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Special reports

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Special Report of the European Ombudsman in strategic inquiry OI/2/2017/TE on the transparency of the Council legislative process

Wednesday | 16 May 2018

Following her inquiry into the transparency of legislative discussions in the preparatory bodies of the Council of the EU (the ‘Council’), the Ombudsman, Emily O’Reilly, is sending this special report to the European Parliament to seek its support on the matter.

In order for European citizens properly to exercise their democratic right to participate in the EU’s decision-making process, and hold those involved to account, legislative deliberations must be sufficiently transparent.

In order also for citizens to be able to hold their governments to account for the decisions they make on EU laws, they need to know how their governments positioned themselves during the legislative process. Making such information public would also oblige Member State governments to assume greater responsibility for this legislation and discourage them from ‘blaming Brussels’ for EU laws they themselves helped to shape and adopt.

The Ombudsman opened this strategic inquiry in March 2017. She put specific questions to the Council, launched a public consultation, and inspected legislative files of the Council.

The Ombudsman found that the Council’s current practices constitute maladministration. In particular, she criticised the Council’s failure to record systematically the identity of Member States taking positions in preparatory bodies, and the widespread practice of restricting access to legislative documents while the decision-making process is ongoing (the so-called ‘LIMITE’ marking).

On 9 February 2018, the Ombudsman made three specific recommendations and several suggestions to the Council on how to improve the transparency of its legislative process.

The Council did not reply to her recommendations and suggestions within the legally-prescribed timeline of three months.

Given the importance of the issue of legislative transparency, the Ombudsman considers it appropriate to bring the matter to the attention of the European Parliament, so as to seek its support in prevailing upon the Council to act on her recommendations and suggestions.

Special Report of the European Ombudsman in own-initiative inquiry OI/5/2012/BEH-MHZ concerning Frontex

Thursday | 07 November 2013

Summary Frontex[1] has rejected a recommendation made by the European Ombudsman following an investigation of its compliance with human rights standards and, in particular, with the requirements of the EU's Charter of Fundamental Rights. The Ombudsman, Emily O'Reilly, is sending this special report to the European Parliament seeking its support on the matter. Dealing with immigration, and in parti...

Special Report from the European Ombudsman to the European Parliament following the own-initiative inquiry into the existence and the public accessibility, in the different Community institutions and bodies, of a Code of Good Administrative Behaviour (OI/1/98/OV)

Wednesday | 11 November 1998

(made in accordance with Art. 3 (7) of the Statute of the European Ombudsman) Summary This Special Report concerns the European Ombudsman's own initiative inquiry into the existence and the public accessibility, in the different Community institutions and bodies, of a Code of good administrative behaviour. The inquiry was launched in November 1998. In July and September 1999, the Ombudsman made dr...

Special Report from the European Ombudsman to the European Parliament following the draft recommendation to the European Commission in complaint 713/98/IJH

Thursday | 30 July 1998

(made in accordance with Art. 3 (7) of the Statute of the European Ombudsman[1]) The complaint The complainant, Mr R., is Director of the Bavarian Lager Company Ltd., which imports German beer into the United Kingdom. He found difficulty in selling his product because of exclusive purchasing agreements, which require many pubs in the UK to obtain their supplies of beer from particular UK breweries...