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Catalan ombudsman institutions take the Belgian model as a reference for networking

19/09/2018

Belgian Federal Ombudsman, Guido Herman, explained in Girona how their federal, regional and local ombudsmen coordinate their work

The conference brought together thirty members of the Network of Ombudsmen of Catalonia, created at the end of 2017 with the aim of strengthening synergies

The meeting has also brought together the goals achieved by the ombudsmen during the years of economic crisis

 

Within the framework of the second meeting organized by the Catalan Ombudsmen Network, Federal Ombudsman of Belgium, Guido Herman, explained, before about thirty representatives of several Catalan ombudsman institutions, how Belgian ombudsmen (federal, regional and local) are coordinated.

The event, which took place at the University of Girona, was inaugurated by the rector, Quim Salvi. The Catalan Ombudsman, Rafael Ribó, has made the closing.

In his speech, Herman highlighted the peculiarities of the Federal Ombudsman in his country, in accordance with the situation of identity plurality that exists in Belgium. It is an institution that includes two federal institutions and their staff. Federal ombudsmen are appointed by the House of Representatives and currently they are Catherine De Bruecker (francophone) and Guido Herman (Flemish), who assumed their duties on November 19, 2013.

The meeting has also brought together the work accomplished by the different levels of ombudsmen in Catalonia before the violation of social rights in recent years of economic crisis. In this regard, there were given speeches by the Deputy General of the Catalan Ombudsman, Jaume Saura; the Ombudsman of Barcelona, Maria Assumpció Vila; the Ombudsman of the University of Barcelona, Lluís Caballol, and the defender of client (AGBAR company), Sergi Sanchís.

The Catalan Ombudsmen Network is a platform with a clear training vocation and promoted by the Catalan Ombudsman to coordinate its work with the rest of the sectorial ombudsmen (related to municipalities, universities and companies that provide services of general interest).

Beyond the bilateral relations and collaborations that in practice already work between the Catalan Ombudsman and the other Catalan ombudsman institutions, the creation of a rights defence network throughout Catalonia was one of the goals that the Catalan Ombudsman had set for his term.

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