BETA


2017/2126(INI) Annual report on the activities of the European Ombudsman in 2016

Progress: Procedure completed

RoleCommitteeRapporteurShadows
Lead PETI MIZZI Marlene (icon: S&D S&D) WAŁĘSA Jarosław (icon: PPE PPE), MARIAS Notis (icon: ECR ECR), NART Javier (icon: ALDE ALDE), ŠOLTES Igor (icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE), EVI Eleonora (icon: EFDD EFDD), REBEGA Laurenţiu (icon: ENF ENF)
Lead committee dossier:
Legal Basis:
RoP 54

Events

2017/11/16
   EP - Results of vote in Parliament
2017/11/16
   EP - Decision by Parliament
Details

The European Parliament adopted by 501 votes to 28, with 72 abstentions, a resolution on the 2016 annual report presented by the European Ombudsman.

Members approved the report , while welcoming her efforts to improve the quality and accessibility of the Ombudsman's services as well as her collaborative and positive cooperation with the European Parliament .

In 2016, 15 797 citizens called on the Ombudsman’s services for help, of whom 12 646 were given advice through the Interactive Guide on the Ombudsman’s website, while of the remaining requests 1 271 were forwarded elsewhere for information and 1 880 were handled by the Ombudsman as complaints, of which 711 fell within and 1 169 fell outside the scope of the Ombudsman’s mandate.

Follow-up of recommendations : Members noted the reduction in the number of inquiries concerning EU institutions conducted by the Ombudsman in 2016 (245 in 2016 compared with 261 in 2015). Most of the inquiries concerned the Commission (58.8 %), followed by EU agencies (12.3 %) and Parliament (6.5 %), the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) (5.7 %), the European External Action Service (EEAS) (4.5 %).

Members noted that the Ombudsman's office has achieved the second highest rate of compliance with its decisions and/or recommendations so far. However, they urged the EU institutions, bodies, offices and agencies to respond and react within a reasonable timeframe to the critical remarks of the Ombudsman and to improve their rate of compliance with the Ombudsman’s recommendations and/or decisions.

Strategic inquiries and initiatives : in 2016, the Ombudsman’s office opened 4 new strategic inquiries on, among other subjects, possible conflicts of interest of special advisors and delays in chemical testing, and in addition it opened ten new strategic initiatives.

Parliament welcomed the Ombudsman’s strategic inquiry into how the Commission appoints and carries out conflict of interest assessments for its special advisers , who often work for private sector clients and the EU concurrently. It also supported the Ombudsman’s strategic inquiry on the Commission’s expert groups.

In 2016, most of the cases handled by the Ombudsman were closed within 12 months and that the average time needed to close an inquiry was 10 months. Parliament urged the Ombudsman to reduce the time taken to handle complaints, especially in cases still open after 12 months.

Transparency : Parliament stressed the importance of transparency-related issues and access to information and documents as the main subject matter of inquiries submitted to the Ombudsman (29.6 %), following good management of EU personnel issues (28.2 %), and culture of service (25.1 %). Other issues were also raised such as the proper use of discretion, including in infringement proceedings, sound financial management of EU grants and contracts and respect for procedural and fundamental rights.

Members stressed that maximum transparency of and access to documents held by the EU institutions must be the rule and that exceptions to this right should always be weighed against the principles of transparency and democracy.

They commended the Ombudsman’s strategic inquiry on access to documents relating to Council preparatory bodies , including its Committees, working parties and the Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER), when discussing draft EU legislative acts.

Parliament also insisted on the need:

to enable access to documents and information with regard to the EU Pilot procedures; to monitor the implementation of the Ombudsman’s recommendations for transparency in trilogues ; for full and enhanced transparency in trade agreements and negotiations; for greater transparency in the EU’s economic and financial decision-making process , in particular in the area of the banking supervision performed by the European Central Bank; fully comply with the Ombudsman’s suggestions for improving the EU Transparency Register by making it a mandatory central transparency hub for all EU institutions and agencies.

The Commission has been invited to make its work with tobacco industry lobbyists fully transparent by publishing online all meetings with lobby groups or their legal representatives.

Maladministration : noting the reports of maladministration by the Ombudsman with regard to the Code of Conduct for Commissioners , Parliament called for the application of stricter ethical standards within the EU administration with the aim of securing respect for the duty to behave with integrity and discretion and full independence from the private sector.

It also called on the Commission to guarantee proactive publication and full transparency with regard to the post-term-of-office occupation of former Commissioners , while supporting the Ombudsman's recommendations for a further revision of the Code and inviting her to publish the names of EU officials involved in revolving door cases.

Parliament welcomed the Ombudsman’s initiative to identify best practices in the EU administration and bring them to greater public attention with the Ombudsman’s Award for Good Administration .

Lastly, the resolution called on the Ombudsman to further assess the implementation of the new internal whistle-blowing rules in the EU institutions.

Documents
2017/11/16
   EP - End of procedure in Parliament
2017/11/15
   EP - Debate in Parliament
2017/10/23
   EP - Committee report tabled for plenary
Details

The Committee on Petitions adopted the own-initiative report by Marlène MIZZI (S&D, MT) on the 2016 annual report presented by the European Ombudsman, while welcoming her efforts to improve the quality and accessibility of the Ombudsman's services as well as her collaborative and positive cooperation with the European Parliament.

Follow-up of recommendations : Members noted the reduction in the number of inquiries concerning EU institutions conducted by the Ombudsman in 2016 (245 in 2016 compared with 261 in 2015). Most of the inquiries concerned the Commission (58.8 %), followed by EU agencies (12.3 %) and Parliament (6.5 %).

Members noted that the Ombudsman's office has achieved the second highest rate of compliance with its decisions and/or recommendations so far. However, they urged the EU institutions, bodies, offices and agencies to respond and react within a reasonable timeframe to the critical remarks of the Ombudsman and to improve their rate of compliance with the Ombudsman’s recommendations and/or decisions.

Strategic inquiries and initiatives : in 2016, the Ombudsman’s office opened 4 new strategic inquiries on, among other subjects, possible conflicts of interest of special advisors and delays in chemical testing, and in addition it opened ten new strategic initiatives.

Members acknowledged the role of strategic inquiries and initiatives, and support those conducted by the Ombudsman pursuing strategically important topics on her own initiative.

The report welcomed the Ombudsman’s strategic inquiry into how the Commission carries out conflict of interest assessments for its special advisers and supported the strategic inquiry on the Commission’s expert groups.

In 2016, most of the cases handled by the Ombudsman were closed within 12 months. The Ombudsman is however urged to reduce the time taken to handle complaints.

Transparency : the report stressed the importance of transparency-related issues and access to information and documents as the main subject matter of inquiries submitted to the Ombudsman (29.6 %), following good management of EU personnel issues (28.2 %), and culture of service (25.1 %). Other issues were also raised such as the proper use of discretion, including in infringement proceedings, sound financial management of EU grants and contracts and respect for procedural and fundamental rights.

The report stressed that maximum transparency of and access to documents held by the EU institutions must be the rule and that exceptions to this right should always be weighed against the principles of transparency and democracy. It called on the Commission to improve transparency and access to documents and information with regard to the EU Pilot procedures in relation to petitions received.

Members also insisted on the need:

to monitor the implementation of the Ombudsman’s recommendations for transparency in trilogues ; for full and enhanced transparency in trade agreements and negotiations; to improve transparency on the part of all EU institutions in the Brexit negotiations; for greater transparency in the EU’s economic and financial decision-making process , in particular in the area of the banking supervision performed by the European Central Bank; to improve EU lobbying transparency and fully comply with the Ombudsman’s suggestions for improving the EU Transparency Register.

The Commission is called upon to make its work with the tobacco industry lobbyists fully transparent.

Maladministration : noting the reports of maladministration by the Ombudsman with regard to the Code of Conduct for Commissioners, Members called for the application of stricter ethical standards within the EU administration with the aim of securing respect for the duty to behave with integrity and discretion and full independence from the private sector.

They also called on the Commission to guarantee proactive publication and full transparency with regard to the post-term-of-office occupation of former Commissioners, while supporting the Ombudsman's recommendations for a further revision of the Code and inviting her to publish the names of EU officials involved in revolving door cases.

Members welcomed the Ombudsman’s initiative to identify best practices in the EU administration and bring them to greater public attention with the Ombudsman’s Award for Good Administration .

Lastly, the report called on the Ombudsman to further assess the implementation of the new internal whistle-blowing rules in the EU institutions.

Documents
2017/10/11
   EP - Vote in committee
2017/07/19
   EP - Amendments tabled in committee
Documents
2017/07/06
   EP - Committee referral announced in Parliament
2017/06/23
   EP - Committee draft report
Documents
2017/05/17
   EP - MIZZI Marlene (S&D) appointed as rapporteur in PETI

Documents

Activities

Votes

A8-0328/2017 - Marlene Mizzi - Am 2 16/11/2017 12:21:23.000 #

2017/11/16 Outcome: -: 384, +: 174, 0: 49
GB EL DK CY SE IE FI LT EE MT SK NL AT LV LU BE IT SI HR CZ BG ES HU PT RO FR PL DE
Total
57
14
12
6
15
9
10
9
6
4
10
21
13
7
5
18
61
8
11
18
14
34
17
18
25
62
49
72
icon: ECR ECR
59

Greece ECR

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1
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1

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A8-0328/2017 - Marlene Mizzi - Am 8/1 16/11/2017 12:22:38.000 #

2017/11/16 Outcome: +: 570, -: 25, 0: 14
DE FR IT GB ES RO NL PT CZ HU BG BE SE AT DK EL HR FI SK IE SI LT LV EE CY LU PL MT
Total
72
62
60
57
34
25
21
18
18
17
16
18
15
14
12
14
11
10
10
9
8
9
7
6
6
5
49
4
icon: PPE PPE
177

Denmark PPE

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1

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1

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3

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36

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2

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3

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1

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2

A8-0328/2017 - Marlene Mizzi - Am 9/1 16/11/2017 12:23:20.000 #

2017/11/16 Outcome: +: 379, -: 199, 0: 26
IT FR DE GB ES DK NL EL LT CZ BE AT SE FI PL EE PT CY BG SK IE HR RO MT LU LV HU SI
Total
60
62
72
57
34
12
21
12
9
18
18
14
13
10
49
6
17
6
16
10
9
11
25
4
5
7
17
8
icon: S&D S&D
155

Denmark S&D

2

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For (1)

1

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1

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3

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2
3

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57

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4

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3

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3

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1

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2

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1

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1
icon: ENF ENF
32

Germany ENF

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1

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1

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1

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1
icon: EFDD EFDD
33

Lithuania EFDD

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1

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2

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1
icon: ECR ECR
60

Germany ECR

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4

Netherlands ECR

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1

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1

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1

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1

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3
icon: PPE PPE
176

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1

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4

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2

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3

A8-0328/2017 - Marlene Mizzi - Am 9/2 16/11/2017 12:23:33.000 #

2017/11/16 Outcome: -: 430, +: 155, 0: 18
EL DK CY IE NL LT SE SI PL EE MT FI LV LU SK HR CZ HU PT AT ES BE BG RO IT DE GB FR
Total
13
12
6
8
21
9
13
8
48
6
4
9
7
5
10
11
18
17
18
14
34
18
16
25
60
72
57
62
icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL
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Denmark GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Cyprus GUE/NGL

2

Ireland GUE/NGL

2

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3

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For (1)

1

Finland GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Czechia GUE/NGL

2

Portugal GUE/NGL

3

Italy GUE/NGL

2
icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
36

Denmark Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Netherlands Verts/ALE

1

Lithuania Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

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3

Slovenia Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Estonia Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Finland Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Latvia Verts/ALE

1

Croatia Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Hungary Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Austria Verts/ALE

2

Spain Verts/ALE

3

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For (1)

1

France Verts/ALE

2
icon: EFDD EFDD
33

Lithuania EFDD

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1

Sweden EFDD

2

Poland EFDD

1

Czechia EFDD

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1
icon: NI NI
17

Hungary NI

Abstain (1)

3

Germany NI

2

United Kingdom NI

Against (1)

3

France NI

Against (1)

2
icon: ECR ECR
60

Greece ECR

For (1)

1

Cyprus ECR

1

Netherlands ECR

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1

Lithuania ECR

1

Finland ECR

Against (1)

1

Slovakia ECR

Against (1)

3

Croatia ECR

For (1)

1

Czechia ECR

2

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2

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1

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4
icon: ENF ENF
32

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1

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2

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icon: ALDE ALDE
55

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3

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1

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3

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2

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1

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1

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2

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1

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1

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2
4

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1
icon: S&D S&D
156

Greece S&D

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1

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2

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3

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2

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2

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1

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icon: PPE PPE
175

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4

A8-0328/2017 - Marlene Mizzi - Résolution 16/11/2017 12:24:17.000 #

2017/11/16 Outcome: +: 501, 0: 72, -: 28
DE IT ES FR GB PL RO BE PT BG CZ AT HU NL DK SE HR FI LT SI LV IE SK EE CY LU EL MT
Total
70
59
34
61
57
48
25
18
18
16
17
14
17
21
12
14
11
10
9
8
7
9
10
6
6
5
14
4
icon: PPE PPE
171

Denmark PPE

For (1)

1

Finland PPE

2

Lithuania PPE

1

Ireland PPE

Against (1)

4

Estonia PPE

For (1)

1

Cyprus PPE

1

Luxembourg PPE

3

Malta PPE

2
icon: S&D S&D
156

Belgium S&D

3

Netherlands S&D

For (1)

1

Denmark S&D

2

Croatia S&D

2

Slovenia S&D

For (1)

1

Latvia S&D

1

Ireland S&D

For (1)

1
3

Estonia S&D

For (1)

1

Cyprus S&D

2

Luxembourg S&D

For (1)

1

Greece S&D

1

Malta S&D

2
icon: ALDE ALDE
57

United Kingdom ALDE

1

Romania ALDE

2

Portugal ALDE

1

Austria ALDE

For (1)

1

Sweden ALDE

2

Croatia ALDE

2
3

Slovenia ALDE

For (1)

1

Latvia ALDE

1

Ireland ALDE

For (1)

1

Estonia ALDE

3

Luxembourg ALDE

For (1)

1
icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL
39

Italy GUE/NGL

2

Portugal GUE/NGL

3

Czechia GUE/NGL

2

Netherlands GUE/NGL

3

Denmark GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Sweden GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Finland GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Ireland GUE/NGL

3

Cyprus GUE/NGL

2
icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
36

Spain Verts/ALE

3

France Verts/ALE

2

Belgium Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Austria Verts/ALE

2

Hungary Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Netherlands Verts/ALE

1

Denmark Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Sweden Verts/ALE

3

Croatia Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Finland Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Lithuania Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Slovenia Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Latvia Verts/ALE

1

Estonia Verts/ALE

For (1)

1
icon: EFDD EFDD
33

Poland EFDD

1

Czechia EFDD

Abstain (1)

1

Sweden EFDD

2

Lithuania EFDD

For (1)

1
icon: ECR ECR
60

Germany ECR

Against (1)

4

Romania ECR

For (1)

1

Bulgaria ECR

2

Czechia ECR

2

Netherlands ECR

Abstain (1)

1

Croatia ECR

Abstain (1)

1

Finland ECR

For (1)

1

Lithuania ECR

Abstain (1)

1

Cyprus ECR

1

Greece ECR

Against (1)

1
icon: NI NI
17

Germany NI

2

France NI

2

United Kingdom NI

For (1)

Against (1)

Abstain (1)

3

Poland NI

2
3
icon: ENF ENF
31

Germany ENF

Abstain (1)

1

United Kingdom ENF

Against (1)

1

Poland ENF

Abstain (1)

1

Belgium ENF

Abstain (1)

1

Austria ENF

2

Netherlands ENF

4
AmendmentsDossier
79 2017/2126(INI)
2017/07/19 PETI 79 amendments...
source: 609.318

History

(these mark the time of scraping, not the official date of the change)

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  • date: 2017-07-06T00:00:00 body: EP type: Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading committees: body: EP shadows: group: EPP name: WAŁĘSA Jarosław group: ECR name: MARIAS Notis group: ALDE name: NART Javier group: GUE/NGL name: VALLINA Ángela group: Verts/ALE name: ŠOLTES Igor group: EFD name: EVI Eleonora group: ENF name: REBEGA Laurenţiu responsible: True committee: PETI date: 2017-05-17T00:00:00 committee_full: Petitions rapporteur: group: S&D name: MIZZI Marlene
  • date: 2017-10-11T00:00:00 body: EP type: Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading committees: body: EP shadows: group: EPP name: WAŁĘSA Jarosław group: ECR name: MARIAS Notis group: ALDE name: NART Javier group: GUE/NGL name: VALLINA Ángela group: Verts/ALE name: ŠOLTES Igor group: EFD name: EVI Eleonora group: ENF name: REBEGA Laurenţiu responsible: True committee: PETI date: 2017-05-17T00:00:00 committee_full: Petitions rapporteur: group: S&D name: MIZZI Marlene
  • date: 2017-10-23T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A8-2017-0328&language=EN type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading title: A8-0328/2017 body: EP type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
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  • date: 2017-11-16T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P8-TA-2017-0449 type: Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading title: T8-0449/2017 body: EP type: Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
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  • date: 2017-06-23T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE604.708 title: PE604.708 type: Committee draft report body: EP
  • date: 2017-07-19T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE609.318 title: PE609.318 type: Amendments tabled in committee body: EP
events
  • date: 2017-07-06T00:00:00 type: Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading body: EP
  • date: 2017-10-11T00:00:00 type: Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading body: EP
  • date: 2017-10-23T00:00:00 type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A8-2017-0328&language=EN title: A8-0328/2017 summary: The Committee on Petitions adopted the own-initiative report by Marlène MIZZI (S&D, MT) on the 2016 annual report presented by the European Ombudsman, while welcoming her efforts to improve the quality and accessibility of the Ombudsman's services as well as her collaborative and positive cooperation with the European Parliament. Follow-up of recommendations : Members noted the reduction in the number of inquiries concerning EU institutions conducted by the Ombudsman in 2016 (245 in 2016 compared with 261 in 2015). Most of the inquiries concerned the Commission (58.8 %), followed by EU agencies (12.3 %) and Parliament (6.5 %). Members noted that the Ombudsman's office has achieved the second highest rate of compliance with its decisions and/or recommendations so far. However, they urged the EU institutions, bodies, offices and agencies to respond and react within a reasonable timeframe to the critical remarks of the Ombudsman and to improve their rate of compliance with the Ombudsman’s recommendations and/or decisions. Strategic inquiries and initiatives : in 2016, the Ombudsman’s office opened 4 new strategic inquiries on, among other subjects, possible conflicts of interest of special advisors and delays in chemical testing, and in addition it opened ten new strategic initiatives. Members acknowledged the role of strategic inquiries and initiatives, and support those conducted by the Ombudsman pursuing strategically important topics on her own initiative. The report welcomed the Ombudsman’s strategic inquiry into how the Commission carries out conflict of interest assessments for its special advisers and supported the strategic inquiry on the Commission’s expert groups. In 2016, most of the cases handled by the Ombudsman were closed within 12 months. The Ombudsman is however urged to reduce the time taken to handle complaints. Transparency : the report stressed the importance of transparency-related issues and access to information and documents as the main subject matter of inquiries submitted to the Ombudsman (29.6 %), following good management of EU personnel issues (28.2 %), and culture of service (25.1 %). Other issues were also raised such as the proper use of discretion, including in infringement proceedings, sound financial management of EU grants and contracts and respect for procedural and fundamental rights. The report stressed that maximum transparency of and access to documents held by the EU institutions must be the rule and that exceptions to this right should always be weighed against the principles of transparency and democracy. It called on the Commission to improve transparency and access to documents and information with regard to the EU Pilot procedures in relation to petitions received. Members also insisted on the need: to monitor the implementation of the Ombudsman’s recommendations for transparency in trilogues ; for full and enhanced transparency in trade agreements and negotiations; to improve transparency on the part of all EU institutions in the Brexit negotiations; for greater transparency in the EU’s economic and financial decision-making process , in particular in the area of the banking supervision performed by the European Central Bank; to improve EU lobbying transparency and fully comply with the Ombudsman’s suggestions for improving the EU Transparency Register. The Commission is called upon to make its work with the tobacco industry lobbyists fully transparent. Maladministration : noting the reports of maladministration by the Ombudsman with regard to the Code of Conduct for Commissioners, Members called for the application of stricter ethical standards within the EU administration with the aim of securing respect for the duty to behave with integrity and discretion and full independence from the private sector. They also called on the Commission to guarantee proactive publication and full transparency with regard to the post-term-of-office occupation of former Commissioners, while supporting the Ombudsman's recommendations for a further revision of the Code and inviting her to publish the names of EU officials involved in revolving door cases. Members welcomed the Ombudsman’s initiative to identify best practices in the EU administration and bring them to greater public attention with the Ombudsman’s Award for Good Administration . Lastly, the report called on the Ombudsman to further assess the implementation of the new internal whistle-blowing rules in the EU institutions.
  • date: 2017-11-15T00:00:00 type: Debate in Parliament body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?secondRef=TOC&language=EN&reference=20171115&type=CRE title: Debate in Parliament
  • date: 2017-11-16T00:00:00 type: Results of vote in Parliament body: EP docs: url: https://oeil.secure.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/sda.do?id=30340&l=en title: Results of vote in Parliament
  • date: 2017-11-16T00:00:00 type: Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P8-TA-2017-0449 title: T8-0449/2017 summary: The European Parliament adopted by 501 votes to 28, with 72 abstentions, a resolution on the 2016 annual report presented by the European Ombudsman. Members approved the report , while welcoming her efforts to improve the quality and accessibility of the Ombudsman's services as well as her collaborative and positive cooperation with the European Parliament . In 2016, 15 797 citizens called on the Ombudsman’s services for help, of whom 12 646 were given advice through the Interactive Guide on the Ombudsman’s website, while of the remaining requests 1 271 were forwarded elsewhere for information and 1 880 were handled by the Ombudsman as complaints, of which 711 fell within and 1 169 fell outside the scope of the Ombudsman’s mandate. Follow-up of recommendations : Members noted the reduction in the number of inquiries concerning EU institutions conducted by the Ombudsman in 2016 (245 in 2016 compared with 261 in 2015). Most of the inquiries concerned the Commission (58.8 %), followed by EU agencies (12.3 %) and Parliament (6.5 %), the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) (5.7 %), the European External Action Service (EEAS) (4.5 %). Members noted that the Ombudsman's office has achieved the second highest rate of compliance with its decisions and/or recommendations so far. However, they urged the EU institutions, bodies, offices and agencies to respond and react within a reasonable timeframe to the critical remarks of the Ombudsman and to improve their rate of compliance with the Ombudsman’s recommendations and/or decisions. Strategic inquiries and initiatives : in 2016, the Ombudsman’s office opened 4 new strategic inquiries on, among other subjects, possible conflicts of interest of special advisors and delays in chemical testing, and in addition it opened ten new strategic initiatives. Parliament welcomed the Ombudsman’s strategic inquiry into how the Commission appoints and carries out conflict of interest assessments for its special advisers , who often work for private sector clients and the EU concurrently. It also supported the Ombudsman’s strategic inquiry on the Commission’s expert groups. In 2016, most of the cases handled by the Ombudsman were closed within 12 months and that the average time needed to close an inquiry was 10 months. Parliament urged the Ombudsman to reduce the time taken to handle complaints, especially in cases still open after 12 months. Transparency : Parliament stressed the importance of transparency-related issues and access to information and documents as the main subject matter of inquiries submitted to the Ombudsman (29.6 %), following good management of EU personnel issues (28.2 %), and culture of service (25.1 %). Other issues were also raised such as the proper use of discretion, including in infringement proceedings, sound financial management of EU grants and contracts and respect for procedural and fundamental rights. Members stressed that maximum transparency of and access to documents held by the EU institutions must be the rule and that exceptions to this right should always be weighed against the principles of transparency and democracy. They commended the Ombudsman’s strategic inquiry on access to documents relating to Council preparatory bodies , including its Committees, working parties and the Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER), when discussing draft EU legislative acts. Parliament also insisted on the need: to enable access to documents and information with regard to the EU Pilot procedures; to monitor the implementation of the Ombudsman’s recommendations for transparency in trilogues ; for full and enhanced transparency in trade agreements and negotiations; for greater transparency in the EU’s economic and financial decision-making process , in particular in the area of the banking supervision performed by the European Central Bank; fully comply with the Ombudsman’s suggestions for improving the EU Transparency Register by making it a mandatory central transparency hub for all EU institutions and agencies. The Commission has been invited to make its work with tobacco industry lobbyists fully transparent by publishing online all meetings with lobby groups or their legal representatives. Maladministration : noting the reports of maladministration by the Ombudsman with regard to the Code of Conduct for Commissioners , Parliament called for the application of stricter ethical standards within the EU administration with the aim of securing respect for the duty to behave with integrity and discretion and full independence from the private sector. It also called on the Commission to guarantee proactive publication and full transparency with regard to the post-term-of-office occupation of former Commissioners , while supporting the Ombudsman's recommendations for a further revision of the Code and inviting her to publish the names of EU officials involved in revolving door cases. Parliament welcomed the Ombudsman’s initiative to identify best practices in the EU administration and bring them to greater public attention with the Ombudsman’s Award for Good Administration . Lastly, the resolution called on the Ombudsman to further assess the implementation of the new internal whistle-blowing rules in the EU institutions.
  • date: 2017-11-16T00:00:00 type: End of procedure in Parliament body: EP
links
other