 19 May 2014, I opened the above-mentioned own-initiative inquiry in relation to the means that the Commission has at its disposal to ensure that fundamental rights enshrined in the Charter are complied with at all stages of the implementation of the cohesion policy in the Member States.

In my opening letter, I informed the Commission that I might consider giving interested third parties the opportunity to make observations on the Commission's opinion. I hereby wish to inform you that I have invited a number of organizations to do so by 28 February 2015. Please find, in annex, the questions that I listed in this targeted consultation.

The contributions received will be forwarded to the Commission and published on my website: www.ombudsman.europa.eu.

Yours sincerely,

Emily O'Reilly

Annex: Questions listed in the targeted consultation

Questions listed in the European Ombudsman's targeted consultation concerning own-initiative inquiry OI/8/2014/AN

1. What are the main problems related to the respect of fundamental rights that occur in the implementation of the cohesion policy? What do you think are the causes of these problems?

2. Have you ever reported such problems to the European Commission?

a. If yes, was the outcome satisfactory? Please explain if this was not the case.

b. If no, why not (problem solved at national level, lack of information, etc.)

3. Does the new legislative framework of the cohesion policy contribute to addressing these problems?

a. Are the national means of redress foreseen in the legislative framework sufficient?

b. What role do you think the Commission can play in supporting national authorities to implement well-functioning redress systems? Has the Commission's ability to supervise the Member States improved?

4. Are the measures mentioned in the Commission's reply appropriate to deal with possible problems?

a. Please consider, in particular, the Commission's approach to the establishment of "effective arrangements for the examination of complaints" and the role it sees for itself in that context.

b. If the answer to this question is negative, please explain which other measures the Commission could consider under the existing legal framework.

5. If you have any comments on the topic which are not addressed by the above questions, please mention them briefly.