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

Četrtek | 27 junij 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.

Odločba evropske varuhinje človekovih pravic v strateški preiskavi OI/4/2016/EA o tem, kako Evropska komisija obravnava invalide na podlagi skupnega sistema zdravstvenega zavarovanja uslužbencev EU

Četrtek | 04 april 2019

Leta 2015 je odbor ZN ugotovil, da sistem zdravstvenega zavarovanja uslužbencev EU – skupni sistem zdravstvenega zavarovanja (SSZZ) – ni skladen s Konvencijo ZN o pravicah invalidov (UNCRPD). Odbor je priporočil spremembo SSZZ, da bi zagotavljal celovito kritje zdravstvenih potreb, povezanih z invalidnostjo.

Po tem, ko je varuhinja človekovih pravic prejela pritožbe uslužbencev, ki so imeli težave pri uveljavljanju polnega kritja svojih zdravstvenih stroškov ali zdravstvenih stroškov svojih družinskih članov, je izvedla strateško preiskavo. Ugotovila je, da je Evropska komisija s tem, ko ni učinkovito ukrepala na podlagi priporočila odbora, zagrešila nepravilnost. Zato je priporočila, da Komisija spremeni pravila, ki urejajo SSZZ. Komisiji je dala tudi več predlogov o tem, kako naj bodo potrebe invalidov pokrite po SSZZ, ter glede potrebe po usposabljanju osebja in ustreznem posvetovanju z deležniki, da bo SSZZ izražal potrebe invalidov.

Komisija je v odgovoru navedla, da bo spremenila pravila, ki urejajo SSZZ, in ukrepala skladno z večino predlogov varuhinje človekovih pravic.

Ker je Komisija sprejela njeno priporočilo, je varuhinja človekovih pravic zaključila strateško preiskavo. Zaradi pomembnosti vprašanja je Komisiji naročila, naj ji poroča v šestih mesecih od izvršitve priporočila. Varuhinja človekovih pravic potrjuje tudi priporočilo, da mora Komisija ponovno pregledati svoja pravila iz leta 2004 o izpolnjevanju potreb invalidnega osebja.

Odločba v zadevi 747/2016/PL o tem, kako Evropska agencija za varnost hrane uporablja prag toksikološkega tveganja

Ponedeljek | 17 december 2018

V zadevi je bilo obravnavano vprašanje, kako Evropska agencija za varnost hrane (EFSA) uporablja prag toksikološkega tveganja (PTT). PTT je orodje za oceno tveganja, ki temelji na načelu, da če neka raven izpostavljenosti kemikalijam ni presežena, take kemikalije ne pomenijo pomembnega tveganja za zdravje ljudi.

Leta 2014 sta EFSA in Svetovna zdravstvena organizacija (SZO) gostili strokovno delavnico, na kateri so udeleženci preverjali znanstvene podlage koncepta PTT. Sklepne ugotovitve delavnice so bile predmet javnega posvetovanja in objavljene marca 2016.

Pritožnik, nevladna organizacija, je podvomil o načinu, kako EFSA uporablja koncept PTT, saj je menil, da ta ne izraža aktualnih znanstvenih spoznanj. Navedel je še, da je pri mnogih strokovnjakih, ki so se udeležili delavnice, obstajalo navzkrižje interesov.

Urad Evropskega varuha človekovih pravic ni znanstveni organ in ne more vsebinsko odločati o posameznih orodjih za oceno tveganja, kot je PTT. Na podlagi opravljenega pregleda v tej zadevi pa je evropska varuhinja človekovih pravic ugotovila, da so pojasnila agencije EFSA o uporabi PTT razumna.

Varuhinja je glede strokovnjakov, ki so se udeležili delavnice, ugotovila, da agencija EFSA v tej zadevi ni bila dolžna preverjati, ali je pri njih nasprotje interesov, saj se je lahko upravičeno zanesla na predhodno preverjanje navedenih strokovnjakov, ki ga je izvedla SZO.

Varuhinja je sklenila, da pri ravnanju agencije EFSA ni bilo nepravilnosti.

Kljub temu je agenciji predlagala, naj v prihodnje poskrbi, da pri strokovnjakih, ki sodelujejo na konferencah ali srečanjih, ne bo navzkrižja interesov, kadar se konferenca ali srečanje (kot v zadevnem primeru) organizira za zagotavljanje informacij za potrebe postopka odločanja agencije EFSA ali kadar bi bilo mogoče sklepati o takem namenu.

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

Ponedeljek | 03 december 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

Sreda | 23 maj 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.