The European Ombudsman settles problems with the EU administration


The European Ombudsman investigates complaints against the institutions and bodies of the European Union (EU).

You can complain to the Ombudsman about maladministration in the activities of these institutions and bodies.

What is maladministration?

Maladministration occurs if an institution fails to act in accordance with the law, fails to respect the principles of good administration, or violates human rights.

Some examples are:

· administrative irregularities

· unfairness

· discrimination

· abuse of power

· failure to reply

· refusal of information

· unnecessary delay

Who can complain?

If you are a citizen of a member state of the European Union or reside in a member state, you can make a complaint to the European Ombudsman.

Businesses, associations or other bodies with a registered office in the Union may also complain to the Ombudsman.

What can he not investigate?

The European Ombudsman cannot investigate complaints against national, regional or local administrations in the Member States, even when the complaints are about EU matters.

The European Ombudsman is not an appeals body for decisions taken by national courts or ombudsmen.

Neither can he investigate complaints against businesses or private individuals.

Since 1995

The European Ombudsman is Emily O'Reilly, former National Ombudsman of Ireland. She was elected by the European Parliament and has held office since July 2013.

The Parliament elected the first European Ombudsman in 1995.
The first incumbent of the office was Jacob Söderman, who had formerly been the Parliamentary Ombudsman in Finland.

Read more

* The European Ombudsman's website