European Ombudsman

Nikiforos Diamandouros, newly appointed European Ombudsman (Photo: European Commission)

An ombudsman is a civil servant who considers complaints from ordinary citizens against the public authorities. The Ombudsman is an Irish journalist by education, Emily O`Reilly, since 2013.

The European Ombudsman was established by the Treaty of Maastricht in 1993. The first elected was Jacob Söderman, a former Finnish Minister of Justice. He retired in 2003, and has been replaced by the Greek ombudsman, Nikiforos Diamandouros.

The European Parliament normally appoints the Ombudsman for a full election period (five years). Nikiforos Diamandouros was re-elected in 2004 and again in 2009 after the European Parliamentary elections and left in 2013.



The former European Ombudsman has proposed reforms to the EU institutions and a more modern law on administrative practices in public administration to encourage transparency and more modern administration.