icon_whocanhelpyouI don’t normally frequent the websites of the European Court of Justice and the European Ombudsman. Yes, I am an EU geek, but not that much of an EU geek. But a friend asked me some questions today and hence I visited both sites. You could argue that the ECJ’s work is adequately technical to mean that few citizens are going to look at it, especially as the EP’s OEIL legislation database is easier to use anyway.

But what’s up with the Ombudsman? He’s supposed to be the first point of call for people wanting to complain about something the EU is doing wrong, and the site is horribly retro and generally gruesome. The icon shown to the right here appears on the homepage – what’s up with this guy’s head? Looks like the shape of a factory roof? Everything looks like it was designed sometime around 1998.


  1. To be fair, I would say it’s more 2002 than 1998.

    For comparison, here is the White House web site in 1998:

    And in 2002:

    They do have all those snazzy photos of the Ombudsman though, in both low and high rez versions.

  2. Oh, I didn’t realise the change. Indeed, when I wrote my article, the website looked as it looks on your image. So they have made an effort to update from 1996 to 1998… 😀

  3. He’s actually quite a pleasant guy – I met him a couple of years ago.

    But I’ve just been told that the current site is actually NEW! This is what it used to look like:

  4. My words:


    “I should also remark that the website of the Ombudsman is of quite low quality, and although this might be less important than his actual work, the presentation is not very inviting. An institution that is meant to be a link between citizens and the EU institutions should however be much interested in raising interest in its work; it should be inviting and display openness to the “outside world” (i.e. “outside” the self-referential institutional copse of the EU).

    But apparently, either the budget or the imagination do not allow more.

    In short: Not much from our Ombudsman. He is working, he is handling cases, but he is not interesting for me as a citizen – and does not seem to be interested in raising my attention.”

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