Ombudsman institutions in the candidate countries on the road to EU membership: a comparative view


Ogusgil V. A.

EASTERN JOURNAL OF EUROPEAN STUDIES, vol.6, no.1, pp.31-48, 2015 (ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 6 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Journal Name: EASTERN JOURNAL OF EUROPEAN STUDIES
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.31-48
  • Police Academy Affiliated: No

Abstract

The European Union has been attaching great importance to the values of democracy and human rights in its external policy, including to its relationship with candidate countries seeking membership in the Union. In accordance with the significance of the values stipulated by the Copenhagen political criteria, as well, it urges the countries in question, for example, to build or strengthen national oversight mechanisms that are tasked to promote the democratic governance of the state and protect human rights. This paper examines one of those oversight mechanisms - ombudsman institutions - in the candidate states conducting accession negotiations with the EU. It specifically scrutinises a fundamental characteristic for the effective functioning of these institutions - the jurisdiction and powers granted by their statutes. Relying on the findings to be noted, the paper also seeks an answer to the question of which ombudsman institution(s) score(s) better in terms of effectiveness and thus play(s) a more significant role in the improvement and consolidation of democracy and protection of human rights in its or their countries, and as a result, contribute(s) more to the fulfilment of Copenhagen political criteria during the EU accession processes.