European Ombudsman Nikiforos Diamondouros yesterday delivered his report about complaints to the EU in 2005. The press release from his office about it can be found here, plus additional reporting from EUObserver and MaltaMedia.
Best of all was his quote about the overall structure of the EU institutions’ administration:
The commission was established on the French model of public administration and has all the difficulties and all the advantages of this model
For anyone who took the ludicrous concours (see my post about it here) to enter the EU institutions, that really strikes a chord! Further, 12% of complaints from citizens were against the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO), meaning it ranked second behind the Commission – it received more complaints than either Parliament or Council!
When you put it in those terms, it most certainly makes sense 🙂
I don’t think it’s a problem at all that Malta topped the list! After all, the countries right behind in terms of complaints per head were Luxembourg and Cyprus. This strikes me as something that is particular to smaller countries, rather than specifically to Malta.
If you simply look at the percentage of the population that comes into everyday contact with someone who has to deal with the EU – that might be a friend or a cousin or whatever who works for the Maltese public administration – that percentage is sure to be higher in a small state than it is in a large one. And if you see what the EU is doing (or not doing!) you are more likely to make a complaint.
I read about this bit of news on local media as well. The fact that the Maltese were the ones who lodged most complaints (as per population) brings about some mixed feelings to be honest.
Negative: of course we ALWAYS have to complain about anything and everything, and it shows a certain amount of resentment and lack of trust in the EU, while in all fairness, I do think that things are going much better in this country since our accession.
Positive: it seems like our passive, laissez-fair attitude is slowly disappearing… we are criticizing, but we are also showing enough trust in an EU body, that of the Ombudsman, to try and fix things.
What do you think Jon?