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No maladministration in case about European Parliament selection procedure

Giovedì | 10 marzo 2016

The case concerned the complainant's exclusion by the European Parliament from a selection procedure for research administrators.

The Ombudsman inquired into the issue and inspected the file held by Parliament.

On the basis of the information obtained during the inspection, the Ombudsman did not find maladministration by Parliament.

Decision in case 1409/2014/MHZ on the European Commission's failure to carry out a prior human rights impact assessment of the EU-Vietnam free trade agreement

Venerdì | 26 febbraio 2016

The case concerns whether the European Commission should have carried out a human rights impact assessment in the context of its negotiations to conclude a free trade agreement with Vietnam. The complainants believed that such an assessment was necessary, whereas the Commission’s position was that it was not necessary since a sustainability impact assessment had already been carried out in 2009 on a proposed EU/ASEAN free trade agreement, which included Vietnam.

The Ombudsman's conclusion was that the Commission's failure to carry out a specific human rights impact assessment, in relation to Vietnam, constituted maladministration. In March 2015 she recommended that the Commission should carry out such an assessment without further delay.

The Commission refused. It argued that its "non-trade policy instruments" and the human rights clauses in the partnership and cooperation agreement achieved that same purpose.

The Ombudsman did not agree and in doing so underlined the features inherent in the human rights impact assessment tool. As the Agreement has been concluded in the meantime, the Ombudsman closed the case with a critical remark.

Decision in case 1134/2015/TN on the European Commission's decision to declare ineligible certain costs incurred by a partner to an EU funded project

Giovedì | 11 febbraio 2016

The case concerned the Commission's decision to declare ineligible certain costs declared by a partner to an EU funded project. The Ombudsman inquired into the issue and found that the Commission's grounds for not accepting the costs in question were reasonable. The Ombudsman therefore closed the case with a finding of no maladministration.

Decision in case 1977/2013/MDC on the European Commission’s assessment of an infringement complaint concerning restrictions to freedom of movement within the EU internal market

Venerdì | 25 settembre 2015

The complainant in this case, a Luxembourgish citizen, was excluded from competing for a post in France on the grounds that she is not a French national. The post in question was that of a non-presiding judge who was to represent the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees at the French asylum Court. The complainant put it to the European Commission that the limiting of the post to French nationals appeared to be a breach of the provisions of EU law on the free movement of workers. When the Commission took the view that there was no infringement of EU law, the complainant contacted the Ombudsman.

The Commission took the view that an exception to the right of free movement of workers applied. This exception applies in the case of employment in the public service and is provided for in Article 45(4) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. The Commission acknowledged that a decision in this issue required a concrete assessment of the nature of the tasks and responsibilities of the non-presiding judge and it argued that it had made such an assessment. The Ombudsman noted that, as part of this assessment, the Commission had not contacted the French authorities in order to obtain further information about the post in question. The Ombudsman's initial proposal, therefore, was that the Commission should review its assessment of the infringement complaint and she suggested that the Commission should consult the French authorities. In replying to this proposal, the Commission maintained that it had sufficient information available to it when deciding the issue and that it was therefore unnecessary to contact the French authorities. Having considered its detailed reply to the proposal, the Ombudsman accepted that in this case the Commission did have sufficient information on which to base its decision. She therefore closed the inquiry with a finding of no maladministration on the part of the Commission.

Decisione nel caso 45/2015/PMC - Azioni dell'Ufficio europeo per la lotta antifrode in relazione a una segnalazione di irregolarità (whistleblowing)

Martedì | 11 agosto 2015

Il caso riguardava le azioni intraprese dall'OLAF dopo una denuncia di irregolarità presentata da un dipendente dell'Agenzia europea per la sicurezza aerea (AESA), in base alla quale la stessa AESA avrebbe manipolato un verbale di ispezione relativo alla sicurezza dell'aviazione. In seguito a una valutazione preliminare, la Mediatrice nutriva preoccupazioni riguardo a quella che appariva come una decisione, da parte dell'OLAF, di respingere il caso e reinvestire della questione l'AESA, malgrado il denunciante avesse scelto intenzionalmente di presentare la denuncia all'OLAF e non all'AESA. La Mediatrice ha stabilito in via preliminare che una tale decisione avrebbe potuto incidere negativamente sull'efficacia generale delle disposizioni in materia di whistleblowing e ha deciso pertanto di svolgere un'indagine al riguardo.

In seguito a un'ispezione condotta sugli archivi dell'OLAF, la Mediatrice ha appurato che l'OLAF aveva considerato correttamente se fosse il caso di aprire un'indagine. È inoltre emerso che l'OLAF in realtà non aveva chiuso il caso, ma aveva chiesto all'AESA di esaminare la questione e di riferire sui risultati della sua indagine. Inoltre, l'OLAF si era riservato il diritto di avviare un'inchiesta formale in una fase successiva. Alla luce di questi fatti, la Mediatrice ha appurato che l'OLAF aveva gestito correttamente la segnalazione di illecito presentata dal denunciante. La Mediatrice ha osservato che l'OLAF avrebbe dovuto comunicare in modo più esplicito al denunciante che il rinvio della questione all'AESA non significava che l'OLAF non avrebbe intrapreso ulteriori azioni al riguardo. La Mediatrice ha formulato un'ulteriore osservazione in proposito.

Decision of the European Ombudsman closing the inquiry into complaint 995/2011/KM against the European Commission

Martedì | 30 giugno 2015

The case concerned an infringement complaint submitted to the European Commission in relation to the alleged failure of Germany to implement properly certain provisions of the ePrivacy directive. The complainant turned to the European Ombudsman alleging that the Commission had failed to explain properly the reasons for not commencing an investigation. The Ombudsman inquired into the matter and found that the Commission subsequently provided an adequate explanation in relation to some of the issues raised by the complainant. As regards the issues in relation to which the Commission did not provide an adequate explanation, the Ombudsman closed the case with a critical remark.

Decision of the European Ombudsman closing the inquiry into complaint 400/2014/DK against the European Commission

Lunedì | 08 giugno 2015

The case concerned the European Commission's alleged failure to inform the complainant about the priority status of his State aid complaint.

The Ombudsman inquired into the issue. In the course of her inquiry, the Commission informed the complainant that his complaint was not treated as a priority case. However, the Commission did not explain the reasons for its decision. The Ombudsman therefore closed the complaint with a critical remark concerning the Commission's failure to inform the complainant about why it had given a low priority status to his state aid complaint.

Decision of the European Ombudsman closing the inquiry into complaint 415/2014/FOR against the European Parliament

Lunedì | 01 giugno 2015

The complainant is a temporary agent with the European Parliament. She fell ill while on annual leave. The case concerned Parliament's refusal to convert the complainant's annual leave into sick leave. The Ombudsman inquired into the issue and found no maladministration as the complainant was required to provide a current address at the time, or soon after, she submitted her medical certificate for the sick leave. That requirement was not met.