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European Ombudsman

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European Ombudsman recommendations to European Commission on TTIP transparency

On 7 January, the European Ombudsman, Emily O’Reilly, published a report on the EU-US trade deal and transparency. In it she describes a list of recommendations for the European Commission to improve transparency of the hitherto shadowy negotiations. The Trans-Atlantic Trade Investment Partnership (TTIP) is the wide trade and investment agreement being negotiated between the European Commission and the USA. The negotiations have provoked public outcry because of their effects on the (...)
Also about: Trade and Health , TTIP

Ombudsman opens investigation into Commission’s expert groups

On 14 May 2014 the European Ombudsman, Emily O’Reilly, opened an investigation on her own initiative into the composition and transparency of the Commission’s expert groups. In EPHA we welcome this as it echoes a historical demand from civil society groups: that in key Commission-led legislative procedures NGOs concerns are equally heard vis-à-vis the ones of corporate stakeholders. With EU citizen’s trust towards the EU at minimum levels, the Commission should take into (...)

Commissioner Dalli resigns amidst OLAF investigation

Commissioner John Dalli announced his resignation as a member of the Commission, with immediate effect. Mr Dalli informed the President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso of his decision following an investigation by OLAF, the EU’s antifraud office. OLAF investigated the complaint made in May 2012 by the tobacco producer, Swedish Match who claimed a Maltese entrepreneur made use of his contacts with Mr Dalli for financial gain in return for seeking to influence a (...)

ALTER-EU report on the dominance of corporate lobbyists in DG Entreprise’s expert groups

“Who is driving the agenda at DG Enterprise and Industry?” The latest report of The Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU). In order to ensure transparency on the public interest, the report calls on the European Commission to review the composition of its advisory groups. As the ALTER-EU’s paper points out, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) represent an insufficient 8% of all advisory groups, whereas the share of trade unions is a mere (...)

Access to Documents: Impasse between Parliament and Council causes negotiations to collapse

The Danish presidency has abandoned attempts to agree new rules on access to EU documents after EU countries and the European Commission last week rejected its latest draft of the law. June was a particular interesting month on the issue of access to documents, with two Justice Ministers writing to Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to stand firm against the proposed new rules, with a Commission spokesperson saying they would only be used by "nutty NGOs and corporate sharks." (...)

Commission refunds NGO after Ombudsman intervenes

The European Ombudsman, P. Nikiforos Diamandouros, has helped settle a dispute between the European Commission and the NGO Migration Policy Group (MPG) concerning payment for an EU project launched as part of the "European Migration Dialogue". The case refers to a EU-funded project which was undertaken by the NGO Migration Policy Group (MPG) in 2004 - 2005 and which they reported on in 2006. MPG had delivered supporting documents for staff costs after the given deadline. However they (...)

PGEU win in access to Commission documents

In a victory for transparency, the European Ombudsman rules in favour of the Pharmaceutical Group of the European Union’s (PGEU) complaint against the Commission regarding access to documents. In December 2007, the PGEU submitted a complaint to the European Ombudsman regarding the failure of the Commission to grant access to a study concerning Community regulations on the pharmacy sector in the European Union, which was carried out for the Commission by a private economic research (...)