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Rādīt 1 - 20 no 620 rezultātiem

Decision in case 2110/2018/DDJ on the European Commission’s decision to recover money from a company in an EU-financed project

Pirmdiena | 17 maijs 2021

The complainant participated in an EU-funded project on cross-border e-health services and received money from the European Commission. An external audit found that almost all of the staff costs claimed by the complainant were ineligible. The Commission therefore decided to recover the money paid.

The Ombudsman opened an inquiry and found that the Commission was right concerning the major part of its claim. However, regarding a substantial part of the claim, the auditors had imposed a standard of proof in relation to the staff costs that was much more demanding than that provided for in the applicable rules.

The Ombudsman therefore proposed a solution that the Commission should consider waiving its reimbursement claim regarding those staff costs.

The Commission did not agree to the proposed solution. The Ombudsman closed the inquiry by concluding that further inquiries would not result in a more satisfactory outcome.

Decision in case 380/2020/VB on alleged irregularities in the selection procedure for the European prosecutor of one EU Member State

Trešdiena | 28 aprīlis 2021

The case concerned the selection procedure for appointing a European prosecutor, part of the ‘College’ of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO). The complainant is an unsuccessful candidate, who considered that there were irregularities in the selection procedure and the ad hoc ‘selection panel’s’ opinion to exclude his candidature for the position. In addition, the complainant did not receive a reply to concerns he raised.

In the course of the inquiry, the Ombudsman’s inquiry team took the view that there was a lack of clarity around possible review procedures and made a proposal for a solution and a suggestion for improvement to the Council of the EU. The Council rejected the proposals.

The selection procedure for the posts of European prosecutors lacks any mechanism providing for acts or omissions of the selection panel to be reviewed. There is clearly an accountability vacuum and the Council has missed an opportunity to enhance public trust in and the legitimacy of the selection procedure for these important posts. The solution proposal and suggestion for improvement would have helped address these shortcomings.

As the selection panel is not an EU body, which can be subject to an inquiry of the Ombudsman, and both the Council and Commission have refused to take responsibility for the actions of the panel, the Ombudsman considers that no further inquiries are justified and closes the case.

Decision in case 1026/2020/MAS concerning the failure by the European Commission to finalise an updated 'sustainability impact assessment' before concluding the EU-Mercosur trade negotiations

Trešdiena | 17 marts 2021

The case concerned the European Commission’s failure to finalise a ‘sustainability impact assessment’ (SIA) before concluding the negotiations on a trade agreement between the EU and Mercosur, a South American trade bloc.

The complainants contended that, by not finalising the assessment, the Commission disregarded its own guidelines on SIAs and breached EU law. The Commission acknowledged that, in general, it would be preferable for SIAs to be finalised before the conclusion of trade negotiations, but argued that there is no legal requirement to do so.

The Ombudsman took the view that, while it was impossible to foresee the dynamics of the negotiations, the SIA in this case has taken much longer to finalise than anticipated. Specifically, the Commission should have ensured that the SIA was finalised before the conclusion of the EU-Mercosur trade negotiations.

The Ombudsman found that the Commission’s failure to ensure that the SIA was finalised in good time constituted maladministration. Considering that the negotiations have been concluded and that the Commission appears set to finalise the SIA process imminently, she takes the view that it would serve no purpose to make a recommendation. However, she urges the Commission to ensure that, in the future, SIAs are completed prior to the conclusion of trade negotiations.