MEP Marlene Mizzi has been appointed as the rapporteur for the Petitions Committee’s Report on the Annual Activities of the European Ombudsman. This is Marlene Mizzi’s second official appointment as the S&D spokesperson on the Ombudsman’s activities.
The European Ombudsman is an independent and impartial body that holds the EU administration to account by investigating citizens’ complaints about deficiencies and cases of maladministration of the European institutions, bodies, offices and agencies.
In the Annual Report for 2016, the European Ombudsman reiterated the importance of transparency of EU institutions, conflicts of interest of EU public officials, citizens’ participation in the EU decision-making process and fundamental rights as the ultimate concerns of the citizens.
During an exchange of views with the Ombudsman, MEP Marlene Mizzi welcomed this year’s Report and strongly supported the Ombudsman initiative of connecting the work of the EU institutions and bodies, trust of the EU citizens and the current challenges facing the EU such as the unemployment crisis, the migration crisis, BREXIT and the US elections.
“I think we no longer can ignore the fact that everything is interlinked and when citizens are unhappy with the work of the EU institutions — because of administrative burden, red tape, excessive or un-transparent procedures — there should be mechanisms to improve the current system. And I truly believe that the service of the European Ombudsman is one of those mechanisms,” said MEP Mizzi.
Since the beginning of her term, Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly has made it a personal mission to make the Ombudsman services more visible and efficient, having a greater impact and deepening the dialogue with European citizens and stakeholders at all levels bridging the gap between them and the EU institutions.
“We need to stress the important role of the Ombudsman in these challenging times for the EU institutions. The services of the Ombudsman must be seen to be open, transparent, rapid and flexible so that more citizens can have positive experience from dealing with European institutions. EU citizens should know their rights and know how to use them. And this is in fact the Ombudsman’s most important function — to improve visibility and communication with Europe’s citizens, so they can utilise their rights in the most efficient way,” MEP Mizzi said.