|On June 6-8, 2002 the Center for the Study of Democracy jointly
with Friedrich Ebert Foundation held an International Conference
European Standards and Ombudsman Institutions in Southeast
Europe. The event was aimed at assessing the failures and
successes of ombudsman institutions in Southeast Europe,
strengthening European standards in their performance and
establishing a network among them in order to exchange information
Among the distinguished speakers at the conference were the Parliamentary Ombudsman of Sweden, the Ombudsman of Greece, the Federal Ombudsmen of Belgium, as well as Ombudsmen or their representatives from SEE countries (Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo and Bulgaria). Bulgarian and foreign experts, representatives of all relevant institutions and organisations, contributing to the development of the Bulgarian legal framework and its implementation, also attended the conference and took part in the discussions.
The conference was opened by Dr. Ognian Shentov, CSD
Chairman, and Mr. Arnold Wehmhoerner, Regional
Representative, Friedrich Ebert Foundation, Regional Office Sofia.
In his opening address the Minister of Justice of Bulgaria Mr.
Anton Stankov underlined the necessity of establishing
ombudsman institution in Bulgaria and the significant role the
conference could play for facilitating the process.
The first plenary session started with a presentation by Ms. Kerstin Andre, Parliamentary Ombudsman
of Sweden and Regional Vice President - Europe of the International
Ombudsman Institute. Besides the Swedish experience she outlined
the European standards of ombudsman institutions. An overview of
the ombudsman related activities carried out by the Council of
Europe was presented by Mr. Fernando Mora, Representative of
the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights.
The first plenary session continued with presentation of the first
part of the SEE country reports by Mr. Branko Naumovski,
Ombudsman of Macedonia, Ms. Mimosa Skenderaj, International
Relations Officer, Office of the Ombudsman of Albania, Ms.
Branka Raguz, Ombudsman of Federation Bosnia and Herzegovina
(Sarajevo), and Mr. Zlatko Kulenovic, Ombudsman of Republika
Srpska within Bosnia and Herzegovina (Banja Luka).
The second plenary session started with the second part of the SEE
country reports featuring presentations by Mr. Jernej
Rovsek, Deputy Ombudsman of Slovenia, Mr. Ante Klaric,
Ombudsman of Croatia, Mr. Sevdalin Bozhikov, Deputy Minister
of Justice of Bulgaria, Mr. Meho Omerovic, Member of
Parliament of Serbia, Mr. Slaven Lekic, Director, Council
for Encouragement of Citizens' Participation in Local
Self-Government, Montenegro, and Mr. Hilmi Jashari, Director
of Investigations, Kosovo.
The conference continued with the panel Independence,
Efficiency and Instruments for Influence: Annual and Special
Reports, Recommendations, etc. featuring presentations by the
Greek Ombudsman Professor Nikiforos Diamandouros and the
Federal Ombudsman of Belgium Mr. Pierre-Yves Monette.
Following the second plenary session the participants took part in
two parallel working group discussions. The first working group
focused on the Types of Ombudsman Institution (National, Local
and Specialized) and Forms of Control (Parliamentary, Judicial and
Administrative) while the second one discussed the Obstacles
in Establishing and Start of Operation of the Institution.
The concluding plenary session started with the raporteurs of the
two working groups presenting the results of the working group
sessions and continued with a presentation by the Federal Ombudsman
of Belgium and Regional Vice President - Europe of the
International Ombudsman Institute Dr. Herman Wuyts. The
concluding discussion of the conference focused on the most
significant issues outlined by the participants and especially on
international cooperation (both European and regional), which could
play a significant role for the successful operation of ombudsman
institutions. The conference was closed by Mr. Arnold
Wehmhoerner, who thanked the participants for their active
participation and expressed his belief that the conference had
contributed to the future establishment of ombudsman institution in
The conference was a part of an EU supported project on establishing Ombudsman Institution in Bulgaria and was also supported by the German Government within its contribution to the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe.
Agenda of the conference (PDF, 115 kb)
Recommendations on the Draft Laws on the Ombudsman
submitted to the National Assembly and adopted on first reading on
June 5, 2002, provided by:
Professor Nikiforos Diamandouros, Ombudsman of Greece
Ms. Kerstin Andre, Parliamentary Ombudsman of Sweden
Dr. Herman Wuyts and Mr. Pierre-Yves Monette, Federal Ombudsmen of Belgium
Available in Bulgarian
Full records of the discussion in PDF (901 kb)