In an answer to an official question put forward by Conservative MEP Marina Yannakoudakis, the European Personnel Selection Office defended itself in the face of a report by EU rules watchdog, the European Ombudsman, which found that  it was the least compliant EU institution.

The selection office, which recruits 1,500 eurocrats a year had been found guilty of maladministration by the European Ombudsman, yet had failed to comply with nearly a third of the regulator’s proposals.

In his response to the London MEP’s question, European Commission Vice-President for Administration Maroš Šefčovič said that because of the “very specific field” of recruiting staff that “whenever feasible, therefore, EPSO complies with the Ombudsman’s recommendations.”

He also said that the selection office provided “high-quality and cost-efficient selection procedures”, yet last year in another question posed by Mrs. Yannakoudakis, it was revealed that because of EPSO’s elaborate and complicated selection procedures it cost £12,000 to recruit just a single official to one of the EU institutions.

Marina said: “Here is yet more evidence of why the EU needs a massive overhaul.

“On the one hand the EU is trumpeting the importance of the European Ombudsman as it launches the European Year of Citizens, yet on the other its own institutions refuse to follow the ombudsman’s recommendations because they are not feasible.

“This is exactly the kind of lack of democratic accountability that David Cameron was addressing in his speech on Europe. The EU institutions, including EPSO, must rise to the Prime Minister’s challenge to be leaner and less bureaucratic. This includes addressing all complaints of maladministration, not merely those which are ‘feasible’.”

The full text of the question to the Commission and the answer can be read here.

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