EUROPE | The European Ombudsman turns 25

2020 marks the 25th anniversary of the European Ombudsman. From small beginnings in 1995, the institution has grown to become a recognised and respected upholder of transparency, ethics and accountability in the EU administration.

It is essential that the public has enough information to be able to follow EU policy and law making, and participate meaningfully in the EU democratic process. Improving the transparency of EU decision making has been the focus of various inquiries. Individuals, businesses, associations and civil society can turn to the European Ombudsman for help about problems with the EU administration.

The Office has dealt with more than 57,000 complaints in its 25 years of operating. Most inquiries are based on complaints, but the Ombudsman can also launch own-initiative inquiries. There have been over 7,300 inquiries since the Office opened in 1995.

“Ombudsman institutions need acceptance of their role as guardians of good administration in order to flourish and be able to work in the best interest of the public. The EU institutions have allowed my Office to realise the vision of its creators 25 years ago, namely to be a passionate defender of the EU and its citizens. My Office is small but it has a big mandate, which I will continue to give real life to,” says European Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly on the occasion of the offices 25th anniversary.

Discover more about the Ombudsman's history, its main areas of work and the key inquiries over the past years on a dedicated webpage.

You can follow all the Ombudsman’s activities through its social media channels, and join the discussion by using the hashtag #EO25years.


Source: Office of the European Ombudsman, EU

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