Select Committee on European Communities Fourth Report


APPENDIX 2

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

How to complain to the European Ombudsman

(96/C 157/01)

  The European Ombudsman conducts inquiries into possible maladministration in the activities of the Community institutions and bodies, with the exception of the Court of Justice and the Court of First Instance acting in their judicial role. The Ombudsman conducts, either on his own initiative or following a complaint, inquiries for which he finds grounds.

  Any citizen of the Union or any natural or legal person residing or having its registered office in a Member State of the Union can refer a complaint to the Ombudsman. The complaint can be sent either directly to the Ombudsman or through a member of the European Parliament.

  The complaint must be about maladministration by the Community institutions or bodies.

  Maladministration means poor or failed administration, for example administrative irregularities or omissions, abuse of power, negligence, unlawful procedures, unfairness, malfunction or incompetence, discrimination, avoidable delay or lack or refusal of information.

  The Community institutions are the Parliament, the Council, the Commission, the Court of Justice and the Court of Auditors. The bodies are for example the Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions, the European Monetary Institute (future European Central Bank), the European Investment Bank and all the "decentralized" bodies of the European Communities.

  The complaint must be made within two years of the date on which the facts became known and must have been preceded by appropriate administrative steps; complaints from EC officials must have been preceded by usual internal procedures. The complaint may not concern facts already ruled on by a court or currently before a court.

  The complaint may be made by writing a simple letter to the Ombudsman in any of the 11 official languages of the Community and setting out the grounds with all the necessary documents and indicating the address and the identity of the complainant, or by using the form included (below).

  The Ombudsman examines the complaint and tries to find a friendly solution. If this attempt to conciliation fails, he informs the institution concerned and may make draft recommendations. The institution must answer the Ombudsman within three months. The Ombudsman may also send a report to the European Parliament (and to the institution concerned) including recommendations. He informs the complainant of the outcome.

Address:

European Ombudsman

1, avenue du Président Robert Schuman

BP 403

F-67001 Strasbourg Cedex

Telephone:

  (33) 88 17 23 13   The European Ombudsman, Mr Jacob SoÏderman

  (33) 88 17 23 82   Secretary General, Mr Jean-Guy Giraud

  (33) 88 17 23 98  Information Officer, Ms Ilta Helkama

(33) 88 17 23 13  Private Secretary of the Ombudsman, Ms Nathalie Christman

Fax:

(3) 88 17 90 62


TO THE EUROPEAN OMBUDSMAN

1, avenue du Président Robert Schuman

BP 403

F-67001 Strasbourg Cedex

Tel. (33) 88 17 23 13-88 17 23 83

Fax (33) 88 17 90 62

Complaint about maladministration

1. From

(name)...................................................................................................................................................

on behalf of ...........................................................................................................................................

(Address)..............................................................................................................................................

................................................................................................................................................................

(Tel./Fax)................................................................................................................................................

2. What Institution or body of the European Community is the object of your complaint?

3. What is the decision or matter about which you complain? When did it come to your attention? - Add annexes if necessary.

4. What are the grounds for your complaint? - Add annexes if necessary.

5. What previous administrative approaches have you made to the European Community institution or body concerned?

6. Has the object of your complaint been already settled by a court or is it pending before a court?

7. Do you agree that your complaint may be passed on to another authority (European or national) if the European Ombudsman rules that he is not entitled to deal with it?

Date and signature:............................................................................................................................

NB: 1. Please note that the European Ombudsman should deal with complaints in a public way but that confidential treatment may be granted.

2. Please send only copies of documents necessary to support your complaint during its preliminary examination.


 
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Prepared 29 July 1997