Within the European Union, the Portuguese Ombudsman maintains privileged ties of cooperation with the European Ombudsman and with their counterparts in the Member States and candidate countries, particularly through the European Network of Ombudsmen.
Created in 1996, this network is an important mechanism for dialogue between the various national Ombudsmen, and between them and the European Ombudsman. The activities of this network include the development of several seminars, a regular newsletter, an interactive forum on the Internet and a daily service of electronic news.
The Portuguese Ombudsman has participated in the European Ombudsman’s biennial seminars, as well as in the biennial seminar for Liaison Officers appointed by each Ombudsman. It has also participated in other events energized by its European colleagues.
In a space marked by the geographical proximity, historical and cultural affinity as is the European Union, united by harmonized policies and by a zone with free movement of persons, goods, services and capital, cooperation in the field of fundamental rights becomes especially important.
The activities developed by the European Ombudsman and by the Network are extremely important in order to respond more effectively and promptly to the difficulties of citizens when in contact with the authorities of another Member State. It also helps to ensure that European Ombudsmen become more effective institutions to promote a proper implementation and application of EU law, especially regarding the aspects that are relevant in the field of fundamental rights, such as the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, to which the Treaty of Lisbon has attributed legal value.
To learn more about the European Ombudsman and the European Network of Ombudsmen, visit here their website.