First, I would like to thank the Rapporteur, Mr. Jahr, and all the Shadow Rapporteurs for the work done on this file.
But most importantly, I would like to thank the European Ombudsman, Ms O’Reilly, for her tireless efforts to improve the standards of EU administration over the past 11 years.
Transparency, accountability, compliance with fundamental and human rights obligations are all essential elements that were investigated by the Ombudsman and her office in 2022.
Those values are the core of our Union and I am glad to see that the Ombudsman’s recommendations helped improving the functioning of our institutions with tangible results.
I particularly welcome the inquiry on the revolving doors policy of the Commission and the European Central Bank, as well as the one on the handling of work-related text and instant messages.
However, our institutions need to follow closely the Ombudsman’s recommendations, as at the current stage, more needs to be done to reach an appropriate level of accountability in European public administration.
Systemic and significant delays in how the Commission handles requests for public access to documents still exist and this is unacceptable, and rightly considered maladministration.
It is unacceptable that citizens and journalists have to wait sometimes up to 15 months before the Commission processes their requests.
The Council’s refusal to give full public access to documents related to some negotiations is also a worrying sign of widespread structural problems.
The European institutions need to take concrete steps in this regard.
Transparency lies at the basis of our citizen’ trust; today more than ever, it is essential to demonstrate our ability to keep promises and maintain high accountability.
I would also like to thank our Ombudsman for the excellent coordination work she does with the enlarged European network of Ombudsman. And believe me, as a Vice-President, I can tell you this Bureau has been very active these last months to strengthen our transparency rules and also our accountability in the Parliament.
Thank you very much for your work!