Election of the European Union’s Ombudsman

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Publication Date 2019
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Feature bringing together information and reports on the election for the European Union's Ombudsman for a five-year mandate.

Further information:

At the beginning of each parliamentary term, the procedure for electing the European Ombudsman has to be set in motion. A call for candidates was therefore published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 30 August 2019. Each nominee required the backing of at least 40 members of the European Parliament, from at least two EU member states. The closing date to submit an application was 30 September. Candidates were scheduled to present their priorities in a hearing held by the Petitions Committee on 3 December. The full house was expected to elect the new Ombudsman by secret ballot during the December plenary session.

The names of the five EU Ombudsman candidates for the five-year term starting in 2019 are:

  • Giuseppe Fortunato
  • Julia Laffranque
  • Nils Muižnieks
  • Emily O’Reilly
  • Cecilia Wikström

The European Ombudsman conducts inquiries into cases of maladministration by EU institutions, bodies, offices and agencies, acting on his or her own initiative or on the basis of complaints from EU citizens. Every year, the Ombudsman submits a report to Parliament on the outcome of their enquiries. Emily O'Reilly has been the EU Ombudsman since 2013.

The first round of voting was held on 17 December. Ms O'Reilly was the most voted candidate but did not secure an absolute majority. A second round took place following Mr Muižnieks’ withdrawal. On 18 December, a third round featuring Ms Laffranque and Ms O'Reilly only was held. The Irish candidate received 320 votes and was reelected as the European Ombudsman.

Related Link(s)
Commentary and Analysis
EurActiv, 08/10/2019: Over a Coffee with Emily O’Reilly, European Ombudsman https://www.euractiv.com/section/eu-elections-2019/video/over-a-coffee-with-emily-oreilly-european-ombudsman/
EPRS: At a Glance, December 2019: Election of the European Ombudsman http://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/document.html?reference=EPRS_ATA(2019)644212
EUObserver, 16/12/2019: Election of EU Ombudsman: Think before you choose https://euobserver.com/opinion/146905

EUObserver, 09/09/2019: EU watchdog vows to keep up pressure, if reappointed https://euobserver.com/institutional/145858
RTÉ News, 22/09/2019: O'Reilly pledges to tackle image of EU elitism https://www.rte.ie/news/ireland/2019/0920/1077280-emily-oreilly-ombudsman/
Euronews, 07/10/2019: Ireland's first female Ombudsman Emily O'Reilly on democracy and transparency within the EU https://www.euronews.com/2019/10/04/ireland-s-first-female-ombudsman-emily-o-reilly-on-democracy-and-transparency-within-the-e
The Irish Times, 23/10/2019: Emily O’Reilly nominated for second term as EU ombudsman https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/emily-o-reilly-nominated-for-second-term-as-eu-ombudsman-1.4060718
The Brussels Times, 01/11/2019: European Ombudsman candidate: 'A judge in the service of citizens' https://www.brusselstimes.com/all-news/eu-affairs/76797/european-ombudsman-candidate-a-judge-in-the-service-of-citizens/
EUObserver, 04/12/2019: Swedish candidate adds heat to EU ombudsman vote https://euobserver.com/institutional/146820
RTÉ News, 17/12/2019: O'Reilly leads after first vote on new European Ombudsman https://www.rte.ie/news/politics/2019/1217/1099661-european-ombudsman-vote/
Politico, 17/12/2019: O’Reilly ahead in battle to secure new term as EU ombudsman https://www.politico.eu/article/emily-oreilly-ahead-in-battle-to-secure-new-term-as-eu-ombudsman/
The Irish Times, 18/12/2019: Emily O’Reilly wins second term as European Ombudsman https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/emily-o-reilly-wins-second-term-as-european-ombudsman-1.4119274
RTÉ News, 18/12/2019: O'Reilly secures second term as European Ombudsman https://www.rte.ie/news/politics/2019/1218/1101904-oreilly-ombudsman/
EUObserver, 18/12/2019: EU reappoints 'fearless' Irish ombudsman https://euobserver.com/institutional/146967
LSM.lv, 18/12/2019: Latvian candidate Muižnieks fails in bid to become EU Ombudsman https://eng.lsm.lv/article/society/society/latvian-candidate-muiznieks-fails-in-bid-to-become-eu-ombudsman.a341906/
EurActiv, 19/12/2019: EU ombudsman who confronted Selmayr re-elected https://www.euractiv.com/section/politics/news/eu-ombudsman-who-confronted-selmayr-re-elected/

European Parliament: Election of the European Ombudsman 2019 https://www.europarl.europa.eu/ombudsmanelection2019/en/home/home.html
European Parliament: Press Release, 23/10/2019: Election of EU Ombudsman https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/press-room/20191022IPR64828/
European Parliament: Press Release, 18/12/2019: Emily O’Reilly re-elected European Ombudsman https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/press-room/20191212IPR68912/

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