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The work of the European Ombudsman has helped make the institutions, bodies, and agencies of the European Union more transparent, accountable, and ethical. Some positive changes are enacted quickly following an Ombudsman inquiry, while others emerge gradually as the EU administration adjusts to new norms of good administration.


Engaged collaboration with the EU institutions, as well as pressure on the EU administration from complainants, media, civil society, Members of the European Parliament, and EU courts also help to achieve positive results.

Some positive changes achieved in key areas of Ombudsman inquiries over recent years

EU Citizens have a democratic right to take part in the decision-making process and to hold those responsible for decisions to account.

The Ombudsman's work helps ensure the EU administration listens to the public and is as transparent as possible.


Eurogroup meetings are summarised in more detail and publically available documents can be found online in a single place.

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The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control has made it easier to follow the evolution of its scientific advice and to see the data underlying its assessments.

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Negotiating mandates for EU trade deals are now made public and transparency is a core pillar of EU trade policy.

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Citizens expect lobbying to be fair and transparent and public institutions to have high ethical standards.

The Ombudsman's work has played a pivotal role in improving ethics rules in the EU administration.


The Code of Conduct for Commissioners has been strengthened, with extended notification periods for post-term employment and improved financial interest declarations.

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Expert group meeting minutes are now made public.

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There is increased awareness around 'revolving doors' and the Commission publishes an annual list of senior staff moving to organisations that may lobby the EU administration.

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Timely access to documents enables citizens to scrutinise the decision-making process and hold the EU administration to account.

The Ombudsman's work facilitates access to EU documents and promotes open governance.


The European Medicines Agency now grants access to documents concerning clinical trials.

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The European Commission publicly discloses commissioners’ travel expenses.

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The European Ombudsman has produced guidelines for the EU administration on documenting work-related text and instant messages.

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Legislative transparency improves public trust and enables EU citizens to follow the decision-making process.

The Ombudsman's work helps ensure citizens have access to the crucial information they need to hold their elected representatives accountable.


Trilogue calendars and agendas are now published in advance with lead negotiators named.

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The Council of the European Union publishes reports on negotiations concerning draft laws and its mandate for legislative negotiations with the European Parliament.

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The EU administration has a duty to uphold the human rights enshrined in the European Treaties and Charter of Fundamental Rights.

The Ombudsman's work helps ensure respect for fundamental rights in the EU and beyond.


Frontex has set up a complaints mechanism for allegations of fundamental rights breaches.

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Trainees in the European External Action Service Delegations now receive an allowance to cover expenses and cost of living.

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The European Commission has taken steps to improve its website and online tools for persons with disabilities.

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