Article 41 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the Union enshrines a legally-binding "right to good administration". As a follow-up to this provision, Parliament adopted a Resolution on 6 September 2001 approving a Code of Good Administrative Behaviour prepared by the European Ombudsman which the European Union's Institutions and bodies, their administrations and their officials should respect in their relations with the public. Over the years, the Union has developed an ad hoc series of administrative procedures, whether in the form of law or soft law, without necessarily taking into account the coherence of the whole edifice, sometimes with gaps and inconsistencies, and without the Union legislature having a say in the matter. Citizens and businesses are increasingly faced directly with the Union's administration, without always having the corresponding procedural rights which they could enforce against it.
Therefore, there is a growing need to examine the possibility of preparing a legislative initiative for a single general administrative law binding on the Union's Institutions, bodies, agencies and offices, based on Article 298 TFEU, focusing on administrative procedure and providing a minimum safety net of guarantees to citizens and businesses in their direct dealings with the EU's administration.
This EPP Group Hearing on good administrative behaviour is expected to take stock of the body of existing EU administrative law and, as a second step, to propose legislative interventions it deems appropriate for an innovative codification of an EU law of administrative procedure. The organisers of the Hearing consider that legally-enforceable procedural rights are an essential prerequisite to achieving a culture of good administration and a service ethos.
We will have the pleasure to bring together representatives of the chemical industry, the car industry, a representative of the Ombudswoman and the DG Legal Service of the European Parliament.
The above-mentioned participants are all committed to an open, efficient and independent EU administration which helps improve the legitimacy of the European Union in the eyes of its citizens. They believe in the principles of proportionality, lawfulness, non-discrimination and legitimate expectations, fairness and due process, respect for privacy and transparency, information and consultation.
Given the importance of the subject matter, the EPP Group will also devote its upcoming Bureau meeting in Prague (10-11 December) to discussing the possibility of the adoption of an EU Administrative Procedures Act.