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Brussels, 3 July 2013
Statement by Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič on the election of a new European Ombudsman
I would like to warmly congratulate Mrs Emily O'Reilly on being elected European Ombudsman.
I particularly welcome the fact that for the first time a woman has become the European Ombudsman. Mrs O'Reilly is a superb choice with long experience of what the job involves. She became Ireland's first female Ombudsman in 2003.
The new ombudsman will have a challenging job. And the European Commission will be one of her main partners, since the Commission is the main EU institution making decisions which have a direct impact on citizens. As in the past, the Commission will make every effort to find a positive outcome to issues raised by the Ombudsman through settlements, friendly solutions or recommendations.
It is important that EU institutions and the Ombudsman, together, get the message across that the European Union and its institutions care about peoples' needs and problems and do everything that is in their power to address them in a concrete way. It is also important that the people of Europe understand their rights as EU citizens, including the right to complain to the Ombudsman.
I wish Mrs O'Reilly all the best for her new job and the tasks that lie ahead. The Commission will be at her side, continuing to build on the excellent relations that have always existed between the European Ombudsman and the Commission.