The European Ombudsman

--> [ Letter Draft 2004-05 | Legal Remedies | Nikiforos Diamandouros ]


The European Ombudsman is a contact person for European citizens which complain about malpractise of the EU institutions. Currently P. Nikiforos Diamandouros is EU-Ombudsman. The EOM is appointed by Europarl after each election for the duration of its mandate. He works independently in same building. For personal complainst and cases related to misapplication of European law SOLVIT of the European Commission may be the better address. Also Petitions may be directed to the various Parliaments.

Ombudsman usefulness (arebenti)

The scheme goes like this:

a) You have to ask the EU institution first and get an official reply. I.e. write letters to the Council and get a reply. Lu presidency possibly.

b) you write a complaint about formal procedural failure to the EU ombudsman.

The person who does this needs to study the Rules Of Procedure and what happened at the Council on Monday. Documentation is not good yet. Please document your findings, so others can step into it. We do not overestimate this channel. Euroombudsman ist just one channel we can and shall use. It is a 1-3 persons project and please do not discuss outside this page whether EuroOmbudsman has powers and is useful and so on, we did it several times, these discussions just waste our time and distract us from doing our tasks. The strategy is permanent penetration and what does not harm will do good. All findings and discussions shall be documented at the associated kwiki page, so we do not have to repeat it again and again.


Anybody can complain to the Ombudsman about maladministration in the activities of the institutions and bodies of the European Union.


From a phone conversations of phm with Ombudsman office:

out of scope:

requirements for complaint:

Articles 2.4 and 2.8 of the Statute of the Ombudsman require that a complaint to the Ombudsman must be preceded by appropriate administrative approaches, to give Community Institutions the opportunity to resolve problems itself, before the European Ombudsman becomes involved.


If the attempt at conciliation fails, the Ombudsman can make recommendations to solve the case. If the institution does not accept his recommendations, he can make a special report to the European Parliament.

Investigation power (Excerpt )

Subject to the conditions laid down in the Statute, the Ombudsman may require Community institutions and bodies and the authorities of Member States to supply, within a reasonable time, information or documents for the purposes of an inquiry.

The Ombudsman may inspect the file of the Community institution concerned in order to verify the accuracy and completeness of its replies. The Ombudsman may take copies of the whole file or of specific documents contained in the file. The Ombudsman informs the complainant that an inspection has taken place.

The Ombudsman may require officials or other servants of Community institutions or bodies to give evidence under the conditions laid down in the Statute.

Illustrative figures

These are only highlights, not complete.


In 2000 - 2003, 8419 cases have been examined. About 30% were within the mandate of the Ombudsman. An inquiry was initiated in 909 cases.

Number of cases per institution: CEC 699, EP 82, Council of the European Union 33, and others.


The Ombudsman dealt with 1101 inquiries since 01.01.2000 (909 were initiated during this period, and 192 were brought from 1999). 917 inquiries were closed by 31.12.2003 (of which 13 own initiative inquiries). Inquiries were closed for one or more of the following reasons:

When the EOM receives a complaint, he sends it to the institution or body concerned, asking for its opinion on the complaint within two months.

*If the Ombudsman considers it appropriate to do so, he may take steps to ensure that a complaint is dealt with as a matter of priority.*

The Provisions

The Statutes


The ombudsman is also present and represented in Bruxles.

Possible maladministration issues of CEC and Council

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