The European Ombudsman, P. Nikiforos Diamandouros, has published a set of "public service principles" that should guide the conduct of EU civil servants.
The principles were established through an initial consultation with the European Network of Ombudsmen; the Ombudsman also carried out a public consultation on a first draft of the principles. Thanks to the responses to the consultation from citizens, civil servants, interest groups, EU institutions and other organisations it has been possible the drafting of the principles.
Mr Diamandouros showed himself satisfied for the achieved results stating that those principles represent the concrete need of EU citizens and, in that perspective, EU institutions should adhere to them in order to decrease the distance between them and citizens.
The five public service principles are: commitment to the European Union and its citizens, integrity, objectivity, respect for others, and transparency.
The source document explains them in details as follows:1. Commitment to the European Union and its citizens
Civil servants should be conscious that the Union’s institutions exist in order to serve the interests of the Union and of its citizens in fulfilling the objectives of the Treaties.
They should make recommendations and decisions only to serve these interests.
Civil servants should carry out their functions to the best of their abilities and strive to meet the highest professional standards at all times.
They should be mindful of their position of public trust and set a good example to others.2. Integrity
Civil servants should be guided by a sense of propriety and conduct themselves at all times in a manner that would bear the closest public scrutiny. This obligation is not fully discharged merely by acting within the law.
Civil servants should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation that might influence them in the performance of their functions, including by the receipt of gifts. They should promptly declare any private interests relating to their functions.
Civil servants should take steps to avoid conflicts of interest and the appearance of such conflicts. They should take swift action to resolve any conflict that arises. This obligation continues after leaving office.3. Objectivity
Civil servants should be impartial, open-minded, guided by evidence, and willing to hear different viewpoints. They should be ready to acknowledge and correct mistakes.
In procedures involving comparative evaluations, civil servants should base recommendations and decisions only on merit and any other factors expressly prescribed by law.
Civil servants should not discriminate or allow the fact that they like, or dislike, a particular person to influence their professional conduct.4. Respect for others
Civil servants should act respectfully to each other and to citizens. They should be polite, helpful, timely and co-operative.
They should make genuine efforts to understand what others are saying and express themselves clearly, using plain language.5. Transparency
Civil servants should be willing to explain their activities and to give reasons for their actions.
They should keep proper records and welcome public scrutiny of their conduct, including their compliance with these public service principles.
For further information, please visit http://www.ombudsman.europa.eu/en/resources/publicserviceprinciples.faces