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The (Danish) Ombudsman within EU Law and Policy

Michael Gøtze

The ombudsman model is of Scandinavian origin and the model has spread out to all member states of the EU. At the EU level there is an ombudsman institution since 1995. Within the national context the Danish Parliamentary Ombudsman occupies a central position as a watchdog over public goverment authorities. The statutory and functional powers of the institution are wide and the ombudsman enjoys a priori sympathy from Parliament. There are no specialised administrative courts in Denmark and the ombudsman is thus unrivalled on the legal scene as the primary specialist protector of good administration. Nevertheless, the Danish ombudsman subscribes to a narrow scope of focus in the protection of citizens' rights. The limited horizon in the control of the Danish ombudsman leaves the European Union rights of citizens largely unidentified and unprotected. The Danish ombudsman is a watchdog with teeth but with discerning taste buds. As to EU Law, the ombudsman is a watchdog with no appetite at all.

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