The European Ombudsman is an independent and impartial body that holds the EU administration to account. The Ombudsman investigates complaints about maladministration in EU institutions, bodies, offices, and agencies.
Only the Court of Justice of the European Union, acting in its judicial capacity, falls outside the Ombudsman’s mandate. The Ombudsman may find maladministration if an institution fails to respect fundamental rights, legal rules or principles, or the principles of good administration.
This covers administrative irregularities, unfairness, discrimination, abuse of power, failure to reply, refusal of information, and unnecessary delay, for example. Any citizen or resident of the EU, or business, association, or other body with a registered office in the EU, can lodge a complaint. You need not be individually affected by the maladministration to complain. Please note that the European Ombudsman can only deal with complaints concerning the EU administration and not with complaints about national, regional, or local administrations, even when the complaints concern EU matters.