European Ombudsman’s inquiries and initiatives into the COVID-19 response in the EU administration
The European Ombudsman has made publicly available an overview of its ongoing assessment of the functioning of the EU administration in the context of the COVID-19 crisis. This includes a broad array of inquiries and initiatives from April 2020 onwards, which focus on the transparency of the measures adopted by many EU institutions, agencies and bodies in response to the outbreak.
More specifically, the Ombudsman’s actions include:
- A request to the European Commission and to the Council not to diminish their obligations concerning transparency in the crisis response, through a letter including some proposals for how to maintain high transparency standards during the COVID-19 emergency.
- An inquiry into the COVID-19 response of the Council, focusing on the Council’s decision to derogate, temporarily, from its Rules of Procedure during the crisis, and the implications this has had for its decision-making process and the transparency thereof.
- A series of detailed questions to the Commission concerning transparency related to public procurement, scientific advice and lobbying activities in the context of the crisis.
- A strategic initiative concerning the transparency of measures introduced by the European Investment Bank in response to the crisis, particularly concerning the terms and criteria related to new financing measures for small and medium-sized enterprises.
- An inquiry into the work carried out by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) in gathering and assessing data linked to the COVID-19 crisis.
- A request for information to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) regarding its newly established pandemic task force (COVID-ETF), which was created to help take quick and coordinated regulatory action on the development, authorisation and safety monitoring of medicines intended for the treatment and prevention of COVID-19.
More information is available at the Ombudsman’s website.