what was at stake
green position
what we achieved
what we did not achieve

Election of the European Ombudsman

The European Ombudsman investigates complaints about maladministration in the institutions of the EU and fulfils the important task of ensuring that EU institutions are administered efficiently and in a politically neutral way.

The Ombudsman is elected by Parliament for a five-year term.

The main objective for the Greens during the latest Ombudsman's election was to prevent the two most dominant parliamentary groups from hi-jacking it to elect one of their own MEPs.


What was the Greens' position?

The Greens believe this important office must be held by a non-politically affiliated person, in keeping with the original Nordic tradition associated with this post.

Accordingly, we criticised the fact that three current MEPs were running for office, two of them from the two largest political groups and decided to support only the other independent, suitably qualified candidates.

Among these were two incumbent national ombudsmen, who were particularly active in the European Network of Ombudsmen.


Did other MEPs accept the Greens' position?

The Greens played an important role in forming majority support for the strongest of the three independent candidates, the former Irish ombudsman Emily O'Reilly.

She was elected to become the first female incumbent of the post, beating the S&D and EPP candidates in the 2nd and 3rd rounds of voting, respectively.


Which points did the Greens lose?

The Committee on Petitions (PETI) was less intensely involved in the election than in the past, due to a restrictive interpretation of the rules of procedure by Parliament's President – and despite the Ombudsman being one of PETI's few explicit areas of competence.

EPP and S&D refused to further clarify this issue for future elections.

Press & Events

Procedure:Election of the Ombudsman


Lead MEP:-

Green MEP responsible:


Staff contact:Marc Gimenéz (Email)