The European Ombudsman: Promoting a Transparent and Ethical EU Administration
Transparency in decision-making and a transparent administration are essential to a healthy and well-functioning democratic system. This applies both to the EU institutions themselves but also to how interest groups interact with the administration and the decision-making process. In the same way, maintaining high standards of ethics and preventing conflicts of interest are essential for reinforcing public confidence in the EU and its institutions. Public trust in the EU institutions risks being undermined if citizens perceive that there is not a clear separation between the administration and the private sector. The European Ombudsman is devoting increasing attention to these issues, to help ensure citizens are served by a transparent and well-functioning EU public administration. In the current challenging environment, it is all the more important for the EU administration to go the extra mile and ensure it is beyond reproach. This necessarily implies assessing the existing rules and norms applying to transparency and ethics in office and looking at how they can be strengthened. This has to be a core priority for the EU, and the Ombudsman will keep working with the other EU institutions and agencies to make sure they continue to make progress to this end.