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Recommendation of the European Ombudsman in case 366/2017/AMF on the handling of alleged lack of equal opportunities for staff at the European Investment Bank and the functioning of its whistleblowing procedure

Made in accordance with Article 3(6) of the Statute of the European Ombudsman[1]

The case concerns the reporting, by a staff member of the European Investment Bank (EIB), of alleged gender discrimination at the EIB, particularly at management level. The report was made under the EIB´s internal whistleblowing policy[2].

On the basis of the inquiry into this complaint, the Ombudsman makes the following recommendations to the European Investment Bank:

The EIB should reply to the complainant in a comprehensive fashion regarding the facts and figures cited in her whistleblower report and which, she argues, support her claim of gender inequality within the EIB.  In its reply the EIB should also address the general issue of gender balance, taking into account the public statements made by its President and its new diversity and inclusion strategy. The EIB should provide the complainant with a copy of its Diversity Policy and outline the actions it has been taking, and intends to take in the future, in order to achieve gender balance within the institution. This comprehensive reply should be sent to the complainant within two months of this Recommendation and, at the same time, a copy of the reply (and of the Diversity Policy) should be sent to the Ombudsman.


Emily O'Reilly

European Ombudsman

Strasbourg, 12/04/2018


[1] Decision of the European Parliament of 9 March 1994 on the regulations and general conditions governing the performance of the Ombudsman's duties (94/262/ECSC, EC, Euratom), OJ 1994 L 113, p. 15.