Peter Kostelka hands over IOI Regional Vice-Presidency to Rafael Ribó


Peter Kostelka and Rafael Ribó

Peter Kostelka, newly appointed Secretary General of the International Ombudsman Institute welcomed his successor as Regional Vice-President of the I.O.I. European Chapter, the Catalan Ombudsman Rafael Ribó at the premises of the Austrian Ombudsman Board in Vienna where the I.O.I. General Secretariat will be located from 1 September 2009 onwards.

After five years in office Kostelka drew a positive balance:"The European political and administrative landscape has changed a lot in the past two decades. Setting best practise examples in the field of governance and developing common benchmarks for the relations between state, regional and local authorities and their citizens has become ever more important. In this respect, the research project of the I.O.I. European chapter has for example set the ground for an even more intensive cooperation among the European Ombudsman institutions. The comparative legal study on 49 European Ombudsman institutions was published in 2008 and received very positive attention by the European academic and political community."

Kostelka wished his successor all the best for his new responsibilities: "I am convinced that Raffael Ribó will further elaborate the active role of the I.O.I. European chapter in the Ombudsman world. In my new I.O.I. responsibilities on a global level we will certainly cooperate intensively as well."

The incoming Chairman of the European Chapter, Rafael Ribó, thanked the host for the meeting and praised the work carried out by former board members: Peter Kostelka, Riitta-Leena Paunio, Tom Frawley and Mats Melin.

 "It is a great honour to have the opportunity to lead this project and I will do my best. In this new era I intend to follow the path started by Kostelka and face new challenges such the welcoming of new members, training programmes and international cooperation [...]".

Ribó is ending with the preparations for the Secretariat of the European Chapter to start operating from 1 September onwards, and has already created an e-mail account for communications (