The European Ombudsman and current challenges – University of Copenhagen

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The European Ombudsman and current challenges

Emily O’ReillyMeet the European Ombudsman, Emily O’Reilly, who is on her first visit to Denmark in her capacity as European Ombudsman. O’Reilly has won Europe-wide respect as a watchdog pushing for transparency and openness in all corners of the EU institutions and European cooperation, including the Brexit-negotiations.

In her presentation, the Ombudsman will comment on her recent decisions on the way the EU institutions work as well as on the behaviour of officials and lobbyists. She will also describe the role of her institution, the inter-play with the national Ombudsmen, and outline the issues that her institution is focusing on.

The Ombudsman plays an important role in ensuring that the rule of law is respected by the EU institutions and in giving citizens the chance to be heard if it is not the case. Her role is also to ensure transparency in the legislative process and shed light on how lobbyism can affect it in a negative way in cases when it is unclear who speaks to whom. Fighting for greater openness in this area is a central element to help create more trust in the EU institutions.

Emily O’Reilly’s presentation will be followed by a Q&A session and light refreshments.

Press contact: Sammy Lauritsen, (+45) 4119 0511


  • Introduction
    By professor and chairman of the Danish Association for European Law, Ulla Neergaard and Head of the European Parliament in Denmark, Anne Mette Vestergaard

  • The European Ombudsman and current challenges
    Speech by the European Ombudsman, Emily O’Reilly

  • Question & answers session
    Chair: Professor of EU Law, Ulla Neergaard, University of Copenhagen

Tuesday 26 September 2017, 16:00-17:30 followed by light refreshments

Place: Auditorium 9A-0-01, ground floor, Njalsgade 76, 2300 Copenhagen S

Registration: Everyone is welcome, but registration is necessary. Please register using this form.  

Registration deadline: 25 September 2017, 12:00

Contact: All questions regarding the seminar can be directed to Ulla Neergaard e-mail: or Sammy Lauritsen e-mail:

Organised by the Faculty of Law, Danish Association for European Law and the European Parliament in Denmark


Emily O’ReillyEmily O’Reilly has been European Ombudsman since 1 October 2013. She is former Irish Ombudsman and Information Commissioner (2003-2013) as well as Irish Commissioner for Environmental Information (2007-2013). She has held senior positions at The Irish Press, the Sunday Tribune, and as columnist at The Sunday Times and Political Editor of The Sunday Business Post. Born in 1957 in Tullamore, Ireland, Emily O’Reilly holds a degree in European Languages and Literature from University College Dublin (1979) with a Graduate Diploma in Education from Trinity College Dublin (1980). She was awarded a Harvard University Nieman Fellowship (1988), an Honorary Doctorate in Laws by the National University in Ireland for her work in promoting human rights (2008), and a second Honorary Doctorate of Law from University College Dublin for her work as Ombudsman (2014).

Twitter: @EUombudsman

Ulla NeergaardUlla Neergaard is Professor at the University of Copenhagen since 2009, first in EU Market Law and then in EU Law. Before that she was among others Professor of Competition Law at the Copenhagen Business School. She holds a PhD from the European University Institute, Florence (1998). Ulla Neergaard has been appointed as an “expert member” to several boards/committees (among others the Danish Council of Competition and the Danish Energy Regulatory Authority). At present she is  member of the Appeals Permission Board which holds a central role in the Danish court system. She was the President of the International Federation for European Law (FIDE) from 2013-14 and organised the FIDE-Congress in 2014. She is at present among others the President of the Danish Association for European Law. She is responsible of many of the EU-law courses (BA and MA) at the University of Copenhagen. The academic year 2015-16 was spent at the Faculty of Law/St. John’s College, University of Oxford.

Twitter: @ullaneergaard

Anne Mette Vestergaard has been heading the Copenhagen office of the European Parliament for the past five years. She previously served as Head of Department in the Danish Foreign Service, as First Secretary of Embassy in Paris and Deputy Chief of Mission in Washington DC. As Chief Advisor on European Affairs at the Danish Institute for International Studies from 2003 to 2006, she was the author or editor of numerous articles and books about the EU, including Fra ælling til svane? 10 skarpe om Europa-Parlamentet.

Twitter: @AnneMetteEP