Montesquieu Institute: from science to society

Europese Ombudsman

Met dank overgenomen van Europa Nu.

The European Ombudsman investigates  complaints  about  poor administration  by EU institutions or other EU bodies. These may be lodged by  citizens  or  residents  of EU countries or by  EU-based  associations or busineslses.

What does the Ombudsman do?

The Ombudsman investigates different types of poor administration, for example:

  • unfair conduct
  • discrimination
  • abuse of power
  • lack of information or refusal to provide it
  • unnecessary delays
  • incorrect procedures.

How is the Ombudsman chosen?

The  European Parliament  elects the Ombudsman for a renewable  5-year term. This is one of its first tasks when newly elected.

How does the Ombudsman work?

The Ombudsman's office  launches investigations  either in response to complaints or on its own initiative. An  impartial  body, it takes no orders from any government or other organisation. It produces an annual activity report for the European Parliament.

The Ombudsman may be able to solve your problem simply by  informing the institution concerned. If more is needed, every effort is made to reach an  amicable solution  that will put matters right. Should this fail, the Ombudsman can make  recommendations  to the institution. If these are not accepted, the Ombudsman can draw up a  special report  to the European Parliament, which must then take appropriate action.

The Ombudsman and you

If you are  dissatisfied  with an EU institution, body, office or agency, you should first give it a chance to put things right. If that fails, you can complain to the Ombudsman.

You must make your complaint  within 2 years  of the date on which you became aware of the problem. Make sure you say  who  you are,  which institution or body you are complaining about, and  why. You may ask for the complaint to remain  confidential.

If the Ombudsman cannot deal with your complaint, you will  be informed of other bodies  that may be able to help.