European Interest

Emily O’Reilly re-elected as European Ombudsman

Flickr/Irish Jesuits/CC BY 2.0
Emily O’Reilly was elected European Ombudsman for the 2019-2024 parliamentary term. She was backed by 320 MEPs in a secret plenary vote.

Emily O’Reilly has been re-elected by Parliament with 320 votes in favour out of 600 votes cast. Her second mandate will last for five years.

“I am delighted to have been re-elected for a second term. I wish to sincerely thank my fantastic campaign team for the huge effort over the past four months, I wish to thank my colleagues in the Office for all their hard work over the past five years, and today most of all, I wish to thank the Members of the European Parliament,” said Ms O’Reilly.

“For the next five years, I will help ensure the EU maintains the highest standards in administration, transparency and ethics. Europeans expect and deserve nothing less. One priority will remain tackling the lack of the transparency of EU law making by national governments in Brussels. We need to stop the ‘blame Brussels’ culture, when often it is citizens’ own national Ministers taking the key decisions in the EU. I will also be holding President Von der Leyen to her commitments on good administration, transparency and ethics. I look forward to our first meeting.”

Emily O’Reilly was elected European Ombudsman in 2013, taking over the post in the final year of her predecessor. She was then re-elected for a five-year mandate in 2014.

Positive changes to the public administration as a result of Ms O’Reilly’s inquiries include the strengthening of the Commissioners’ Code of Conduct; improved ethics and transparency policies in the ECB and EIB, a complaints mechanism in Frontex, payment for over 800 trainees a year in EEAS global delegations and more transparency in how the Eurogroup works.

During her first mandate Ms O’Reilly also introduced an Award for Good Administration, a Fast-Track procedure for access to document inquiries; a Lobbying Dos and Don’ts Guide, now used by EU civil servants, and ensured that all communications by the office are written in plain writing.

The S&D Group look forward to working with Emily O’Reilly and continuing the important work to improve the quality of the EU institutions for European citizens in an open and transparent way.

“Today, MEPs re-elected Emily O’Reilly as the European Ombudsman. This week, the S&D Group decided to support Emily O’Reilly due to her competence and experience, as well as her courage and strong track record in taking on the establishment. Since Emily O’Reilly’s election in 2014, the office of the European Ombudsman has delivered concrete results on important issues which are particularly close to our hearts, such as getting rid of unpaid traineeships. On top of that, she has improved the transparency of the EU institutions and has improved trust in the EU overall. Today MEPs signalled their trust in Emily O’Reilly and our group looks forward to working with the European Ombudsman over the next five years with the crucial work of making the EU more open and accessible to all EU citizens,” said Jude Kirton-Darling, S&D spokesperson on the petitions committee.

Explore more