January 21
2021
Dolores Utrilla
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7th January 2021
Banking & Finance Consumer, Health & Environment Covid-19 Human Rights Institutional law

Updated overview on the European Ombudsman’s initiatives into the COVID-19 response in the EU administration

The European Ombudsman has made publicly available an updated overview of its ongoing assessment of the functioning of the EU administration in the context of the COVID-19 crisis.

As previously reported on EU Law Live (here), 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. Overall, these initiatives purport to ascertain whether the EU’s work over the crisis, and in particular the extraordinary organisational and procedural adjustments adopted over the last few months, comply with transparency and good administration standards arising from Article 41 of the Charter.

The update published now includes:

  • As regards the 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 is at an advanced stage, the meeting report resulting from the inspection meeting with ECDC staff.
  • Concerning the inquiry into the COVID-19 response of the Council, the announcement that an inspection meeting with the Council was carried out in November 2020 and that the Ombudsman is evaluating the next steps in the inquiry.
  • In the context of the initiative concerning the European Medicines Agency (EMA), an announcement that EMA replied to the Ombudsman in September 2020, committing to independence in how it assesses medicines for COVID-19 and to publishing clinical data about them.
  • Concerning the strategic initiative into the transparency of the measures adopted by the European Investment Bank (EIB), the EIB’s reply to the questions set out by the Ombusdman regarding the transparency of the terms and criteria related to new financing measures for small and medium-sized enterprises, and an announcement that the Ombudsman is considering the next steps in the initiative.

More information is available at the Ombudsman’s website.

For an overview on the institutional challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis in the context of the functioning of the EU institutions, agencies, and bodies, and the role of the Ombudsman in this regard, read this Insight by Dolores Utrilla.

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