Madrid, 18 December 2019 – Access Info Europe today welcomed the re-election of Ms Emily O’Reilly as European Ombudsman for another 5 years, after a competitive open process in which she won in the third round of voting by the European Parliament, receiving 320 votes out of 600 votes cast.
In the run up to the election, Access Info wrote to all MEPS, urging them to support the candidate with the strongest track record in working for transparency and openness of the European institutions, and stressing that Ms O’Reilly had demonstrated her commitment to advancing the right of access to EU documents, a right enshrined in the EU treaties. Her prior experience as Information Commissioner for Ireland also gives her a detailed understanding of this right at the national level.
“The re-election of Emily O’Reilly is a strong endorsement of her work and is a recognition that transparency and accountability are key to restore citizens’ trust in the European institutions,” said Helen Darbishire, Executive Director of Access Info.
“The fate of the EU is being questioned all over Europe, with declining trust in the European institutions and its representatives. To address this, transparency must be kept at the core of European policies and strategies for the next 5 years,” added Darbishire.
In a statement released after her election, Emily O’Reilly commented: “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. Europeans expect and deserve nothing less.”
Emily O’Reilly was first 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.