Who can complain to the Ombudsman?
If you are a citizen of a Member State of the Union or living 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.
You can complain to the Ombudsman about maladministration in the activities
of the institutions and bodies of the European Community.
What is maladministration?
Maladministration means poor or failed administration. This occurs if an
institution fails to do something it should have done, if it does it in the
wrong way or if it does something that ought not to be done. Some examples
abuse of power
lack or refusal of information
What are the institutions and bodies?
The institutions and bodies of the European Community are, for example:
The European Commission
The Council of the European Union
The European Parliament
The Court of Auditors
The Court of Justice (except in its judicial role)
The Economic and Social Committee
The Committee of the Regions
The European Central Bank
The European Investment Bank
How to complain
Write to the Ombudsman in any of the 11 official languages of the Union,
setting out clearly who you are, which institution or body of the European
Community you are complaining against and the grounds for your complaint.
A complaint must be made within two years of the date when you got to know
the facts on which your complaint is based.
You need not be individually affected by the maladministration.
You must already have contacted the institution or body concerned, for
example by a letter.
The Ombudsman does not deal with matters that are currently before a court
or that have already been settled by a court.
The Ombudsman will examine your complaint, and you will be informed of the
outcome of his investigation.
A complaint can be made by writing a simple letter to the European Ombudsman
or by using the form enclosed.
How to contact the European Ombudsman
The European Ombudsman
1 avenue du Président Robert Schuman
F-67001 Strasbourg Cedex
(33) 3 88 17 40 01
(33) 3 88 17 90 62