(Sir Europe – Strasbourg) – "Europe is experiencing not only an economic crisis but a crisis of political legitimacy too. Pessimism and divisions are increasing all over Europe, the citizens’ confidence in the European institutions is declining, and many people think their voice does not matter. This makes 2014 a crucial year for Europe and for the future of the EU". Today, Ireland-born Emily O’Reilly resigned from the position of public defender in her country to take on the position of Ombudsman, from tomorrow. "European ombudsman", points out O’Reilly, who will replace her Greek colleague Nikiforos Diamandouros, who resigned after serving ten years in the Strasburg premises. O’Reilly adds that she is going "to give a voice to the citizens’ concerns and will try to help fill the gap among the European citizens and the European institutions". Twenty years after the Maastricht Treaty established the position of European ombudsman, "the time has come to rethink of the focus of its work". All EU citizens and residents "must be able to benefit from an efficient governance that tries to respond to their needs. I will take inspiration from the sound results achieved by my predecessor in making the EU’s governance more transparent and efficient. In addition, I also intend to cooperate with the European Parliament" in the name of the "citizens’ rights and interests".” “

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Quotidiano - Italiano

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