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Procedura : 2019/2134(INI)
Ciclo di vita in Aula
Ciclo del documento : A9-0032/2019

Testi presentati :

A9-0032/2019

Discussioni :

PV 15/01/2020 - 20
CRE 15/01/2020 - 20

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PV 16/01/2020 - 6.6

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P9_TA(2020)0016

Discussioni
Mercoledì 15 gennaio 2020 - Strasburgo Edizione rivista

20. Attività del Mediatore europeo nel 2018 (discussione)
Video degli interventi
PV
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  Der Präsident. – Als nächster Punkt der Tagesordnung folgt die Aussprache über den Bericht von Peter Jahr im Namen des Petitionsausschusses über die Tätigkeit des Europäischen Bürgerbeauftragten im Jahr 2018 (2019/2134(INI)) (A9-0032/2019).

Ich möchte Sie auch an dieser Stelle daran erinnern, dass Sie sowohl in üblicher Weise als auch mithilfe des elektronischen Systems um die Möglichkeit zur spontanen Wortmeldung sowie zur Verwendung der „blauen Karte“ ersuchen können. Gebrauchsanleitungen liegen am Eingang des Plenarsaals aus.

 
  
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  Peter Jahr, Berichterstatter. – Herr Präsident! Wir haben diese Woche sehr intensiv darüber diskutiert, dass die europäischen Institutionen näher an den Bürger rücken müssen. Wir wollen einen europäischen Konvent etablieren, damit die Bürgerinnen und Bürger mitentscheiden können, wie sich die Europäische Union weiterentwickeln soll und wie es hier weitergehen soll – Stichwort: Demokratisierung, Stichwort: Transparenz.

Aber, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen, wir sollten bitte nicht vergessen: Mit dem Europäischen Bürgerbeauftragten haben wir eine Institution, die ganz nah am Bürger ist, und näher am Bürger, könnte man fast sagen, geht dann gar nicht. Man kann mit dem Bürgerbeauftragten direkt in Kontakt treten, man kann ihm schreiben, man kann sogar sagen, man kann ihn, wenn man will, anfassen.

Man soll dabei auch immer wieder beachten und feststellen: Die Bürgerbeauftragte ist für die Bürgerinnen und Bürger da und nicht für den Rat, nicht für die Kommission und nicht für das Europäische Parlament. Das heißt, als Bürgerbeauftragte muss man auch manchmal bei den Institutionen anecken, bei der Kommission, beim Rat, und trotzdem muss man intensiv zusammenarbeiten.

Ich beglückwünsche die Bürgerbeauftragte, Emily O'Reilly, zu ihrer Arbeit und ihren konstruktiven Bemühungen, auch diesen Spagat, wenn man so will, hinzukriegen, mit uns zusammenzuarbeiten und die Interessen der Bürgerinnen und Bürger zu beachten. Es geht ja darum, die Qualität der Verwaltung der Europäischen Union und den Zugang sowie die Qualität ihrer Dienste für die Bürgerinnen und Bürger zu verbessern.

Vor allem möchte ich hier die Arbeit von Frau O'Reilly in Sachen Transparenz im Rat loben, bei welcher Sie – das würde ich ausdrücklich sagen – vom Parlament intensiv unterstützt worden sind. Dies hat andererseits beim Rat für weniger Freude gesorgt. Aber Transparenz und der Zugang der Öffentlichkeit zu Dokumenten des Rates ist von wesentlicher Bedeutung, und man kann wirklich sagen, da könnte sich der Rat mindestens zwei Scheiben beim Europäischen Parlament abschneiden – nicht mehr und nicht weniger.

Transparenz verlangen wir vom Rat, das ist das, was wir machen, das soll der Rat dann auch durchführen. Es ist wichtig, dass Legislativverfahren der Europäischen Union gegenüber der Öffentlichkeit stärker rechenschaftspflichtig gemacht werden, und es ist auch wichtig, dass wir das den Bürgerinnen und Bürgern näherbringen können. Wir fordern den Rat als eine der beiden Instanzen der europäischen Gesetzgebung auf, nicht wie ein diplomatisches Forum aufzutreten, sondern – wie in den Verträgen gefordert – seine Arbeitsmethoden an die Standards einer parlamentarischen Demokratie anzupassen.

Mir war es eine Freude, an dem Bericht zu arbeiten. Wir hatten eine gute Zusammenarbeit unter oder mit den Berichterstattern. Wir haben einen guten Bericht angefertigt, wir haben dafür gesorgt, dass er – ich nenne es immer so – entpolitisiert worden ist, dass er eine breite Mehrheit erreichen konnte. Das war dann wirklich auch so, dass der Bericht im Petitionsausschuss mit 28 Stimmen dafür, einer Gegenstimme und einer Enthaltung angenommen wurde. Also auch ein gutes Zeichen für die Arbeit des Petitionsausschusses, wenn man so will, auch ein gutes Zeichen der Zusammenarbeit zwischen Petitionsausschuss und der Bürgerbeauftragten. Ich wünsche mir, dass das in diesem Jahr so weitergehen kann.

 
  
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  Emily O'Reilly, European Ombudsman. – Mr President, good evening everybody and thank you to Mr Jahr and to the shadow rapporteurs for your work on this report.

It is always a great pleasure to present the annual reports of my office to Parliament. However, this year is particularly significant, as I am presenting our work to a new Parliament, with many new Members and which four weeks ago voted confidence in me and in that work by electing me for a second mandate. I am very grateful for that trust and I intend fully to live up to it.

I also very much welcome the presence of Commissioner Šefčovič at this debate, which comes at the very beginning of this Commission’s mandate and I wish it well in the vital work it does for everyone in Europe and also for many beyond our borders,

Honourable Members, as Ombudsman I am the bridge between citizens and the EU administration when problems arise and complaints are made. The complaints come from individuals, civil society organisations, businesses, journalists and often from Members of this Parliament. We apply not only EU law in our analysis, but also the principles of good administration, seeking a just outcome for citizens who are often overwhelmed by the at times technocratic nature and distance of the EU administration. We are not advocates, but we try to create a balanced playing field between the often powerless complainant and the very powerful institutions.

The year 2018 saw a strong increase in complaints that fall within my mandate, and this continued in 2019. This is not because the EU administration lowered its standards, but because many more people became aware of the work of my office and what it has achieved and can achieve.

I am grateful to the EU institutions, agencies and bodies for their cooperation in this work. The vast majority of cases are dealt with through a strong collaborative engagement with the administration and it is important to acknowledge that. Yes, I highlight problems, because that is my job, but I also witness all of the good work of EU officials and have indeed publicly and tangibly acknowledged it through an awards scheme introduced to showcase and praise their work and to share good practice throughout the administration. As in previous years, accountability and transparency related inquiries made up the highest proportion of my office’s work.

In 2018, I also used one of the Ombudsman’s infrequently used powers: that of submitting a Special Report to the European Parliament. This was only the second time I had done so since my first election as Ombudsman.

In 2013, I told Parliament that this power should be used very rarely and only in particularly serious cases where an institution does not act upon Ombudsman recommendations. That Special Report concerned an inquiry into the accountability of the Council of the EU, notably through the lack of transparency of the legislative processes used for discussing and amending draft EU legislation.

The public has a right to know how their governments contribute to shaping that EU legislation. Without that right being exercised, the ‘blame Brussels’ culture will continue with national Ministers obscuring their own role in the making of laws that affect their citizens.

I was very grateful to receive the overwhelming support of the Plenary for my proposals. While these recommendations have met some resistance from larger Member States, I welcome the growing coalition of governments in Council that have publicly expressed support for such changes. At the moment, it is 10 Member States and I hope that the current Presidency and the following German Presidency will take up this issue of importance to European democracy and indeed legitimacy.

As the European Ombudsman, I also coordinate the European Network of Ombudsmen – which consists of 96 offices in 36 European countries, with the European Parliament’s Committee on Petitions also being a member. The 2018 annual conference took place in April in the European Parliament in Brussels, with Michel Barnier as keynote speaker, and I am very grateful for the highly professional support of Parliament in helping us make the event such a success.

At the start of the Ombudsman’s new five-year mandate, it is important to ask and to examine what role it should play within the architecture of the EU in 2020 and beyond. If the Von der Leyen Commission is going to be the ‘geopolitical’ Commission, and become more involved in migration issues, foreign policy, defence cooperation and in tackling the global climate crisis – alongside several EU agencies – then who will provide oversight of this work?

This Parliament will provide the democratic oversight, of course, and the Ombudsman must also provide oversight of an EU administration which arguably is more directly hands on and on the ground than ever before. Whether it is Frontex coordinating forced return flights for migrants, or EASO interviewing asylum seekers in the Greek islands, or the European Defence Agency trying to envisage the technology required for a 21st century battlefield, the EU is changing and so the Ombudsman must also adapt in order to keep pace with that change.

However, the reality is that the Office consists of fewer than seventy (70) posts. We are receiving record numbers of complaints and dealing with more and more complex cases. The lack of resources of my Office has already been recognised by Parliament in the annual budgetary process and in the ongoing revision of the Ombudsman statute. However, I do ask that this issue is discussed further and in a more comprehensive way, and especially with the Commission and Council, and I hope we can find an agreed way forward.

It is in the interest of all of us, that the Ombudsman’s office is fully equipped and resourced for the 21st century. We must be able to fulfil our role under the EU treaties, in line with the expectations of European citizens, and in this new ‘geopolitical’ world.

 
  
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  Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the Commission. – Mr President, Madam Ombudsman, I am very pleased to be here tonight and to have the opportunity to discuss with you the annual report of the activities of the European Ombudsman in 2018 and the report of the Committee on Petitions (PETI). Let me start by congratulating the rapporteur, Mr Peter Jahr, the coordinators of the PETI committee and its members who have been involved in this valuable work.

As every year, these reports provide all EU institutions, agencies, bodies and offices with the views of Parliament on the issues that it considers as being noteworthy and important. As far as the Commission is concerned, I would like to assure you that the Commission is very much committed to ensuring good administration in our relations with the citizens, associations and businesses with whom we interact. This is a fundamental part of our work, and we attach great importance to the quality of these relations.

The Commission is indeed dedicated to the values of service, independence, responsibility, accountability, efficiency and transparency, and it strives to put the citizens’ right to good administration into practice and to avoid instances of maladministration. The cooperation with the European Ombudsman is key in this respect, especially as around two-thirds of European Ombudsman inquiries, namely 58.2% or 285 inquiries in 2018, concerned the European Commission. We are indeed the institution with the most direct administrative dealings with the citizens.

Every year, the Commission agrees with around three-quarters of the European Ombudsman’s proposals, be they proposals for a solution, suggestions for improvement or recommendations. Thus, in most cases where the Ombudsman issues recommendations, proposals for a solution or suggestions for improvement, the Commission and the Ombudsman agree in the end. This explains why, at the end of the day, only around 6% of the inquiries end with finding of maladministration. In other words, the Ombudsman, after diligent inquiries, in an overwhelming majority of cases, closes complaints with no conclusions of maladministration on the side of the Commission, either because there was indeed no instance of maladministration or because a satisfying outcome could be achieved.

The Commission’s high standards of good administration have been highlighted by the European Ombudsman, notably on the occasion of the European Ombudsman award for good administration. In 2019, the Commission won the overall prize, which recognises initiatives having a visible and direct positive impact on the lives of people in Europe and beyond for its work on the reduction of plastic pollution and awareness—raising about single—use plastics. It also won several awards in different subcategories.

The Commission is also aware that it has to continue to pave the way, assess, improve even more and, where necessary, correct its administrative practices. This is why the Commission will pursue the very constructive relationship it has built with the Ombudsman over the years, first and foremost in the interest of the European citizens and other interested parties. I look forward to the debate tonight with the Honourable Members, and I thank you already for your attention.

 
  
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  Cristian Terheş, în numele grupului S&D. – Domnule președinte, domnule comisar, doamnă O’Reilly, ca raportor din umbră al acestui raport, pot să vă spun că este o ușurință să lucrez pe un raport de activitate a unei persoane atunci când persoana respectivă este foarte activă și foarte profesionistă în ceea ce face. Ca raportor din umbră din partea S&D al activității doamnei O’Reilly în 2018, am fost impresionat de profesionalismul, curajul și dedicația dânsei în a apăra interesele cetățenilor Uniunii Europene în raport cu diverse instituții, lucru dovedit și de faptul că a fost realeasă în această poziție.

Transparența, responsabilizarea oficialilor europeni, accesul la informații și documente au fost câteva domenii în care doamna O’Reilly a fost foarte activă și în care a venit cu soluții adecvate. În acest sens, doamna O’Reilly a venit cu propuneri concrete privind asigurarea unui grad cât mai înalt de transparență la nivelul tuturor instituțiilor europene. Transparența este un element fundamental al statului de drept și solicit noii Comisii Europene să țină cont de propunerile doamnei O’Reilly în acest sens. În activitatea din 2018, doamna O’Reilly a dovedit curaj și determinare în a ține piept stabilimentului, scoțând la lumină faptul că la nivelul cel mai înalt al Comisiei Juncker au fost încălcate flagrant regulile și procedurile în numirea fostului Secretar General al Comisiei Europene, domnul Martin Selmayr.

După legea din România, ca o paranteză, o asemenea faptă ar fi fost catalogată ca o faptă de corupție, iar cei vinovați ar fi fost trimiși în judecată, cel puțin pentru abuz în serviciu și conflict de interese. Este lipsit de credibilitate, și mă bucur că avem un comisar astăzi de față la această dezbatere, ca diverși oficiali de la nivelul Comisiei Europene să țină lecții sau să facă morală statelor membre despre domnia legii și lupta anticorupție, când ei înșiși sfidează regulile, așa cum a făcut Comisia Juncker.

O încurajez pe doamna O’Reilly să fie la fel de curajoasă și dedicată în tot ceea ce face, pentru a apăra interesele cetățenilor Uniunii Europene, iar din partea noastră, atât ca membri ai Comisiei PETI, cât și ca eurodeputați, o asigurăm de întregul nostru sprijin.

Good job and good luck, Ms O’Reilly.

 
  
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  Yana Toom, on behalf of the Renew Group. – Mr President, I don’t want to repeat what has been said before. I want to, but I don’t have time so I will not.

We all know that Emily O’Reilly has done an excellent job and I congratulate her on her re—election. However, this election has shown that there are some procedural problems. It will be our task in the Committee on Petitions to change or clarify the election procedure for the next term. It should be in line with the principles that the Ombudsman stands for: clear, transparent and fair. There should be rules on campaigning for, as we all know, this campaign, unfortunately, was kind of dirty sometimes, and we of course need a very clear timeframe so as not to put those candidates who are acting according to the rules into a vulnerable position in comparison with others.

After the adoption of this report tomorrow, we also need a vision for the future. I agree with what was said by my colleagues from the PPE and S&D Groups, but I would like to highlight another thing. There are still things which have to be done regarding good administration in EU institutions, and the procedure behind Commission responses is one of them. When we send citizens’ complaints about Member States and possible infringements to the Commission, the Commission asks the national authorities about this. They ask the possible infringer whether they are breaking EU law, and the answer is of course always, ‘no’. What is interesting is that the Commission is normally satisfied with this answer and we receive answers from the Commission saying that there is no problem and no infringement. This means that we are not standing on the side of the citizen who is complaining and who is in an unequal battle with European bureaucracy. This needs to be changed. The same applies to the ‘EU Pilot’ where we can submit individual complaints about possible infringements. The process is not transparent. The documents of closed files are not openly available and getting them is a big problem. I would like to see a more proactive and more transparent approach, and of course I look forward to cooperating with the Ombudsman further and hopefully to solving this problem.

 
  
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  Gilles Lebreton, au nom du groupe ID. – Monsieur le Président, j’estime que l’Union européenne est mal placée pour donner des leçons de morale ou de respect des droits de l’homme. En effet, ses institutions violent les règles de déontologie les plus élémentaires. C’est notamment le cas de la Commission de Bruxelles et de la Banque centrale européenne, comme le prouve le rapport 2018 de la Médiatrice européenne.

Page 9, la Médiatrice dénonce, en effet, la manière dont la Commission européenne a nommé son secrétaire général, l’Allemand Martin Selmayr en février 2018. Elle dénonce, à cette occasion, «quatre occurrences de mauvaise administration, dont la création d’un état d’urgence fictif pour pourvoir le poste». J’en déduis que j’avais raison de dénoncer l’illégalité de sa nomination, aussi bien dans cet hémicycle que dans la commission des affaires juridiques. Hélas, il a fallu 16 mois pour m’entendre et se débarrasser de Selmayr. Suite à ce scandale, la Médiatrice a demandé qu’une procédure détaillée soit mise en place pour la nomination du secrétaire général. Hélas, elle souligne dans son rapport que «la Commission s’est refusée à mettre en place une telle procédure». Le manque de transparence subsiste donc.

Page 13, la Médiatrice épingle également la Banque centrale européenne et plus précisément son président Mario Draghi, auquel elle reproche d’avoir adhéré à une organisation privée, «le Groupe des 30», qui réunit notamment les directeurs des grandes banques privées. Malgré ces remontrances, Draghi est resté membre du Groupe des 30. La Médiatrice en déduit de façon très inquiétante que cela est de nature à faire douter de l’indépendance de la Banque centrale européenne par rapport aux lobbies financiers.

La Médiatrice confirme ainsi la réalité de ce que je ne cesse de dénoncer: l’Union européenne manque de transparence et d’éthique.

 
  
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  Kosma Złotowski, w imieniu grupy ECR. – Panie Przewodniczący! Szanowny Panie Komisarzu! Szanowna Pani Rzecznik! Chciałbym Pani pogratulować ponownego wyboru na stanowisko Europejskiego Rzecznika Praw Obywatelskich, bo to najlepszy możliwy wyraz uznania dla dotychczasowej Pani pracy. Również to sprawozdanie wystawa Pani aktywności w 2018 roku jak najlepsze oceny. Grupa ECR oczywiście w pełni ten tekst popiera.

Początek kadencji to jednak o wiele lepsza okazja, aby mówić o przyszłości niż o przeszłości. Chciałbym bardzo poprosić, aby zwróciła Pani szczególną uwagę na problem braku przejrzystości procesu decyzyjnego w ramach negocjacji trójstronnych, tzw. trilogów. Niestety ta procedura staje się karykaturą tego, czym powinna być. Najbardziej jaskrawym tego przykładem są prace nad pakietem mobilności, w których miałem okazję uczestniczyć. Wrażenie deficytu demokracji w Unii Europejskiej to wina braku transparentności przy tworzeniu prawa europejskiego. Jestem przekonany, że Europejski Rzecznik Praw Obywatelskich powinien przyjrzeć się praktyce jego tworzenia ze szczególną uwagą.

 
  
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  Αλέξης Γεωργούλης, εξ ονόματος της ομάδας GUE/NGL. – Κύριε πρόεδρε, οι τελευταίες εκλογές κατέδειξαν και πάλι τη δυσπιστία των πολιτών απέναντι στην Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση. Είναι λοιπόν επιτακτικό να αποκωδικοποιήσουμε το μήνυμα που μας στέλνουν οι λαοί της Ευρώπης και να αναγνωρίσουμε την ανάγκη να προσπαθήσουμε περισσότερο· να προσπαθήσουμε περισσότερο προς την κατεύθυνση της απόλυτης λογοδοσίας και διαφάνειας των θεσμών, ώστε να καταφέρουμε να καταπολεμήσουμε κάθε φαινόμενο κακοδιοίκησης και να εξασφαλίσουμε την τήρηση των αρχών του κράτους δικαίου. Μόνον έτσι οι πολίτες θα μπορέσουν να πεισθούν και να ταχθούν υπέρ της ευρωπαϊκής ολοκλήρωσης. Δεν αρκεί λοιπόν να ανοίξουμε την πόρτα για να ακολουθήσουν πολλοί, αλλά επιβάλλεται να ρίξουμε και άπλετο φως. Εν κατακλείδι, οι πολίτες θα πρέπει να γίνουν γνώστες και κοινωνοί της όλης διαδικασίας. Διαφάνεια δεν είναι οι πολίτες να μπορούν να πληροφορηθούν πλήρως για ό,τι συμβαίνει αλλά να πληροφορηθούν κατά τρόπο εύληπτο και κατανοητό, για να μπορέσουν να συμμετάσχουν αποτελεσματικά σε κάθε στάδιο της νομοθέτησης. Στον αγώνα αυτό, σύμμαχο έχουμε τη Διαμεσολαβήτριά μας Emily O’Reilly που, για ακόμα μια χρονιά, υπηρετεί τη θέση αυτή με απόλυτη προσήλωση. Κυρίες και κύριοι της Επιτροπής και του Συμβουλίου, μην την αγνοήσετε.

 
  
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  Mario Furore (NI). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, mi congratulo innanzitutto con la Mediatrice O'Reilly per la sua rielezione e la proficua attività svolta a salvaguardia della buona amministrazione.

Ringrazio inoltre il collega Jahr per il lavoro compiuto sulla relazione, il cui contenuto trovo nel complesso condivisibile, fatta eccezione per il paragrafo sulla BCE che, a mio avviso, si pone in netta antitesi con la tutela dei principi di pubblicità e trasparenza inerenti ai processi decisionali a livello UE.

Tra gli aspetti positivi del testo, invece, di particolare efficacia rilevo il riconoscimento del diritto di accesso del pubblico ai documenti degli organi UE come diritto inalienabile da garantire a tutti i cittadini. Un diritto oggi, però, fortemente compromesso dal quadro normativo, e faccio riferimento al regolamento (CE) n. 1049/2001, le cui disposizioni, risalenti a quasi un ventennio fa, non rispecchiano più l'attuale situazione giuridica né la prassi istituzionale impiegata oggi in materia. Mi trovo pertanto pienamente in linea con la richiesta di procedere a una sua revisione.

Altrettanto positivi appaiono i passaggi nei quali viene evidenziata la necessità di adottare norme molto più rigorose ed i più elevati standard etici per impedire... (il Presidente interrompe l'oratore)

 
  
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  Der Präsident. – Herr Kollege Furore, Sie haben noch Redezeit.

 
  
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  Mario Furore (NI). – ... Mi trovo pertanto pienamente in linea con la richiesta di procedere a una sua revisione.

Altrettanto positivi appaiono i passaggi nei quali viene evidenziata la necessità di adottare norme molto più rigorose e i più elevati standard etici per impedire conflitti di interessi e porte girevoli presso tutte le istituzioni UE, garantendo così il rispetto del dovere di integrità.

È compito della Commissione von der Leyen far sì che i casi di cattiva amministrazione, comportamenti anti-etici e violazioni normative, come quelli riscontrati in passato nelle vicende Selmayr e Barroso, non abbiano più a ripetersi, operando una decisa inversione di tendenza nel segno della buona amministrazione, della piena trasparenza e dell'integrità morale.

 
  
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  Der Präsident. – Wir haben bestimmte Redezeiten hier im Haus. Es hilft nichts, wenn man sich die Dinge aufschreibt und die Sachen dann in doppelter Geschwindigkeit herunterliest. Herr Kollege, Sie sind neu im Parlament, die Frau Kollegin Evi ist schon eine ganze Weile dabei. Sie saß früher an der Stelle, und sie weiß genau, dass es Kollegen gab, die ich auch schon ermahnt habe. Vielleicht ziehen Sie sie mal zu Rate, was angemessen ist, wenn Sie künftig Redezeiten haben.

 
  
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  Jude Kirton-Darling (S&D). – Mr President, the EU Ombudsman plays a vital role in our European democracy, improving administration and ensuring that the ethics of our institutions are upheld, and I was delighted to see Emily O’Reilly re-elected in December. Emily, you’ve been an exemplary case of somebody who has advocated for transparency and good governance and, at a time when many of us – or many of our countries – are questioning the EU, and on the eve of our departure, your work on opening the black box of decision—making is needed more than ever.

This is my last speech in the European Parliament, representing my beautiful and diverse home region, the North East of England. It’s been an honour; it’s been a privilege. I hope at some point somebody else will sit in this seat representing my home. But, in the meantime, we’re going and I’d like to thank my current staff, Paul Ugo, Carla, Matt, Max and Malcolm, for their dedication and hard work during the most testing of times, and my previous staff as well. So from us, the British delegation in the Committee on Petitions, all we have to say is good luck and good night.

(Loud applause)

 
  
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  Der Präsident. – Es ist normalerweise nicht meine Aufgabe, aber Sie waren sehr bewegt gerade. Sie sagten, Sie sind für den Nordosten Englands gewählt. Meine Heimatstadt Gerlingen hat eine Partnerstadt im Nordosten, Seaham. Ich möchte Sie bitten, die besten Grüße nach Seaham mitzutragen.

 
  
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  Marie-Pierre Vedrenne (Renew). – Monsieur le Président, Monsieur le Commissaire, Madame la Médiatrice, merci au rapporteur pour son travail.

La confiance des citoyens en l’Union européenne passe notamment par davantage de transparence. Des avancées ont eu lieu dans nos institutions, par exemple dans le domaine commercial. La Commission européenne doit continuer à publier les documents de négociation et le Conseil rendre publics les mandats. Des améliorations sont possibles, nous l’avons tous souligné, et elles sont nécessaires. Le Conseil, spécifiquement, doit garantir plus de transparence dans son fonctionnement. Nous devons également mettre toute notre énergie pour qu’un accord soit adopté au plus vite pour la mise en place du registre de transparence commun obligatoire et juridiquement contraignant pour les représentations d’intérêt.

Rapprocher les citoyens des institutions européennes, c’est lutter efficacement contre l’euroscepticisme. En ce sens, nous devons tous poursuivre notre travail et renforcer la stratégie lancée par la Médiatrice pour accroître sa visibilité. Vous pourrez compter sur mon soutien.

 
  
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  Eleonora Evi (NI). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, innanzitutto rivolgo anch'io le mie congratulazioni alla Mediatrice O'Reilly per la sua rielezione. Il suo lavoro è stato sicuramente molto apprezzato da questo Parlamento.

Come è apprezzato – ed è stato riportato correttamente, in maniera molto buona – il lavoro svolto nell'arco del 2018 nella relazione che stiamo discutendo questa sera, una relazione che chiede nuovamente, come avevamo già fatto nella relazione dello scorso anno, che un registro per la trasparenza possa essere finalmente introdotto in maniera obbligatoria e giuridicamente vincolante, affinché sia in grado di superare le pesanti lacune vigenti sull'attività lobbistica.

Servono norme molto più rigorose per l'attività delle lobby e per impedire i conflitti di interesse, ma anche significative modifiche per rendere tutti i processi decisionali realmente trasparenti e improntati alla piena accountability. Se la Commissione von der Leyen vuole davvero fare un cambio di passo rispetto alla scia di sfaceli compiuti dalla precedente Commissione Juncker, faccia proprie queste richieste e agisca di conseguenza.

Mi trova invece in dissenso – e questa è l'unica nota negativa di questa relazione – il paragrafo della stessa incentrato sulla BCE: contrariamente a quanto indicato nel testo, io ritengo che debba essere netto il divieto per i membri della BCE di partecipare a forum a porte chiuse, specie se organizzati da o se tra i partecipanti figurano banche sottoposte alla vigilanza della stessa BCE.

 
  
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  Alex Agius Saliba (S&D). – Sur President, l-ewwelnett nixtieq nifraħ lill Emily O’Reilly illi ġiet ikkonfermata bħala l-Ombudsman Ewropew. Dan huwa vot ta’ fiduċja fil-ħidma pożittiva illi wettqet sabiex l-Uffiċċju tal-Ombudsman jibqa’ wieħed aċċessibbli għaċ-ċittadini Ewropej.

Sodisfatt illi f’dan ir rapport annwali l-Ombudsman Ewropew tkellmet dwar suġġett importanti ħafna għalija: dak tat-trattament tal-persuni b’diżabilità taħt l-iskema konġunta tas-Sigurtà f’każ ta’ Mard.

Naqbel ukoll perfettament mar-rakkomandazzjoni lill-Kummissjoni sabiex jiġi rivedut ukoll il-provvediment ta’ din l-iskema sabiex b’hekk ikun konformi wkoll mal-Konvenzjoni tal-Ġnus Magħquda għall-persuni b’diżabilità.

Naqbel ukoll mar-rakkomandazzjoni dwar iż-żieda fl-aċċessibilità għall-persuni neqsin mid-dawl fi proċeduri ta’ selezzjoni ta’ kandidati f’uffiċċji Ewropej. Hemm bżonn illi mill-aktar fis jiġu implimentati teknoloġiji ta’ assistenza għall-kandidati li jpoġġu għal testijiet li jsiru bil-kompjuter.

Qabel nagħlaq, nixtieq nirringrazzja lil Jude illi kienet il-koordinatriċi tagħna fi ħdan il-kumitat, fi ħdan il-Grupp tas-Soċjalisti, u d-Demokratiċi tal-impenn u d-dedikazzjoni li dejjem uriet. Ħa nimmissjawha ħafna.

 
  
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  Brando Benifei (S&D). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, il Parlamento europeo, con la sua relazione annuale, si congratula ancora una volta con Emily O'Reilly e tutto l'ufficio del Mediatore europeo per l'eccellente lavoro svolto.

I cittadini europei hanno trovato nel Mediatore un prezioso alleato, che da anni si batte per assicurare la qualità dell'amministrazione dell'Unione, la trasparenza delle sue decisioni, l'accessibilità e la qualità dei servizi alla popolazione.

Vorrei rivolgere dunque un sincero augurio di buon lavoro a Emily O'Reilly per il suo nuovo mandato, un forte messaggio di incoraggiamento a portare avanti con determinazione le sue importanti iniziative – su tutte il miglioramento dei meccanismi decisionali del Consiglio – e a opporsi sempre con fermezza a ogni episodio di cattiva amministrazione, come ha fatto nel caso della nomina di Selmayr a Segretario generale della Commissione.

Posso dire con orgoglio di aver collaborato in questi anni con il Mediatore per bloccare la pratica vergognosa dei tirocini non retribuiti all'interno delle istituzioni dell'Unione europea. Adesso dobbiamo fare un ulteriore sforzo: batterci per mettere al bando gli stage e i tirocini non pagati in tutti i paesi membri dell'Unione.

 
  
 

Spontane Wortmeldungen

 
  
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  Jiří Pospíšil (PPE). – Pane předsedající, já bych chtěl na závěr té debaty konstatovat, že podporuji tuto zprávu a jsem rád za jeden konkrétní článek, který možná bude vypadat pro kolegy, jako že není podstatný, že je formální, ale praxe z České republiky ukazuje, že je velmi důležitý. A to je článek 47, kde jsou stanoveny podmínky pro výkon funkce ombudsmana. Nestrannost, odbornost, nezávislost na politických funkcích, ale také morální zdatnost. Někdo to může považovat za pouhou formalitu, ale my jsme teď v České republice byli svědky velké veřejné debaty, kdy prezident republiky navrhl nového kandidáta na ombudsmana, významnou profesorku trestního práva, u které se však ukázalo, že v 70. letech spolupracovala s komunistickými prokurátory, kteří poslali na smrt některé politické vězně v České republice, třeba doktorku Miladu Horákovou. A ta velká společenská debata bohužel relativizovala morální provinění této kandidátky. Nakonec tedy odstoupila a já jsem rád, že v Evropě držíme jasnou linii, že ombudsman nesmí být pouze odborně zdatný, ale také morálně zdatný. Je to mimořádně důležité.

 
  
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  Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D). – Mr President, I use this speaking time to add my voice to the appreciation of the very meaning of the institution of ombudsman, or ombudsperson, as some say, and particularly to congratulate you for your recent re-election by the plenary of this European Parliament. You have five years to go. It’s an appreciation of your work enhancing greater transparency and access to documents, although the regulation has yet to be updated. The work has been blocked by the Council, despite the efforts by the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE), which I chair.

There is also much work to do in order to make sure that conflicts of interest are no longer there, that revolving doors are out of the scene, that your inquiry on certain practices of certain industries, in particular, pharmaceutical industries, are compliant with the UN Convention on persons with disabilities, and, finally, that the code of good administration is upgraded into a real European regulation.

 
  
 

(Ende der spontanen Wortmeldungen)

 
  
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  Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the Commission. – Mr President, first, I would like to thank the honourable Members for their statements and comments. I think that Mr Terheş has just started what was, as I have seen it, universal high praise for the great work done by Ms O’Reilly, which we in the Commission fully share.

To Ms Toom, I just would like to tell and to reassure her that if it comes to infringements and EU pilot procedures, I’m very much looking forward to our discussion in the Committee on Petitions (PETI), for which I just got an invitation, where we can go into more depth and discuss how we can improve our cooperation in this field as well. I also would like to inform the honourable Members of this House that on Tuesday, the Commission appointed a new Secretary-General fully following the procedure and, I believe, selecting a highly competent and exemplary professional and good European, Ms Juhansone, who I’m sure will be an excellent Secretary-General.

I would also like to add that the Commission clearly and constantly strives to ensure a very high level of good administration and we are going to work with you in that regard to make sure that the rights which are enshrined in Article 41 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights will be fully respected and enjoyed by our citizens. Therefore, citizens, companies and associations with whom we have interaction can fully expect that they will get an open, accessible and properly managed administration from our side in the European Commission. I would like to also stress the fact that our daily exchanges with the Ombudsman help us to do it better every day, and that we jointly want to provide citizens with very high administrative standards, which are based on the principles of non-discrimination, courtesy, impartiality and consistency – a few of the points you also highlighted in your interventions.

Your resolution and the report of the Committee on Petitions on the annual report on the activities of the European Ombudsman stress areas where our institutions do well and where they can improve and I would just really like to promise you that in the coming weeks, the Commission will examine your resolution and will reply, as in the past, to all the issues which you raised and which concern the Commission.

I would also like to use this opportunity to thank Ms Kirton-Darling and Mr Corbett, who I see there as well, and all the UK colleagues and friends for their dedication, for their hard work. I just want to thank you and I want to tell you that we will miss you.

 
  
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  Der Präsident. – Frau Griffin, Sie möchten zur Geschäftsordnung sprechen.

 
  
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  Theresa Griffin (S&D). – Maroš thank you for everything that you did in terms of the Green New Deal and energy poverty, and I would just like to say that we would like a definition of energy poverty from you and your colleagues in this mandate.

But seriously, thank you so much for everything that you did for vulnerable citizens.

 
  
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  Der Präsident. – Frau Kollegin, das war weit jenseits der Geschäftsordnung, aber nachdem sich so ein bisschen Abschiedsstimmung breitmacht, habe ich Sie nicht unterbrochen.

 
  
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  Emily O'Reilly, European Ombudsman. – Mr President, it’s very inspiring to listen to the support and the ideas that come from Parliament at this time. I look forward very much to further discussions with you over the coming months and years.

Could I begin with Ms Kirton-Darling: it’s not often that an Irish person expresses sadness at seeing British people leave, but in this case I do want to say how sad we are, and also want to thank you for your wonderful cooperation and support with my office, and with the Ombudsman institution generally over the last number of years. I have to say, I was particularly impressed over the last few months, in particular in the last year, when things must have been so stressful for all of you. The diligence and the integrity with which you continue to do your work and take an interest in things here, and even in this small office, when there were so many bigger things clamouring for your attention. I wish you all of the very best and we will miss you, and thank you.

Could I say, just taking up some of the points that were made.

Thank you Mr Terheş for your comments, for your work and for your praise for my work and the work of the colleagues.

Ms Toom, thank you for taking note of issues that arose in relation to the election procedure, the Rules of Procedure. It won’t be my problem in five years’ time, but there is an important conversation to be had in relation to the election of the European Ombudsman.

In relation to the case involving the former secretary, the appointment of the former Secretary-General of the Commission: yes, the outgoing Commission, the last Commission, did reject the recommendation. But as Vice-President Šefčovič has just noted, this time it was different, and the appointment of the new Secretary-General has been pretty much in line with the recommendations that we made in our investigation.

Mr Złotowski: the trilogues – yes, we have investigated that in the past, it’s unfinished business, and we shall be going back to see what is happening there.

Mr Georgoulis: yes, citizens’ participation is absolutely vital, and particularly for the legitimacy of the EU, and that underpins so much of the work that we do.

I agree with Mr Furore, the right of access 1049/2001 is an old regulation, but even short of revising it, there is still an awful lot we can do to have more recommendations accepted, more documents made accessible to the people whom we serve.

Council transparency – yes, our big piece, work in progress, but I can see progress and I note in particular that from an issue that was somewhat marginal and somewhat within the Brussels and Strasbourg bubble, it is now becoming more mainstream.

Ms Evi, thank you for all your great support. Transparency again: the ECB, all of these agencies and institutions – we need to open them up to greater public scrutiny into greater accountability.

The comments in relation to disability, to assisted technology; we certainly take them on board, and we take those particular issues a particularly seriously.

I was very pleased to see just last week, the EEAS advertising for paid traineeships, and that arises out of the joint work of my Office and with many people from the Parliament, led by Mr Benifei. So, many ideas there.

Thank you again for your support and for once again re-electing me and trusting me with this very important Office.

 
  
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  Peter Jahr, Berichterstatter. – Herr Präsident! Die Zusammenarbeit in den letzten Jahren zwischen Frau O'Reilly und dem Petitionsausschuss war gut. Man könnte fragen: Ist alles in Ordnung in der Europäischen Union? Nein. Man kann aber auch fragen: Ist es uns gemeinsam gelungen, etwas zu verbessern? Dann würde ich sagen: Ja. Das heißt, wir sollten da weitermachen, wo wir aufgehört haben. Es ist noch viel zu tun, packen wir es an. Ich sage Ihnen: Der Petitionsausschuss wird Sie ausdrücklich unterstützen in den Dingen, die vor uns liegen – es ist erwähnt worden –, ob es um mehr Transparenz geht, um das Wahlrecht und andere Dinge. Da werden wir gemeinsam die Dinge gestalten.

Ich möchte noch einmal betonen: Ich bedauere auch außerordentlich, dass unsere Kollegin Kirton-Darling den Ausschuss, das Parlament verlassen muss. Ich habe als Koordinator der EVP einige Koordinatoren der S&D-Fraktion erlebt. Ich würde mir ein paar mehr von Ihrer Sorte wünschen, und es tut mir wirklich leid, dass Sie durch eine aus meiner Sicht falsche Entscheidung in Ihrem Heimatland das Parlament verlassen müssen. Aber bleiben Sie uns gewogen. Denken Sie daran: Es gibt auch im Europäischen Parlament ein paar vernünftige Abgeordnete, und der Kontakt muss ja nicht abreißen.

Für morgen wünsche ich uns eine gute Abstimmung über den Bericht. Der Bericht hat es wirklich verdient, eine riesengroße Mehrheit zu bekommen, auch damit wir dann einen besseren politischen Rückhalt haben, um weiterzuarbeiten.

 
  
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  Der Präsident. – Die Aussprache ist geschlossen.

Die Abstimmung findet am Donnerstag, 16. Januar 2020, statt.

Schriftliche Erklärungen (Artikel 171)

 
  
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  Valdemar Tomaševski (ECR), raštu. – Nors šiandien diskutuojame apie Europos ombudsmeno veiklos ataskaitą už 2018 m., bet verta atkreipti dėmesį į kelis dalykus, kad ateityje ši svarbi piliečiams funkcija atneštų jiems kuo daugiausiai naudos. Emily O’Reilly turėtų būti pasveikinta atlikus puikų darbą ir dėjus konstruktyvias pastangas gerinti ES administravimo kokybę ir piliečiams teikiamų jos paslaugų prieinamumą ir kokybę. Dėl šių priežasčių turėtų būti remiamos Europos ombudsmenės pastangos sudaryti geresnes sąlygas piliečiams dalyvauti ES politikos formavimo procese. Kiekvienas naujas ombudsmenas taip pat turėtų toliau stebėti, kaip naudojamasi Europos piliečių iniciatyvos priemone (ECI), be kita ko, stebinti, kaip įgyvendinamas peržiūrėtas ECI reglamentas. Taip pat verta raginti Europos ombudsmenę toliau bendradarbiauti su nacionaliniais ombudsmenais naudojant Europos ombudsmenų tinklus. Be to, pabrėžia, kad reikia plėtoti tokius bendradarbiavimo tarp įvairių nacionalinių ombudsmenų būdus, kurie padės piliečiams veiksmingai kovoti už savo teises. Būtent tokie veiksmai turėtų tapti prioritetu Europos Parlamento rekomendacijose ombudsmenui.

 
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