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Europeiska beslut ombudsmannens beslut i sin strategiska undersökning OI/4/2016/EA om Europeiska kommissionens behandling av personer med funktionsnedsättning inom ramen för det gemensamma sjukförsäkringssystemet för EU-anställda

Onsdag | 10 april 2019

Under 2015 konstaterade en FN-kommitté att sjukförsäkringssystemet för EU-anställda, det gemensamma sjukförsäkringssystemet (nedan kallat sjukförsäkringssystemet), inte var förenligt med FN-konventionen om rättigheter för personer med funktionsnedsättning. Kommittén rekommenderade en översyn av sjukförsäkringssystemet för att tillhandahålla en omfattande täckning av vårdbehov vad gäller funktionsnedsättning.

Efter att ha mottagit klagomål från anställda som fått problem med att få full ersättning för sina egna eller familjemedlemmars sjukvårdskostnader genomförde ombudsmannen en strategisk undersökning. I undersökningen konstaterade ombudsmannen att Europeiska kommissionens underlåtenhet att vidta effektiva åtgärder som svar på kommitténs rekommendationer var ett administrativt missförhållande. Hon rekommenderade därför att kommissionen gör en översyn av de bestämmelser som reglerar sjukförsäkringssystemet. Hon lade även fram ett antal förslag för kommissionen om hur behoven hos personer med funktionsnedsättning omfattas av sjukförsäkringssystemet samt behovet av att utbilda de anställda och samråda med berörda parter på ett korrekt sätt för att säkerställa att sjukförsäkringssystemet återspeglar behoven hos personer med funktionsnedsättning.

Kommissionen svarade att den kommer att se över de bestämmelser som reglerar sjukförsäkringssystemet och vidta åtgärder för att följa upp de flesta av ombudsmannens förslag.

Eftersom kommissionen har godtagit rekommendationerna avslutar ombudsmannen den strategiska undersökningen. Med tanke på ärendets betydelse ber hon kommissionen att inom sex månader återkomma om genomförandet av rekommendationerna. Ombudsmannen bekräftar även sitt förslag om att kommissionen ska se över sina regler från 2004 om tillgodoseende av behov hos anställda med funktionsnedsättning.

Decision in case 1455/2015/JAP on the conditions at a test centre for a selection competition organised by the European Personnel Selection Office

Tisdag | 07 november 2017

The case concerned the European Personnel Selection Office’s (EPSO) handling of a complaint about the conditions at a test centre for a selection competition for EU civil servants. The complainant had been assigned a computer beside the entrance door, and claimed the disruption caused by people entering and leaving the room negatively affected her performance. Her attempts to have her concerns dealt with by staff at the test centre were unsuccessful and she subsequently complained to EPSO. Dissatisfied with how EPSO dealt with her complaint, she then turned to the Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman inquired into the issue and requested that EPSO look into the complaint more thoroughly. The Ombudsman’s inquiry team also met with representatives from EPSO and the contractor responsible for managing the tests, and visited a test centre at EPSO’s headquarters. The Ombudsman concluded that, overall, further inquiries in this case were not justified; however, she made a number of suggestions for improvement to EPSO.

Decision in case 969/2016/JN on the rejection by the European Union Advisory Mission Ukraine of the complainant’s application in a selection procedure

Fredag | 13 januari 2017

The case concerned the rejection by the European Union Advisory Mission Ukraine (EUAM) of the complainant’s application in a selection procedure. The Ombudsman inquired into the issue and found that there was no maladministration as regards the rejection of the application. The Ombudsman further found that a one-level administrative review mechanism is sufficient. Finally, the Ombudsman was pleased to be informed that the European External Action Service has now decided to amend the message it sends to rejected candidates in order to include information on available remedies.

Decision of the European Ombudsman closing the inquiry into complaint 52/2014/EIS concerning the decision of the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) to have due regard to the force majeure principle in open competitions

Torsdag | 17 november 2016

The complainant, who works for the Court of Justice of the European Union on a temporary contract, applied for an EPSO competition to recruit conference interpreters. The Notice of Competition stated that completed applications had to be submitted by 6 August 2013 at noon. The complainant missed the deadline. On 7 August 2013, she informed EPSO that she had been hospitalised from 5 to 6 August 2013 and therefore had not been able to complete her application on time. On 7 August 2013, she requested EPSO to extend the deadline. EPSO refused. Its main reason for refusing was, it stated, that it must treat all applicants equally.

The Ombudsman inquired into the issue and made the preliminary finding that EPSO had failed to consider whether the complainant’s circumstances amounted to a situation of force majeure. She thus recommended that EPSO (i) acknowledge that there are situations where, because of force majeure, it is fair and proper that candidates should be given a new deadline; (ii) clarify the circumstances in which such a new deadline should be set; and (iii) inform candidates accordingly. EPSO initially rejected the Ombudsman's recommendations and argued that it would be difficult to draw a line between different justifications put forward by candidates and to set out how candidates would prove that force majeure had occurred. It added that allowing candidates to invoke force majeure would jeopardise both the smooth running of open competitions and the equal treatment of candidates. It also referred to statistics which, it argued, proved that dealing with all the requests for deadline extensions after the deadline has expired would be an administrative burden for EPSO.

However, following meetings between Ombudsman and EPSO staff, EPSO finally accepted the recommendations of the Ombudsman in principle. As regards the specific case of the complainant, however, the Ombudsman noted that the competition in question had ended. She also noted that the complainant had chosen not to comment on the response of EPSO to her recommendations. In view of this, the Ombudsman considered that there were no grounds for further inquiries into whether the complainant’s case met the requirements of force majeure that EPSO now, in principle, agrees to apply.