EHS recognition, the EESC and the European Ombudsman

vrijdag, 28 augustus 2015 - Categorie: Reacties

In verband met de discussies over full EHS recognition in de European Economic and Social Committee, waarover we eerder uitvoering rapporteerden, zie:

2 aug. 2015
1 aug. 2015
27 maart 2015

heeft onze Spaanse zusterorganisatie Électrosensibles Derecho Salud in het Spaans, Frans en Engels een voorbeeldbrief opgesteld om bij de Europese Ombudsman protest in te dienen tegen de gevolgde procedures binnen de EESC, en speciaal tegen de actie van Sir Richard Adams.

De voorbeeldbrief in het Engels:

Mme Emily O’Reilly
1 avenue du Pdt Robert Schuman
CS 30403
67001 Strasbourg Cedex

…………….. August, 2015.

The complaint reference number ……………………..

Dear Madam,
Having received the report of inspection, conducted last day June 15, 2015, in the course of an investigation on the complaint against the European Economic and Social Committee, considering the claimant the existence of a conflict of interest of one of the members of the Committee, I am to submit this letter containing the following,


1.- The complaint stems in the violation of a right contained in the European Charter of Fundamental Rights, namely the ''right to good administration'' contained in Article 41-1º, of that Letter, which requires in its activity the ''impartially” and “fair'' treatment by the institutions and bodies of the Union.

2.- The reason for the complaint was related to the conduct of the director of the EESC, Mr. Richard Adams, and to the TEN / 559 opinion on the ''electromagnetic hypersensitivity''.

The EESC committed an instance of maladministration, given that the Committee did not force the updating of the ''declaration of interest of its members”, including Mr. Adams, whose declaration was in white although -as it was publicly stated on the Internet and as officially noted in the letter of complaint- he was a consultant to certain enterprises and economic groups directly concerned with the issue addressed by this opinion.

3.- Under the Treaty on the Functioning of the Union, in Article 300, p. 4, the EESC members shall be “completely independent” in the performance of their duties, in “the Union's general interest”. With it, it is intended they do not solely act in the interests of organizations or sectors they represent.

However, in the case of Mr. Adams, the breach is clear and manifest, because:

- He became a member of the EESC, by the Council of Ministers of the Union, on a proposal by the UK Government, as a consultant for ''social, environmental and ethical'' matters, being it the main reason by which he joined the EESC, in Group III (which brings together members other representatives and stakeholders of civil society). This group clearly and internally differences the other members of the EESC integrated in Group I (representing companies) or Group II (labor organizations).

- Acting on the basis of a different interests of those for which he was appointed, he broke the balance between the various sectors that make up the EESC and upon which its composition is based, as it is required by Article 300, p. 2 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

- He deliberately concealed in all the institutions and bodies of the EU its status as consultant of a group of economic interest, until the various claims, arising from their public and outrageous action, were formulated with the counter-opinion TEN / 559.

- The existence of interests linking Mr. Adams with different economic and business groups which were directly involved in this position is clear and uncontested, publicly pretended to act as a consultant to ''social, environmental and ethical'' issues, when he was actually acting as an intermediary of economic interests.

- The conduct of Mr. Adams, was involved in a clear conflict of interest, breach of the obligations which the EESC itself had established in Article 5 a) of Chapter III of the Statute of EESC members, and Article 5 3 of the Code of Conduct for the members of that body of the Union. These provisions forced the members to make and publish a ''declaration of interests of members'' and the EESC to carry to term and ensure the correct implementation of that provision, adopted to give greater transparency to the consultative work of the EESC.

4.- The EESC might have committed a case of maladministration, for allowing such actions and not have regulated the possibility of challenge and the duty of abstention to refrain from its members in certain cases, as in this case of the alleged conduct of Mr. Adams.

This action is contrary to the principles of open, efficient and independent European administration, as required by Article 298 1º of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union because under the guise of defending certain interests - ''Ethics and environmental'' - he was actually defending other completely different and mutually exclusive interests, entering a clear conflict of interest that should lead to nullify all actions because, although it has carried out the vote in the plenary assembly of the EESC, the willingness expressed by some members may be flawed, supporting a position that in reality could be very different from the one they could had considered timely support.

5.- With regard to the declaration of confidentiality of “the internal correspondence, including the emails exchanged with the members of the Committee and between them'' contained in the investigation report submitted so that its contents can not be disclosed to complainants or third parties, the complainant expressly states her total disagreement with the adoption of the measure, given the following:

a) The absence of the slightest state reasons in such measure’s adoption it could provide proofs even more conclusive about the action that has been the subject of this complaint. Indeed, the state reasons is an obligation of the administration in making its decisions.

b) Article 1 of the Treaty on European Union establishes the so-called principle of ''transparency'' by requiring that the decisions will be made in the EU ''as openly as possible'', as well “as closely as possible to the citizen”.
The requirement of transparency appears as the condition for achieving greater democratization and to attract the interest of the citizen on a process that must achieve levels of proximity and transparency.

c) The contents of the internal correspondence, including letters exchanged with members of the Committee, refer to the actions arising from the adoption of an opinion or counter-opinion EESC and, therefore, it is a matter of European public interest and not a private business or commercial issue. It is logical that the confidentiality of any element of internal correspondence can be declared confidential, stating the reasons leading to it, but declaring as “confidential” all the internal correspondence resulting from the adoption of an opinion of the EESC, it is wholly disproportionate and unjustified, for it affects the operation of an organ of the European Union, and to an issue of general interest of the Union.

d) Based on a not justified statement of confidentiality, the complainant is being deprived to the access to documents, given that the EESC is a consultative body and does not exist - or at least it has not any appreciable invocado- public interest protection. The claimant is deprived of access to documents relating to a case and the measures taken by the members of an EU body, in the exercise of public office, which, in any case, has to do with privacy or with other reasons of public interest which may be prevalent.

For all the above, the claimant requests to put these comments in a timely manner and acknowledge them proceeding to access the content of the documentation that he/she has been prevented from knowing, unless the one that may be strictly confidential prior motivation or justification and declare, by report, that the Committee has incurred in an instance of maladministration by failing to prevent the possible case of conflict of interest incurred by Mr. Adams in the plenary session of last January 21, 2015, indicating in the report mentioned measures to be taken in the future to avoid such situations and restitution measures appropriate to annul this action that gave rise to the vitiated consent, of the members who expressed their opinion on the indicated session EESC plenary.

Yours Sincerely,


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