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Decision on the European Personnel Selection Office’s (EPSO) decision not to allow a candidate in COVID-19 quarantine to reschedule a test (case 2223/2021/ABZ)

Woensdag | 18 januari 2023

The case concerned the decision of the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) not to allow a candidate, who was placed in COVID-19 quarantine, to reschedule her test in the context of a selection procedure for contract agent staff (CAST Permanent selection procedure).

The Ombudsman found that EPSO provided reasonable explanations as to why it was not able to provide an alternative testing date to the complainant. On that basis, the Ombudsman closed the inquiry with a finding that there was no maladministration by EPSO.

Decision on how the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) addressed concerns about language discrimination in a selection procedure for EU staff in the field of international cooperation (case 761/2021/PL)

Donderdag | 20 oktober 2022

The case concerned the language requirements set by the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) in a selection procedure for recruiting EU staff in the field of international cooperation. The complainant considered that these requirements discriminated against candidates whose first language is English, French, Portuguese or Spanish.

The Ombudsman found the explanations given by EPSO reasonable as to why it had chosen the language requirements, in particular, its explicit intention to prevent discrimination on the basis of language knowledge. She therefore found no maladministration in how the language requirements were set.

However, the Ombudsman understood how the complainant perceived that the language requirements placed at a disadvantage candidates with specific knowledge of a certain set of the required languages. To avoid such a perception in future selection procedures with similar specific language requirements, she therefore made a suggestion to EPSO on how it presents in the competition notice the language requirements and the rationale for choosing such requirements. 

Decision on the use of languages by the European Medicines Agency on its website (case 1096/2021/PL)

Woensdag | 22 juni 2022

The complainant was concerned that most of the information on the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) website is available in the English language only.

In the context of the inquiry, the Ombudsman reminded EMA of her recommendations on the use of official EU languages for the EU administration when communicating with the public.

EMA informed the Ombudsman that it is working on a language policy and a multilingual interface for its website.

The Ombudsman welcomed EMA’s plans to address the matter and closed the inquiry suggesting it follows up on its commitment in good time. The Ombudsman also suggested that, in the meantime, EMA seeks to make core information in all official EU languages more prominent on its website.

Decision on how the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) assessed the professional experience of a candidate in a selection procedure for EU staff in the field of international cooperation (case 270/2021/KT)

Maandag | 20 juni 2022

The case concerned how the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) assessed the complainant’s professional experience in a selection procedure for recruiting EU staff in the field of international cooperation.

The Ombudsman found nothing to suggest a manifest error in how the selection board assessed the complainant’s qualifications and, therefore, closed the inquiry with a finding of no maladministration.

Decision on how the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) assessed the professional experience of a candidate in a selection procedure for EU staff in the field of audit (case 768/2021/ABZ)

Dinsdag | 21 december 2021

The case concerned how EPSO assessed the complainant’s professional experience in a selection procedure for recruiting EU staff in the field of audit.

The Ombudsman found that the selection board had examined the replies provided in the complainant’s application and assessed it against the selection criteria. The Ombudsman did not identify a manifest error in how the selection board assessed the complainant’s application, and therefore closed the inquiry with a finding of no maladministration.