European Ombudsman

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P. Nikiforos Diamandouros with José Martinez Aragon

The European Ombudsman is an intermediary between citizens and European authorities. He sits in Strasbourg, and is empowered to receive complaints from citizens, companies and institutions of the European Union and from any individual which legally resides in a Member State, and also to conduct an inquiry regarding these complaints.

He helps to bring out cases of bad management in the European institutions and agencies. These cases may occur when a European institution omits to do something that it should have done, or do it in a wrong way, or do something that it should not have done.

Examples:

  • Unfairness
  • Discrimination
  • Undue delay
  • Lack or refusal of information...

The European Ombudsman can make recommendations to the European institutions and report problems to the European Parliament.

The Ombudsman acts independently and impartially.

The European Ombudsman deals with disputes between European citizens and European institutions. The purpose of the institution of the European Ombudsman is to contribute to the development of democracy and to strengthen law and justice.

The function of the European Ombudsman has been established by the Treaty on European Union signed in Maastricht on February 7, 1992.

Contents

[edit] The European Ombudsmen

  • Jacob Söderman, the first European Ombudsman, elected in 1995, reelected in 1999. Term ended in 2003.
  • Since April 1st, 2003, P. Nikiforos Diamandouros is the European Ombudsman, after having been from 1998 to 2003 the first National Ombudsman of Greece.

[edit] Establishment of the Institution

The European Ombudsman is elected by European Parliament for a renewable term of five years which corresponds to the parliamentary legislative period.

[edit] The Mission of the European Ombudsman

  • He attempts to amicably settle disputes between European citizens and European institutions;
  • He ensures a network and participates to the works of the institutions regarding national mediation;
  • He can make recommendations for European reforms.

[edit] Who can appeal to the European Ombudsman

  • Citizens of the European Union
  • Foreign people residing in the European Union
  • Companies, associations and communities based in the European Union.

[edit] How to appeal to the European Ombudsman?

  • Directly, by sending to him a detailed claim
  • Through the intermediary of a Member of Parliament.

[edit] External Links

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