About the lecture
The lecture will address the history of the Ombudsman institution in Europe and the creation of the European Ombudsman's institution by the Maastricht Treaty. It will also address the role of the European Ombudsman within the constitutional architecture of the EU and highlight its complementary role to the judiciary as an external redress mechanism available to EU citizens for implementing their rights under Union law. Moreover, it will explain how the existing "European Network of Ombudsmen" enhances the possibilities for citizens to make use and fully to enjoy their rights under EU law. It will further consider the changes introduced by the Lisbon Treaty and by the European Charter of Fundamental Rights and analyse the impact these recent developments have had on the European Ombudsman's role as guardian of good administration as well as in the important role he plays in ensuring transparency and in enhancing participation of citizens, and of the civil society in general, in the democratic life of the Union. It will also examine how important these new developments are with an eye to strengthening the legitimacy of the European political institutions.
About the speaker
João SANT'ANNA was born in Setúbal, Portugal, on 3 May 1957. He studied law at the University of Lisbon from 1975 to 1980 and registered with the bar in Lisbon in 1981. Between 1980 and 1982, he worked as a lawyer in the Legal and Administrative Division of the Portuguese Ministry of Internal Affairs for the Lisbon Region. Between 1982 and 1984, he pursued his legal studies, in the field of intellectual property rights, at the Ludwig-Maximilian University and the Max-Planck Institute in Munich. After returning to Portugal in 1984, he was appointed Head of the Legal and Administrative Division of the Portuguese Ministry of Internal Affairs for the Lisbon Region. In 1986, he became a civil servant of the European Parliament, working in the Directorates-General for Information and Public Relations, for Research, for Personnel and Finance, and finally, in the Legal Service of the European Parliament. He joined the European Ombudsman's Office as Head of the Administration and Finance Department in 2000. He was appointed Director of the Legal Department on 1 July 2007.