Let the Ombudsman be the guardian of transparency and objectivity

2021. 03. 11.

The European Parliament has adopted the report on the European Ombudsman’s activities in 2019. On Tuesday afternoon, Fidesz MEP Ádám Kósa, in a debate on the report, emphasized that the transparency and objectivity of the EU institutions is the key to citizens’ trust in the EU. However, the Ombudsman also has an essential role to play in ensuring that the EU institutions fully meet the needs of people with disabilities, taking into account the principle of equal treatment.

MEP Kósa explained that in 2019, Emily O’Reilly, European Ombudsman, had achieved results in key areas such as the transparency of EU institutions and lobbying, fundamental rights, including the rights of people with disabilities, ethical issues, and citizen participation in decision-making, proper staff-management and recruitment, and efficient financial management.

“At the same time, I find it unacceptable that the websites of the EU institutions are still not multilingual and not accessible to people with different types of disabilities, including those using national sign languages”, underlined the Fidesz MEP. In his speech, he called on the European Ombudsman to closely monitor the implementation of the Commission’s new European Disability Strategy for 2021-30 and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. According to MEP Kósa, a complex approach is needed in the field of disability, and he therefore suggested to the Ombudsman to involve organizations of people with disabilities in the process.

Background: The European Parliament elects the European Ombudsman for the duration of the legislative term. The Ombudsman’s primary task is to ensure that citizens’ rights are fully respected and that the right to good administration reflects, in all circumstances, the highest standards expected of EU institutions, bodies, offices and agencies. The Ombudsman also has a key role to play in helping the European institutions to be more open, efficient, and closer to the citizens.