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Kwistjonijiet istituzzjonali, politiċi u oħrajn

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Closing note on the Strategic Initiative with the European Commission to improve the Transparency Register (SI/7/2016/KR)

Il-Ħamis | 27 Ġunju 2019

The Transparency Register was set up by the European Commission and Parliament in 2011 to allow the public to monitor the activities of interest representatives (or “lobbyists”) who seek to influence the formulation and implementation of EU legislation and policy. Overall, the Register has been successful and while there are gaps, it is improving over time.

In 2016, the Commission organised a public consultation on several proposed reforms aimed at improving the Transparency Register.

In this context, the Ombudsman opened a ‘strategic initiative’, to contribute to this important debate and to monitor developments by writing to the Commission on the issue.

In January 2018, inter-institutional negotiations began between the Parliament, the Council of the EU and the Commission on the Commission’s proposal to revise and improve the Transparency Register. These negotiations have not yet led to a successful outcome.

The Ombudsman encourages the incoming Parliament, the Council and the incoming Commission to renew their efforts to improve the Transparency Register given the importance of this matter for public trust in the EU.

Deċiżjoni tal-Ombudsman Ewropea fl-inkjesta strateġika tagħha OI/4/2016/EA dwar kif il-Kummissjoni Ewropea tittratta l-persuni b’diżabilità skont ir-Reġim Komuni tal-Asigurazzjoni tal-Mard għall-persunal tal-UE

Il-Ħamis | 04 April 2019

Fl-2015, Kumitat tan-NU sab li r-reġim tal-assigurazzjoni tas-saħħa għall-membri tal-persunal tal-UE, ir-Reġim Komuni tal-Assigurazzjoni tal-Mard (RKAM), ma jikkonformax mal-Konvenzjoni tan-NU dwar id-Drittijiet ta’ Persuni b’Diżabilità (UNCRPD). Il-kumitat irrakkomanda li l-RKAM jiġi rivedut biex joffri kopertura komprensiva għall-ħtiġijiet tas-saħħa relatati mad-diżabilità.

Wara li waslu lmenti mill-membri tal-persunal, li ltaqgħu ma’ problemi biex jiġu rimborżati l-ispejjeż mediċi tagħhom stess jew tal-membri tal-familja tagħhom, l-Ombudsman wettqet inkjesta strateġika. Sabet li n-nuqqas tal-Kummissjoni Ewropea biex tieħu xi azzjoni effettiva bi tweġiba għar-rakkomandazzjoni tal-kumitat ammonta għal amministrazzjoni ħażina. Għaldaqstant, irrakkomandat li l-Kummissjoni tirrevedi r-regoli li jirregolaw l-RKAM. Għamlet ukoll għadd ta’ suġġerimenti lill-Kummissjoni fir-rigward ta’ kif huma koperti l-ħtiġijiet ta’ persuni b’diżabilità skont l-RKAM, kif ukoll tal-ħtieġa li jitħarreġ il-persunal, u li l-partijiet interessati jiġu kkonsultati b’mod xieraq biex tiżgura li l-RKAM tirrifletti l-ħtiġijiet tal-persuni b’diżabilità.

Il-Kummissjoni wieġbet, fejn stqarret li se tirrevedi r-regoli li jirregolaw l-RKAM u se tieħu azzjoni biex issegwi l-parti l-kbira tas-suġġerimenti tal-Ombudsman.

Peress li l-Kummissjoni aċċettat ir-rakkomandazzjonijiet tagħha, l-Ombudsman tagħlaq l-inkjesta strateġika tagħha. Minħabba l-importanza tal-kwistjoni, titlob lill-Kummissjoni tirrapporta lura fi żmien sitt xhur dwar l-implimentazzjoni tar-rakkomandazzjoni. L-Ombudsman tikkonferma wkoll is-suġġeriment tagħha dwar il-ħtieġa biex il-Kummissjoni tirrevedi r-regoli tal-2004 tagħha dwar l-akkomodazzjoni tal-ħtiġijiet tal-persunal b’diżabilità.

Deċiżjoni tal-każ 747/2016/PL dwar l-użu tal-Awtorità Ewropea dwar is-Sigurtà fl-Ikel tal-Limitu tat-Tħassib Tossikoloġiku

It-Tnejn | 17 Diċembru 2018

Il-każ ikkonċerna kif l-Awtorità Ewropea dwar is-Sigurtà fl-Ikel (EFSA) tuża l-Limitu tat-Tħassib Tossikoloġiku (TTC). It-TCC huwa għodda ta’ valutazzjoni tar-riskju bbażata fuq il-prinċipju li hemm livelli ta’ esponiment li f’livelli inqas minnhom, is-sustanzi kimiċi joħolqu riskju sinifikanti għas-saħħa tal-bniedem.

Fl-2014, l-EFSA u l-Organizzazzjoni Dinjija tas-Saħħa (WHO) ospitaw sessjoni ta’ ħidma esperta biex jirrieżaminaw ix-xjenza sottostanti għall-kunċett TTC. Il-konklużjonijiet tas-sessjoni ta’ ħidma kienu soġġetti għal konsultazzjoni pubblika u ġew ippubblikati f’Marzu 2016.

L-ilmentatur, NGO, kellu dubju dwar l-użu tal-EFSA tal-kunċett TTC peress li qies li ma jirriflettix evidenza xjentifika attwali. Dan qal ukoll li bosta mill-esperti li ipparteċipaw fis-sessjoni ta’ ħidma kellhom kunflitti ta’ interess.

L-Uffiċċju tal-Ombudsman Ewropew mhuwiex korp xjentifiku u ma jistax ikollu opinjoni dwar il-merti ta’ għodda ta’ valutazzjoni tar-riskju partikolari, bħat-TTC. Abbażi tar-rieżami li sar f’dan il-każ, l-Ombudsman sabet li l-ispjegazzjonijiet tal-EFSA dwar l-użu tat-TTC huma raġonevoli.

Fir-rigward tal-esperti li ipparteċipaw fis-sessjoni ta’ ħidma, l-Ombudsman sabet li, f’dan il-każ partikolari, l-EFSA ma kinitx obbligata li teżaminahom għal kunflitti ta’ interess peress li kien raġonevoli li tiddependi mill-iskrinjar preċedeni tad-WHO ta’ dawn l-esperti.

L-Ombudsman ikkonkludiet li ma kien hemm l-ebda amministrazzjoni ħażina mill-EFSA.

Madankollu, l-Ombudsman issuġġeriet li l-EFSA taċċerta li l-esperti li jipparteċipaw fil-konferenzi jew laqgħat ma jkollhomx kunflitti ta’ interess, meta l-konferenza jew il-laqgħa — bħal dik inkwistjoni — tiġi organizzata biex tinforma proċess ta’ teħid ta’ deċiżjonijiet tal-EFSA, jew titqies bħala li tagħmel dan.

Decision in case 212/2016/JN on the European Commission’s annual reviewing of Member States’ export credit agencies

It-Tnejn | 03 Diċembru 2018

The case concerned the adequacy of the European Commission’s annual reviewing of export credit agencies — national bodies that give financial support to companies doing business in risky markets — in particular with respect to the protection of human rights and the environment.

The Ombudsman inquired into the matter and found that the Commission’s methodology and procedures could be improved. In particular, the Ombudsman recommended that the Commission should engage in a dialogue with Member States and other stakeholders with a view to improving the template used by Member States to compile the reports on export credit agencies which they are required to submit to the Commission each year. The Ombudsman also recommended that the Commission, for its part, should enhance the analysis and evaluation content of the annual reviews of export credit agencies which it submits to the European Parliament.

The Commission informed the Ombudsman that it would consult the Council, Parliament and the European External Action Service, and engage with civil society, in order to implement the Ombudsman’s recommendations. In particular, the Commission will propose to the Council Working Group on Export Credits a revised checklist template to be used by Member States for their annual reports. The Commission will also consider drawing up relevant guidance for Member States’ reporting.

As the measures announced by the Commission adequately address the Ombudsman’s recommendations, the Ombudsman closed her inquiry but asked the Commission to report back within one year.

Recommendation of the European Ombudsman in case 212/2016/JN on the European Commission’s annual reviewing of Member States’ export credit agencies

L-Erbgħa | 23 Mejju 2018

The case concerned the adequacy of the European Commission’s annual reviewing of export credit agencies - national bodies that give financial support to companies doing business in ‘risky’ markets - in particular with respect to the protection of human rights and the environment.

The Ombudsman inquired into the matter and found that the Commission’s methodology and procedures could be improved. In particular, she suggested that the Commission should engage in a dialogue with Member States and other stakeholders with a view to improving the template used by Member States in compiling the reports on export credit agencies which they are required to submit to the Commission each year. The Ombudsman also proposed that the Commission, for its part, should enhance the analysis and evaluation content of the annual reviews of export credit agencies which it submits to the European Parliament.

The Commission rejected the Ombudsman’s proposals mainly because it considers that their implementation would require an amendment to the existing legislation. The Ombudsman disagreed with the Commission’s position and has now made recommendations to the Commission in the same terms as those of her earlier proposals.  The Ombudsman believes that the Commission’s annual review, which it sends to Parliament, should amount to more than a compilation of the content of the annual reports received from the Member States and that it should contain an informed and detailed evaluation of the performance of the export credit agencies, particularly, as regards respect for human rights and the environment.