Protecting the rights of the public
The task of the Ombudsman is to investigate and provide legal aid to citizens who have been mistreated by European institutions or bodies during administrative processes. These investigations may include maladministration due to lack of transparency or untimely extensions of administrative proceedings, abuse of authority or discrimination. Complaints to the Ombudsman may be filed by citizens of all EU Member States, persons holding resident permits in those countries and companies, societies or other legal entities having a registered office within the EU.
The office of the European Ombudsman was created by the Maastricht Treaty. The Ombudsman is based in Strasbourg, in the building of the European Parliament. The Ombudsman is appointed by the European Parliament for a five-year office term which can be renewed. Since April 2003 this function is held by Nikiforos Diamandouros. The Ombudsman works with a 38-member team.
Last update: 16.8.2011 16:02