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 Full text 
Monday, 11 February 2019 - Strasbourg Revised edition

Regulations and general conditions governing the performance of the Ombudsman’s duties (Statute of the European Ombudsman) (debate)

  György Schöpflin, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Mr President, I think we can all agree that the Ombudsman performs an extremely important function, because one of the factors that makes the European Union viable is its commitment to accountability and to following its own procedures. Sometimes it doesn’t happen, but if this commitment is eroded, then the dangers of arbitrariness, the illicit enlargement of power, the abuse of power even, become real. The function of the Ombudsman, therefore, is to ensure that, in these areas of activity, accountability and procedural consistency are observed fully. In this regard, the institution of the Ombudsman performs a very useful function equilibrating between the different institutions of the European Union. The only problem that arises from this is an ancient one: who guards the guardians? It’s the ‘quis custodiet’ problem.

Once upon a time, the proper operation was democracy, which was predicated on the political actors behaving with due regard for self-limitation. In the ideologically polarised world of today, self-limitation has fallen down the memory hole. So, the more guardians, the better.

Last updated: 8 July 2019Legal notice