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Decision on how the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) dealt with a Horizon 2020 funding proposal for the Enhanced European Innovation Council Accelerator Pilot (case 2097/2021/FA)

Sexta-Feira | 15 julho 2022

The case concerned how the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) dealt with a proposal for funding under the Enhanced European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator Pilot.

The complainant took issue with how EASME evaluated its proposal as well as with the lack of information received on the evaluation and possibilities for review. The complainant was also concerned with the delay by EASME in replying to his request that it review its decision.  

In the course of the inquiry, the European Innovation Council and SME Executive Agency (EISMEA), which succeeded and replaced EASME, explained why there was a delay in the review procedure. The Ombudsman considered that the explanation was reasonable. The Ombudsman also found that EASME had provided sufficient information to the complainant on the evaluation and possibilities for review. Nevertheless, the Ombudsman found that the feedback provided by EASME to the complainant was not sufficient, and did not allow a meaningful review of the evaluation of the proposal. The Ombudsman noted that, in the context of the new EIC Accelerator programme, EISMEA appears to provide more detailed feedback to applicants on the evaluation of their proposals.

The Ombudsman thus considered that no further inquiries were justified in this case and closed the inquiry.

Decision in case 163/2020/NH on the failure by the European External Action Service (EEAS) to reply to correspondence concerning alleged irregularities in a disciplinary investigation in an EU civilian mission

Sexta-Feira | 04 junho 2021

The case concerned the failure by the European External Action Service (EEAS) to reply to a letter concerning a disciplinary investigation that had taken place in 2017 in an EU civilian mission.

The Ombudsman found that the EEAS had repeatedly failed to reply to the complainant’s letters. Even if the EEAS considered that it could not reply on the substance, due to ongoing legal proceedings, it should have replied and explained this to the complainant. The failure to do so was maladministration.

Since, in the context of the inquiry, the EEAS explained why it believes it cannot give a substantive reply to the complainant, the Ombudsman did not make a recommendation to this end. She trusts, however, that the EEAS will take this finding on board going forward.

Decision in case 1498/2019/NH on the European Parliament not sending its reply to an access to documents request by e-mail

Quinta-Feira | 28 maio 2020

The case concerned the refusal by the European Parliament to send a decision refusing public access to documents by e-mail.

The Ombudsman found that Parliament’s reply to the complainant was reasonable in the given context, as the complainant had already received the decision by registered post.

The Ombudsman closed the inquiry with the conclusion that there had been no maladministration by Parliament in this case.

Decision in case 642/2018/TM on the European Commission’s refusal to reimburse certain medical expenses to a staff member

Quarta-Feira | 23 maio 2018

The case concerned how the European Commission dealt with a claim for the reimbursement of medical expenses from a staff member. The Commission refused to reimburse certain expenses claimed under its health insurance scheme by the staff member, even after he made an official administrative complaint, as provided for under the EU’s Staff Regulations.

The Ombudsman’s inquiry into the matter did not reveal any maladministration by the Commission.