The Catalan Ombudsman welcomes the approval of the resolution on the ombudsmen of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe



On the occasion of World Ombudsman Day, the Catalan Ombudsman shared the content of the CoE resolution with European, local and university ombudsmen

The resolution adopted recommends the member states to take the opportune measures to preserve the ombudsman institutions

The resolution strengthens the Venice Principles, which were approved in March 2019, and should serve to shield and consolidate ombudsman institutions as guarantors of democracy

In the World Ombudsman Day, the Catalan Ombudsman disseminated amongst ombudsmen (in Europe and Catalonia) of the resolution (link) that recently approved the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

In this regard, the Catalan Ombudsman encourages ombudsmen from all over Europe to continue carrying out the work of defence of rights and to monitor the measures undertaken by the respective governments to implement the aforementioned principles.

The Catalan Ombudsman emphasizes that the resolution adopted recommends to the member States that they take the opportune measures to preserve the independence of the institutions of ombudsman and suggests that the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe establishes a mechanism to supervise its implementation.

The Venice Principles is a document approved in March 2019 by the Commission of Venice of the Council of Europe, which the Catalan Ombudsman has transferred to the Parliament of Catalonia and several ombudsmen, since it has been elaborated with the aim to be an international benchmark with regard to the guidelines that States must follow to protect ombudsman institutions. In recent years some of these institutions have experienced several threats, even to their own existence.

Developed from the wide range of ombudsman models around the world, the 25 principles encompass the situations and main elements related to the ombudsman, from election, dismissal or mandates to the financial guarantees and resources necessary for the proper functioning and independence of the institutions. Its objective is to consolidate and strengthen the ombudsman, which plays a crucial role in the strengthening of democracy, the rule of law, good governance, and the protection and promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The Venice Principles are the result of extensive consultations with the main international reference bodies in this field. The Steering Committee of the Council of Europe for Human Rights has played a significant role in the process. Among the associations of ombudsmen and international organizations that have participated in the development of this text there are the International Ombudsman Institute, a global association of ombudsmen of public administrations in more than 100 countries, and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the UN.

On behalf of the International Ombudsman Institute, as the European President, the Catalan Ombudsman led the consultation that was made to all the ombudsmen of Europe on the recently approved document and also participated in the debates and work prior to its approval.