114

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The European Ombudsman's activities in 2019

03-03-2021

At the first plenary session of March 2021, the European Parliament is set to discuss and adopt a resolution on the European Ombudsman's activities in the year 2019, based on the Ombudsman's annual report presented on 4 May 2020. The report covers the final year of Emily O'Reilly's first mandate as Ombudsman before her re election for a second term in late December 2019.

At the first plenary session of March 2021, the European Parliament is set to discuss and adopt a resolution on the European Ombudsman's activities in the year 2019, based on the Ombudsman's annual report presented on 4 May 2020. The report covers the final year of Emily O'Reilly's first mandate as Ombudsman before her re election for a second term in late December 2019.

Special Advisers to the Commission (2014-2019)

26-02-2021

This study proposes an overview of the selection of Special Advisers to the European Commission, specifically during the period 2014-2019: the procedure followed, number of contracts, safeguards, contractual terms, budgetary implications, transparency, communication with the European Parliament. A review of literature, good practices and criteria for assessing the European Commission framework is provided. In conclusion this study makes recommendations on how to further strengthen it.

This study proposes an overview of the selection of Special Advisers to the European Commission, specifically during the period 2014-2019: the procedure followed, number of contracts, safeguards, contractual terms, budgetary implications, transparency, communication with the European Parliament. A review of literature, good practices and criteria for assessing the European Commission framework is provided. In conclusion this study makes recommendations on how to further strengthen it.

External author

Dr Christoph DEMMKE, Chair Public Management at the University of Vaasa (FI) Margarita SANZ, Blomeyer & Sanz Roland BLOMEYER, Blomeyer & Sanz

Accountability Mechanisms of Major Central Banks and Possible Avenues to Improve the ECB's Accountability

15-09-2020

Independece of monetary authorities is a key tenet of modern central banking. Indepedence, however, must go hand in hand with accountability towards the public and its elected representatives. Four studies were prepared for the ECON Committee by the Monetary Expert Panel, comparing the accountability practices of major central banks in other juristictions (the Bank of England, the Swiss National Bank, the Bank of Japan and the Federal Reserve) with those of the European Central Bank (ECB) and offering ...

Independece of monetary authorities is a key tenet of modern central banking. Indepedence, however, must go hand in hand with accountability towards the public and its elected representatives. Four studies were prepared for the ECON Committee by the Monetary Expert Panel, comparing the accountability practices of major central banks in other juristictions (the Bank of England, the Swiss National Bank, the Bank of Japan and the Federal Reserve) with those of the European Central Bank (ECB) and offering recommendations on how to improve the ECB's accoutability framework.

External author

Rosa M. LASTRA, Charles WYPLOSZ, Grégory CLAEYS, Marta DOMÍNGUEZ-JIMÉNEZ, Karl WHELAN

EU Agencies and Conflicts of Interests

23-01-2020

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the Committee on Petitions, takes stock and assesses the existing rules and policies on conflicts of interests in EU agencies and examines whether, and/or how, scrutiny can be improved and whether there is a need to streamline and enhance the coherence of the various rules in place.

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the Committee on Petitions, takes stock and assesses the existing rules and policies on conflicts of interests in EU agencies and examines whether, and/or how, scrutiny can be improved and whether there is a need to streamline and enhance the coherence of the various rules in place.

External author

Ellen VOS, Natassa ATHANASIADOU, Laura DOHMEN

The ECB’s Communication Strategy: Limits and Challenges After the Financial Crisis

15-01-2020

Given its central role in public accountability and in the formation of expectations, it is important to reflect on ways to improve the ECB’s communication policy. Communication should not generally strive for maximum transparency. The optimum degree of transparency varies between different aspects of monetary policy and banking supervision. Although the ECB already communicates very openly with the public and achieves a very high level of transparency in all aspects, we see room for improvement ...

Given its central role in public accountability and in the formation of expectations, it is important to reflect on ways to improve the ECB’s communication policy. Communication should not generally strive for maximum transparency. The optimum degree of transparency varies between different aspects of monetary policy and banking supervision. Although the ECB already communicates very openly with the public and achieves a very high level of transparency in all aspects, we see room for improvement in its communication strategy in several respects. This document was provided by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs.

External author

Kerstin BERNOTH and Geraldine DANY-KNEDLIK

Reaching a Wider Audience: Is the ECB Trending?

15-01-2020

Central banks are increasingly recognising the importance of communicating with the wider public. We document that interest in monetary policy is intermittent, usually linked to major decisions and/or personnel changes. The ECB should not expect that every one of its decisions is noticed by the general public. The Monetary Dialogue fulfils the typical function of a representative democracy in which citizens delegate to their elected representatives the task of monitoring policy implementation by ...

Central banks are increasingly recognising the importance of communicating with the wider public. We document that interest in monetary policy is intermittent, usually linked to major decisions and/or personnel changes. The ECB should not expect that every one of its decisions is noticed by the general public. The Monetary Dialogue fulfils the typical function of a representative democracy in which citizens delegate to their elected representatives the task of monitoring policy implementation by independent institutions. This document was provided by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs.

External author

Daniel GROS, Angela CAPOLONGO

Walking the Thin Line: Central Bank Communication

15-01-2020

Central banks use communication both as a monetary policy instrument and as a tool for accountability. The ECB’s communication practices have changed significantly in recent years. Yet, new challenges await. The ECB President, Ms Christine Lagarde, stated that she sees the general public as the “new frontier” for central bank communications. The Monetary Expert Panel was asked to produce three papers on this topic. This publication is provided by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee ...

Central banks use communication both as a monetary policy instrument and as a tool for accountability. The ECB’s communication practices have changed significantly in recent years. Yet, new challenges await. The ECB President, Ms Christine Lagarde, stated that she sees the general public as the “new frontier” for central bank communications. The Monetary Expert Panel was asked to produce three papers on this topic. This publication is provided by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON).

External author

Daniel GROS, Angela CAPOLONGO, Kerstin BERNOTH, Geraldine DANY-KNEDLIK, Eddie GERBA, Corrado MACCHIARELLI

Understanding development effectiveness: Concepts, players and tools

09-01-2020

In the context of the limited availability of development aid, there is an increased demand for effective results. This means that both developing and richer countries must commit to spending and using aid more effectively. Public funding is not enough to cover all needs, but it can leverage initiatives from civil society and the private sector. The increase in stakeholders and intervention methods, both in terms of numbers and variety, combined with the necessity to address needs in the field more ...

In the context of the limited availability of development aid, there is an increased demand for effective results. This means that both developing and richer countries must commit to spending and using aid more effectively. Public funding is not enough to cover all needs, but it can leverage initiatives from civil society and the private sector. The increase in stakeholders and intervention methods, both in terms of numbers and variety, combined with the necessity to address needs in the field more precisely, has led to a global rethinking of how to assess development. High-level forums and stakeholder networks have helped to fine-tune the main principles of development effectiveness and to shift from a donor-recipient relationship to a more cooperative framework. Methods and tools have improved and led to better planning, implementation and appraisal of development projects. The EU has been closely involved in designing and implementing the effectiveness principles. The European Parliament often refers to them, insisting that they must not be sacrificed for the sake of short-term interests. This briefing is an update of a previous edition from April 2017.

Transparency, integrity and accountability in the EU institutions

26-03-2019

This briefing provides an overview of the main tools on transparency, integrity and accountability implemented in the EU institutions and the reforms thereof.

This briefing provides an overview of the main tools on transparency, integrity and accountability implemented in the EU institutions and the reforms thereof.

United Nations reform

13-02-2019

At the 72nd United Nations (UN) General Assembly on 18 September 2017, 120 countries expressed their commitment to the reforms proposed by UN Secretary-General António Guterres. Since 1946, the UN has undergone a number of reforms either in whole or in part. The term 'reform' has proved troublesome for UN member states on account of its lack of clarity and the lack of consensus as to execution. This is particularly apparent in the scepticism expressed by the United States (US) in 2018 regarding the ...

At the 72nd United Nations (UN) General Assembly on 18 September 2017, 120 countries expressed their commitment to the reforms proposed by UN Secretary-General António Guterres. Since 1946, the UN has undergone a number of reforms either in whole or in part. The term 'reform' has proved troublesome for UN member states on account of its lack of clarity and the lack of consensus as to execution. This is particularly apparent in the scepticism expressed by the United States (US) in 2018 regarding the need for global governance, the importance of UN Security Council decisions such as the Iran nuclear deal, and the efficiency of the United Nations. This briefing explains how the current reform differs from previous ones, in as much as it focuses on management and addresses the criticisms of a lack of accountability and transparency, ineffectiveness, and the deficit in trust between the organisation and its member states in the current system. The United Nations reform agenda centres on three key areas: development, management, and peace and security. First, development reform will bring a bold change to the UN development system in order to achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This will be centred on the creation of a new generation of country teams led by an independent team of UN country experts ('resident coordinators'). Second, the simplification of processes, increased transparency and improved delivery of mandates will form the basis of a new management paradigm for the secretariat. Third, peace and security reform will be underpinned by placing priority on conflict prevention and peacekeeping, increasing the effectiveness and coherence of peacekeeping operations and political missions. Two years after its launch, the reform process is starting to bear fruit, with implementation set to begin in 2019 and a focus on streamlining, accountability, transparency and efficiency. However, the reform process does not make explicit mention of bolstering human rights. This briefing also explores the possibility of capitalising on the current reforms so as to boost the indivisibility of human rights, while taking stock of stakeholders' reactions to the UN reforms under way.

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