Brussels 25/02/2016

Ombudsman taking important steps to increase transparency with EU institutions, but more needs to be done


Speaking today at a debate on the 'Activities of the European Ombudsman' GUE/NGL MEP Marina Albiol said, “This report makes one thing clear and that is the lack of transparency of the EU Institutions, how the lobbies enjoy completely open doors, and at the same time, these doors are slammed in the faces of European citizens.

“This obscurantism is particularly serious in the case of the TTIP negotiations. The only access MEPs have to the TTIP documents is in a reading room which is locked under key. We also have to sign a confidentiality clause that forbids us to make the contents public and, what is worse, is that the debate on the European Citizens’ Initiative against the TTIP, which collected 3 million signatures, is still being avoided.”

Other GUE/NGL MEPs joined the debate noting the positive efforts of the Ombudsman, with Kostandinka Kuneva saying “People put their trust in the Ombudsman in times of crisis, I am happy to see an effort into increasing transparency.”

Irish MEP Liadh Ní Riada cited examples such as Fisheries Policy, TTIP and the ECB saying “It is important that the Ombudsman continues to have the power to compel particular groups to give answers. This office is functioning as it should, going from strength to strength and protecting the citizens of Europe.”

MEP Xabier Benito Ziluaga added, “This is a necessary role, this office defends citizens against the excesses of EU administration. “I congratulate Mrs O'Reilly for her efforts in combatting revolving doors; unfortunately the same congratulations cannot be extended to the Commission.”

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