Tuesday 28 October 2008

Boring: The European Ombudsman and his 2007 report - updated

Last week, the European Parliament has discussed the 2007 report (PDF, 3.35 MB) of the European Ombudsman Nikiforos Diamandouros and has voted upon a related resolution, inter alia calling :
"for all EU institutions and bodies to be given the necessary budgetary and human resources to ensure that citizens receive prompt and substantive responses to their enquiries, complaints and petitions"
The European Ombudsman receives complaints from European citizens and European organisations about EU institutions (the main addressee in 2007 was the Commission and the main issue was intransparency) and is supposed to support the solving of the underlying problems.

So in fact, his work should be interesting for all citizens.

But neither the 2007 report nor the Executive Summary are interesting to read. The summary really should be more concise, more directed towards the public, much more visual, much more obvious, not the kind of largely bureaucratic language that we encounter in the main report.

In general, there you find some boring details, very general presentations, some cute examples, and some basic statistics. But there is nothing that attracts much attention, especially not the text, and I doubt that any citizen will take the time to read more than two pages of the document(s).

I should also remark that the website of the Ombudsman is of quite low quality, and although this might be less important than his actual work, the presentation is not very inviting. An institution that is meant to be a link between citizens and the EU institutions should however be much interested in raising interest in its work; it should be inviting and display openness to the "outside world" (i.e. "outside" the self-referential institutional copse of the EU).

But apparently, either the budget or the imagination do not allow more.

In short: Not much from our Ombudsman. He is working, he is handling cases, but he is not interesting for me as a citizen - and does not seem to be interested in raising my attention.

Has anyone ever complained about the Ombudsman?


One commentator answers: Yes!

Read also:

Jon Worth in January 2009: "Let's complain like it's 1998"


Anonymous said...

You ask if someone has ever complained about the Ombudsman... Take a look at: