The European Ombudsman investigates complaints about maladministration in the institutions and bodies of the European Union. The Ombudsman is completely independent and impartial. The current Ombudsman is Ms Emily O´Reilly, from Ireland, who took office on 3 July 2013.
The Ombudsman usually conducts inquiries on the basis of complaints but can also launch inquiries on her own initiative.
The Ombudsman may simply need to inform the institution concerned about a complaint in order for it to resolve the problem. If the case is not resolved satisfactorily during the course of his inquiries, the Ombudsman will try, if possible, to find a friendly solution which puts right the case of maladministration and satisfies the complainant. If the attempt at conciliation fails, the Ombudsman can make recommendations to solve the case. If the institution does not accept her recommendations, she can make a special report to the European Parliament. If you are a citizen of a Member State of the 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.
Complaints can be lodged by post, fax or e-mail. A complaint guide and form is available from the Ombudsman’s office and can be downloaded from the Ombudsman’s website: http://www.ombudsman.europa.eu