The European Commission today won the European Ombudsman Award for Good Administration 2021 with the project ‘Bringing citizens home during the pandemic', together with another project by the European External Action Service (EEAS).
The joint winning projects were undertaken by staff in the Commission’s Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) and the EEAS.
Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly said: “In times of global crisis our first reaction is often that we want to return home. Staff in the Commission and in the EEAS worked around the clock, with the Member States, to make this happen for over a half million stranded EU citizens. Their actions demonstrated to all they helped what it means to be a citizen in the European Union.”
Ombudsman awards aims to recognise initiatives, projects and other types of work by the EU's administration that have a visible and direct positive impact on the lives of people in Europe and beyond. The award is open to staff members from any EU institution, body or agency and can be awarded to an individual, a team within a unit or an entire unit.
President von der Leyen said: “I am delighted to shine a light on the good work of the EU administration. All EU institutions should be open and beyond reproach on ethics, transparency and integrity. This past year has tested colleagues to deliver quality services under challenging conditions, but they have risen to the challenge and delivered creative solutions. I am honoured that the Commission won the European Ombudsman Award for Good Administration, together with the EEAS.”
During this third biennial Award Ceremony for Good Administration, there are 37 nominees, 17 from the Commission services. At the 2 previous award ceremonies, in 2017 and 2019, the Commission also received the overall award and several awards per category.
This year, for the first time ever, there was also an award based on a public vote. Due to the COVID-19 constraints, this ceremony was held online.