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Background information : 22-10-99


                    

Brussels, 22 October 1999


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Election of European Ombudsman



CONTENTS

1.     Hearings of the candidates

    - Georgios ANASTASSOPOULOS

    - Jacob SÖDERMAN

2.     The candidates' CVs

The following documents relating to the nomination procedure and statute of the Ombudsman are available on the internet (http://www.europarl.europa.eu):

European Parliament Rules of Procedure (Rules 177, 178, 179 and Annex X)

EU Treaties: Article 195 (formerly Article 138e)



1. HEARINGS OF THE CANDIDATES

At a special meeting on October 19 chaired by Vitalino GEMELLI (EPP/ED, I) the Petitions Committee conducted hearings of the two candidates for the post of European Ombudsman, Georgios ANASTASSOPOULOS and Jacob SÖDERMAN. The vote to elect the new Ombudsman will be held on October 27 at Parliament's Strasbourg part-session.

Georgios ANASTASSOPOULOS

In his introductory speech, Mr ANASTASSOPOULOS said that the fundamental reason why he was standing for this post was that he wished to raise the profile of the Ombudsman as an institution. He believed the new treaty could be used to give a fresh boost to the Ombudsman's role. If he himself were chosen, he could bring to bear on the post the rich experience he had acquired over the many years he had spent on Parliament's Institutional Affairs Committee. It was important to rethink relations between the Ombudsman and the European public. The Ombudsman's services could be used to enable members of the public to avoid resorting to the courts, where procedures could be costly and time-consuming. He stressed the need to revamp the Ombudsman's terms of reference.

- Questions and answers

Q. You have spoken of guarantees. What powers and additional resources will the Ombudsman need to give the public such guarantees? - Roy PERRY (EPP, UK)

A. Access to public documents is crucial, as are better resources for the Ombudsman to enable him to deal with complaints more efficiently. To speed up the processing of complaints it would be preferable to re- organise the service rather than increase staff numbers.

Q. If it is impossible to change the Treaties, what other means do you think the Ombudsman can use and what would be your strategy to raise the Ombudsman's profile? - Mark WATTS (PES, UK)

A. As regards treaty changes the institution of European Ombudsman will do everything within its power to try and bring about change by fighting alongside the Council and Commission. However, it would be more useful to speak at present about changing the culture of interinstitutional relations. I have no magic wand to wave but I know a lot about communicating with the public thanks to my time as a journalist and an MEP.

Q. How would you, as a journalist, explain the European Parliament's failure in the area of communication and what are the broad principles of transparency which would enable the public to have easier access to public documents? - Astrid THORS (ELDR, FIN)

A. On the eve of the European elections nearly 89% of voters (a higher figure than ever before) claimed to know about the European Parliament. To create real transparency the Ombudsman would have to fight alongside the Council and Commission. I myself have written reports on this matter, including one on confidentiality vis-à-vis journalists.

Q. What do you see as the relationship between parliamentary committees, in particular the Committee on Women's Rights and the Committee on Petitions, and the office of European Ombudsman? - Laura GONZÁLEZ ÁLVAREZ (EUL/NGL, E)

In my capacity as first vice-president of Parliament I have always defended women's rights, for example in Beijing. A minimum quota (30%) of women MEPs should be introduced. Regarding the Petitions Committee, of which I am a former member, this is the only committee in regular contact with the public. There can be no question or abolishing it. On the contrary, efforts should be made to try and increase the number of cases submitted to it.

Q. Can the big political issues and the European integration process result in derogations from the normal procedures? If so, how? - Véronique MATHIEU (EDD, F)

The procedures are there to be followed and adhered to. This means an institutional basis needs to be established between Parliament and Commission as well as the other bodies in order to deal more swiftly and more clearly with the public's complaints while complying with EU procedures. A late answer is not as useful as an early one. To achieve this, working methods must be reviewed.

Q. How can you strengthen links between the Petitions Committee and the Ombudsman, given the value of regular contact between the two bodies?- Rainer WIELAND (EPP/ED. D)

A. The Ombudsman should not simply deal with complaints. He should also strengthen ties with Parliament. The two bodies could deal with complaints and seek solutions jointly, which would enable more pressure to be applied in order to provide the best possible service to the public.

Q. Given your experience and your thorough knowledge of the EU institutions, can you tell us what real changes are needed to create closer ties with the public? - Herbert BÖSCH (PES, A)

A. The abstention rate at the last European elections was 50%, which shows that Parliament has still not convinced the electorate that it can do what they expect. More work at grassroots level and better scrutiny of procedures are needed. Despite Parliament's efforts, its successes are invisible. The number of areas covered by Parliament should be limited to allow more energy to be devoted to the issues that count.

Q. Would it not be best to have someone with experience as an ombudsman to do this work? - Jens-Peter BONDE (EDD, DK)

A. The work of the European Ombudsman and that of a national ombudsman are completely different. However, if I am given this post, I will ensure that the Ombudsman's role gets a high profile.

Q. The present Ombudsman has proposed an administrative code of conduct. What do you think of it? - Ulpu IIVARI (PES, FIN)

A. The code of conduct was presented rather late but it does contain some interesting ideas. The Commission must be pressured into adopting it.

Q. In view of the large number of inadmissible petitions received by the Ombudsman, do you think an information campaign about his role and work is needed? - Raffaele COSTA (EPP/ED, I)

A. It is essential to improve communications with the public so as to improve the Ombudsman's image, make his role more decisive and incisive, and develop his powers so that he does not lose touch with the public.


Jacob SÖDERMAN

Mr SÖDERMAN first of all reminded the hearing that he had been elected Ombudsman in 1995 from among seven candidates, probably because he had occupied a similar post in Finland. He saw independence as crucial if the Ombudsman was to fulfill his role, which was mainly to see that the EU administration did its work properly. The Ombudsman's remit, he pointed out, was limited to dealing with cases of maladministration by the EU institutions. Confidentiality was another key requirement if the public were to feel they could trust the Ombudsman. Lastly, the credibility of the Ombudsman's office was extremely important; without this the public could not be expected to turn to him. A good Ombudsman, in Mr SÖDERMAN's view, must do four things: recruit the right staff, be a good internal manager, deal with the complaints he received and be willing to provide information. He stressed that the number of complaints received was constantly increasing. He said that the administrative code of conduct had been completed and would be in place as of November, which should certainly help improve relations between the EU institutions and the public.

- Questions and answers

Q. After 6 years as Finnish Ombudsman and 4 years as European Ombudsman, do you think that administrative shortcomings are the same in Finland as in the European Parliament? Do you think that your experience as Finnish Ombudsman is important for your work as European Ombudsman? - Roy PERRY (EPP/ED, UK)

A. The Finnish system has been based on the Danish system since 1920. The Finnish Ombudsman's work is different from that of the European Ombudsman.

Q. Does the number of cases you receive reflect the fact that the European public is simply not in the habit of turning to the European Ombudsman? - Proinsias DE ROSSA (PES, IRL)

A. Given the large number of cases the Ombudsman receives, one can scarcely say the public is not in the habit of using the Ombudsman. However, there is a need to change the administrative set-up to strengthen ties between the Ombudsman and the public.

Q. By what authority have you, as Ombudsman, drawn up reports and what has been their value? Regarding the administration, do you think that adoption of the code of conduct by the Commission is enough? - Astrid THORS (ELDR, FIN)

A. As regards my reports, I apply the right of own-initiative in areas which are deemed important. As to the code of conduct, it means that the Council will be open to the public. I think it is a good thing to have the code of conduct in place from November 1999.

Q. What can the European Parliament do to help the Ombudsman? - Lambert DOORN (EPP/ED, NL)

A. There is already close cooperation between Parliament and the Ombudsman. However, MEPs need to be kept abreast of the Ombudsman's activities.

Q. What kind of relations exist between the European Ombudsman and national ombudsmen? Could the European Ombudsman help strengthen democracy in countries such as those of Latin America? - Laura GONZÁLEZ ÁLVAREZ (EUL/NGL, E)

A. Relations with national and regional ombudsmen, e.g. in Spain, Germany and Italy, are excellent. As to the second question, I helped set up the office of Central American Ombudsman. The ombudsman system has done much to help the people of Latin America. The French Ombudsman is trying to do something similar in Africa.

Q. When the public cannot gain access to documents, what should be done? - Jens-Peter BONDE (EDD, DK)

A. Legal proceedings are not the answer in such cases. The European Parliament should lay down and improve the rules on access to documents. A public register of documents should be set up for this purpose.

Q. What do you think of the Council of Ministers holding meetings behind closed doors? Do you agree with this practice? - William NEWTON DUNN (EPP/ED, UK)

A. No. It is undemocratic and unacceptable. It reflects the Council's lack of openness and should be changed.

Q. Would you like your term of office to be longer? Would you like more powers or a broader remit? - Ulpu IIVARI (PES, FIN)

A. You have to work with the mandate you have. As regards a broader remit, national ombudsmen might feel they were being subordinated to the European Ombudsman. They might fear for their independence and not accept such a situation. The most important thing is not the length of your term of office. The main thing is to do the work and enjoy close cooperation with the Petitions Committee.

Q. What can be done to make it easier to go to court if a member of the public is not satisfied or is refused access to a document? - Heidi HAUTALA (Greens/EFA, FIN)

A. There are no rules applicable at present and my work therefore has to be based on case-law. If there were a regulation governing access to documents, this would remove a number of obstacles.

Q. Could you hold a more regular dialogue with the Petitions Committee and deal with complaints in conjunction with the committee? - Rainer WIELAND (EPP/ED, D)

A. Existing relations and cooperation are excellent. The Petitions Committee should have the same status as the Ombudsman and I would like to see its role within Parliament upgraded. On a practical level, the two bodies should organise a joint campaign to inform the public of its rights.

Q. How can implementation of the code of conduct be speeded up? - Mark WATTS (PES, UK)

A. The EU institutions must change their approach and improve staff training. Unfortunately, changes in attitudes in big administrations do not happen overnight. These things take time.

Q. What can be done to achieve greater media impact for the Ombudsman? - Mary BANOTTI (EPP/ED, IRL)

A. Press conferences and meetings could be held in all regions of the EU as a means of gaining the media exposure we need.

Q. Has Mr Kinnock asked you to give your views on the reforms being carried out in the Commission? - Herbert BÖSCH (PES, A)

A. Nobody has asked me for my opinion of these reforms. I have simply discussed the code of conduct, which needs to be introduced for the benefit of the public, with the Commission Secretary-General, Mr Carlo Trojan.

Q. Would it be helpful to strengthen ties between the European Ombudsman and national ombudsmen? - Raffaele COSTA (EPP/ED, I)

A. There are considerable differences between the roles of the European Ombudsman and national ombudsman. A good national ombudsman tackles 10-15% of the cases he receives. The rest are dealt with by the courts. The work of national ombudsmen tends to focus on human rights. The European Ombudsman receives 200 admissible cases a year, of which 40 to 45 are tackled successfully. The aim in future is to help a larger number of people and to make the role of the European Ombudsman more open and transparent.


2. THE CANDIDATES' CVs

Georgios ANASTASSOPOULOS

Born on 25 September 1935 in Athens.

Graduate of Athens College and the Faculty of Law of Athens University. Post-graduate studies in comparative European law at King's College, University of London and at the Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University. Married with two children, speaks French and English fluently and has a basic knowledge of German.

From 1953 to 1959 sub-editor on the Kathimerini newspaper. From 1959 to 1967, when the newspaper was forced to close by the junta, he was the newspaper's political editor.

A journalist by profession, he worked for several Greek newspapers and as leader writer for Vradini, a newspaper that was closed down in 1973 when one of his pieces failed to find favour with the colonels in power. During the dictatorship (1967-1974) he conducted a personal campaign of opposition, inter alia through an underground newspaper entitled 'The Free Greeks'.

After the fall of the colonels in 1974 until 1981 he was director-general of the Athens press agency, the Greek AFP.

In 1974 he was elected advisor and one year later vice-president and from 1976 to 1984, for four consecutive terms, president of the Athens Association of Daily Newspaper Editors, the leading organisation of journalists in Greece.

In 1977 and 1981 he served as State Secretary in the Prime Minister's Office in the Karamanlis and Rallis governments and in 1981 chaired the interparty committee supervising the general elections.

From 1978 to 1984 he was a member of the bureau of the International Federation of Journalists.

In 1983 he spent one year as editor of an Athens daily newspaper (Messimvrini).

In 1984 he was elected as a Member of the European Parliament. Until the end of his first parliamentary term he was chairman of the Committee on Transport for five consecutive years, first being elected in 1987.

From 1988 to 1989 he was chairman of the Conference of parliamentary committee chairmen in the European Parliament. In 1989 and 1994 he was reelected to the European Parliament and elected on four occasions as one of the European Parliament's Vice-Presidents; he also served as a member of the Committee on Institutional Affairs and the Committee on Legal Affairs.

He is the author of five works _ 'The challenge of 1993' (co-author _ 1988), 'Horizontal Production' (1994), 'Trends in the run up to the 1996 Intergovernmental Conference' (1995), 'The two-fold threat to Community law' (1996) and 'Common principles for a European electoral system' (1998).

Grand Commander or Commander in the Orders of Merit of several countries including Germany, Italy, Portugal, Egypt and Argentina, he was also awarded the Legion of Honour in 1998 and has received many other distinctions including the Robert Schuman Medal (1995).

Parliamentary work

During the three terms in which he has served as a Member of the European Parliament, Georgios N. ANASTASSOPOULOS, has, inter alia, drafted 22 reports for the Committees on the Rules of Procedure and Petitions, Transport, Legal Affairs and Institutional Affairs, four recommendations for second reading and seven reports for Parliament's Bureau some on extremely important topics:

A2-0033/85 Report drawn up on behalf of the Committee on the Rules of Procedure and Petitions on the amendment of Rule 85 of the Rules of Procedure.

A2-0084/85 Report drawn up on behalf of the Committee on Transport on the judgment of the Court of Justice on the common transport policy and the guidelines for that policy.

A2-0053/86 Report drawn up on behalf of the Committee on Transport on the Memorandum No 3 from the Commission of the European Communities to the Council entitled 'Progress towards a Common Transport Policy : Maritime Transport' and in particular on the proposals from the Commission to the Council (COM (85) 90 final - C 2-10/85) for

.     a regulation concerning coordinated action to safeguard free access to cargoes in ocean trades;

.     a regulation applying the principle of freedom to provide services to sea transport;

.     a decision amending Decision 77/587/EEC setting up a consultation procedure on relations between Member States and third countries in shipping matters and on action relating to such matters in international organizations;

.     a directive concerning a common interpretation of the concept of 'national shipping line';

.     amendments to the proposal for a regulation laying down detailed rules for the application of Articles 85 and 86 of the Treaty to maritime transport;

.     a regulation on unfair pricing practices in maritime transport.

A2-0096/86 Report drawn up on behalf of the Committee on Transport on liberalization and harmonization in the field of transport.

A2-0135/87 Report drawn up on behalf of the Committee on Transport on Community measures in the field of air transport safety.

A2-0219/87 Report drawn up on behalf of the Committee on Transport on the proposal from the Commission of the European Communities to the Council (COM(87) 541 final _ C 2-209/87) for a fourth directive on summertime arrangements.

A2-0241/87 Report drawn up on behalf of the Committee on Transport on the proposal from the Commission of the European Communities to the Council (COM(87) 579 final _ C 2-237/87) for a Regulation on the grant of financial support to transport infrastructure projects.

A2-0160/88 Report drawn up on behalf of the Committee on Transport on the proposal from the Commission of the European Communities to the Council (COM(88) 552 final- C2-0040/87 and COM(88) 49 final) for a Council decision on the Consolidated Resolution on the facilitation of road transport of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.

A2-0208/88 Report drawn up on behalf of the Committee on Transport on the proposal from the Commission (COM(88) 247 final - C2-0148/88) for a decision on the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Economic Community, Finland, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden and Yugoslavia on the International Combined Road/Rail Carriage of Goods (ATC).

A2-0376/88 Report drawn up on behalf of the Committee on Transport on the proposal from the Commission to the Council (10174/88 TRANS 18/ _ C 2-235/88) for a Regulation on the grant of financial support to transport infrastructure projects.

A2-0051/88 Report drawn up on behalf of the Committee on Transport on the proposal from the Commission to the Council (COM(87) 548 final - C2-0257/87) for a draft directive amending Directive 78/546/EEC on statistical returns in respect of carriage of goods by road, as part of regional statistics.

A2-0388/88 Report on the proposal from the Commission for a Council Decision amending Decision 78/774/EEC concerning the activities of certain third countries in the field of cargo shipping (COM(88) 748 final C2-0305/88).

A2-0071/89 Report of the Committee on Transport on the proposals from the Commission to the Council (COM(88) 577 final- C2-0335/88) for:

.     a decision on consultation and coordination between Member States in the field of air traffic services and air traffic flow management;

.     a decision extending Decision 78/174/EEC to the field of sea and air transport infrastructure;

.     a recommendation on a flexible and efficient use of airspace.

A3-0095/91 Report of the Committee on Transport and Tourism on the development of relations between the European Community and the countries of Central and Eastern Europe in the field of transport.

A3-0049/92 Report of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Citizens' Rights on the Commission proposal for a Council directive on rental right, lending right, and on certain rights related to copyright.

A3-0174/92 Report on the proposal from the Commission to the Council for a directive on monitoring and controlling large exposures of credit institutions.

A3-0330/92 Report of the Committee on Transport and Tourism on the Commission proposal for a Council decision concerning the conclusion of the Agreements in the form of exchanges of letters amending the exchanges of letters on transit signed together with the Association Agreement on 16 December 1991 between the European Communities and their Member States and the Republic of Hungary and to the Interim Agreement between the European Economic Community and the Republic of Hungary as well as exchanges of letters replacing the exchanges of letters on infrastructure signed together with the Association Agreement between the European Communities and their Member States and the Republic of Hungary and with the Interim Agreement between the European Economic Community and the Republic of Hungary.

A3-0434/93 Report of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Citizens' Rights on confidentiality for journalists' sources and the right of civil servants to disclose information.

A4-0001/96 Report on the Commission's Twelfth Annual Report to Parliament on monitoring the application of Community law _ 1994.

A4-0119/97 Report on the Commission Green Paper on legal protection for encrypted services in the internal market (consultation on the need for Community action).

A4-0136/98 Report on the proposal for a European Parliament and Council Directive on the legal protection of services based on, or consisting of, conditional access.

A4-0212/98 Report on a proposal for an electoral procedure incorporating common principles for the election of Members of the European Parliament.

A2-0257/87 **II (Cooperation procedure _ second reading) Recommendation drawn up by the Committee on Transport concerning the common position of the Council on the proposal for the adoption of a fourth Council directive on summertime arrangements.

A3-0297/92 Recommendation of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Citizens' Rights on the common position established by the Council with a view to the adoption of a directive on rental right and lending right and on certain rights related to copyright in the field of intellectual property.

A3-0328/92 Recommendation of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Citizens' Rights on the common position established by the Council with a view to the adoption of a directive monitoring and controlling large exposures of credit institutions.

A4-0325/98 Recommendation for second reading on the common position established by the Council with a view to the adoption of a European Parliament and Council directive on the legal protection of services based on, or consisting of conditional access.


Jacob SÖDERMAN

CURRICULUM VITAE

Born on 19th March 1938 in Helsinki
Married, three children

STUDIES

Master of Laws (University of Helsinki) 1962
Court Training 1965
Licenciate of Laws (University of Helsinki) 1967

EMPLOYMENT

Senior Lecturer in Social Law at the Swedish Institute of Social Work and Local Administration 1966-67

Director, Association of Swedish Speaking Municipalities in Finland 1967-71

Head of Labour Safety Department,
Ministry for Social Affairs and Health 1971-82

Governor of the Province of Uusimaa (1.2 million inhabitants) 1982-89

Parliamentary Ombudsman 1989-95

European Ombudsman 1995-99

POSITIONS OF TRUST

Minister of Justice 1971

Finnish Representative in the Governing Body of the ILO 1972-75

Member of Parliament 1972-82
- Deputy Member of the Nordic Council
- Member of the Constitutional Committee
- Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee

Chairman of three Government Commissions on the Working Environment 1971-74

Minister of Social Affairs and Health also responsible for Nordic Cooperation1982

Chairman of the International Chile Commission
Meetings in Helsinki, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Luxembourg,
Mexico, Algiers, Athens, Rome and Bologna1974-1988

Chairman of Parliamentary Committee on Police Affairs 1984-86

Member of the Board of Directors of the International
Ombudsman Institute1991-92

HONOURS

White Rose Decoration of Finland1988

Grand Cross of Bernardo O'Higgins Decoration conferred by Chile 1993

Grand Cross of the Lions Decoration of Finland 1995

Honorary Degree, Åbo Academy, University of Turku, Finland 1998

Honorary Doctorate in Law, University of Lapland 1999

KNOWLEDGE OF LANGUAGES

Swedish, Finnish, English, Spanish, French

INTERNATIONAL LECTURES AND PAPERS

1. Council of Europe, Steering Committee for Human Rights
Helsinki, 7.6.1990
Presentation of the Ombudsman's Office

2. The first San Juan Ombudsmanship Congress
San Juan, Puerto Rico 8-10.9.1991
'The Ombudsman and the judicial system'

3. Conferencia Dictada en la Sociedad of Estudios Vascos
Bilbao, 11.7.1991
'The Parliamentary Ombudsman: Roots and Future Prospects'

4. International Workshop of National Institutions for the Promotion
and Protection of Human Rights
Paris, 7-9.10.1991
'The Parliamentary Ombudsman and Human Rights in Finland'

5. Second National Symposium (Capítulo Chileno del Pueblo)
Santiago, Chile 14-15.11.1991
'The Ombudsman in Transition: The European Experience'

6. III International Colloquium of the Latin American Ombudsman Institute
Buenos Aires, Argentina, 19-21.11.1991
'The Ombudsman in transition'

7. Symposium on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the
National Ombudsman in the Netherlands
The Hague, 29.1.1992
'The Ombudsman and the Judiciary'

8. Conference of the Ombudsmen and other similar Institutions
in defence of Human Rights in the CSCE Countries
Madrid, 29.5.1992
'The non-judicial mechanism for the protection of the fundamental
rights of persons in the sphere of the CSCE countries'

9. Article for 'La Revue française de l'Administration Publique'
24.11.1992
'The tasks of the Finnish Ombudsman'

10. Human Rights at the Dawn of the 21st Century
Strasbourg, 28-20.1.1993
'Implementation of Human Rights, including the prevention of Human
Rights violations'

11. International Meeting on the Judicial Ombudsman
Mexico City, 23-25.6.1993
'The Ombudsman and the Judiciary'

12. 4th Round Table with European Ombudsmen
Lisbon, 16-18.6.1994
'Cooperation between the Ombudsman and the Council of Europe'

13. Seminar in Managua
Managua - Nicaragua, 7-8.7.1994
Closing speech

14. Commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the Catalonican 'Sindic de Greuges'
Barcelona, 21.11.1994
'The role of the Ombudsman in a changing social environment'

15. The Ombudsman and Indigenous Populations
Antigua - Guatemala, 12.1.1995
Opening speech

16. International Ombudsman Convention
San Salvador - El Salvador, 16-18.1.1995
'The task of the Ombudsman in a changing world'

17. IV International Colloquium of the Latin American Ombudsman Institute
Maracaibo - Venezuela, 31.5.-21.6.1995
'Combating corruption'

18. First Congress of the "Iberoamerican Federation of the People, Attorneys, Commissioners and Chairmen of the Public Rights Commissions"
Queretar - Mexico, 15-19.5.1996
'El origen de la Unión Europea y algunos datos fundamentales sobre ella'

19. Second Congress of the "Iberoamerican Federation of the People, Attorneys, Commissioners and Chairmen of the Public Rights Commissions"
Toledo, Spain 14-16.04.1997
"Derechos Ciudadanos y Procesos de Integración Económica : Reflexiones Críticas desde la Perspectiva de la Unión Europea”

20. Conference on "Transparency in the EU Administration" organised by Lex Mundi
Oslo, Norway 30.05-01.06.1997
'Transparency and Public Access to Documents in the EU'

21. Seminar on "Transparency and Openness" organised by the European Institute of Public Administration
Maastricht, Netherlands 18-19.09.1997
'The role and impact of the European Ombudsman in access to documentation and the transparency of decision-making'

22. 25th Anniversary of the Médiateur de la Republique
Université de la Sorbonne, Paris 05.02.1998
'La Médiation : Quel avenir ?'

1998 FIDE CONGRESS

General rapporteur for the theme ”the Citizen, the Administration and Community law” at the XVIII FIDE Congress, held in Stockholm, Sweden, 3-6 June 1998. The FIDE Congress was attended by over 500 delegates, from the European Institutions, all Member States of the Union and from Cyprus, Malta, Norway and Switzerland.


LECTURES AT UNIVERSITIES

Universidad de Salamanca
Salamanca, Spain, 7 November 1996
'El Defensor del Pueblo Europeo en el sistema de protección jurídica de los derechos de los ciudadanos'

Göteborg University
Göteborg, Sweden, 30 January 1997
'The role of the European Ombudsman'

University of Hull
Hull, England, 14 March 1997
'A thousand and one complaints - The European Ombudsman on route'

Universidad Carlos III
Madrid, Spain, 16 April 1997
'El papel del Defensor del Pueblo Europeo'

University of Edinburgh
Edinburgh, Scotland, 23 January 1998
'The role of the European Ombudsman'

Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Madrid, Spain, 29 April 1998
'La figura del Defensor del Pueblo Europeo recogida en el ordenamiento comunitario: Funciones y perspectivas de actuación'

University of Reading
Reading, England, 28 May 1998
'The role of the European Ombudsman'

University of Bonn
Bonn, Germany, 27 June 1998
European Studies Panel "Public Opinion Concerning European Institutions and the Integration Process"

Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Freiburg, Germany, 2 December 1998
'The role of the European Ombudsman'

Panteion University Athens
Athens, Greece 24 May 1999
International Colloquy on the prevention of Human Rights violations
'The preventive activities of the European Ombudsman'


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