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European Ombudsmen Call for Greater Coordination

The new board of directors of the European section of the International Ombudsman Institute (IOI), including Slovenia's Matjaz Hanzek, has set greater coordination of the ombudsmen's work as the priority task in the next four years.
In this framework, the European section is to create a website to collect information about all institutions, including legal documents, links and other useful data helping the ombudsmen in their work, the office of the Slovenian Ombudsman reported Tuesday.
The new board of directors, namely Hanzek, Ritta-Leena Paunio of Finland, Northern Ireland's Thomas Frawley and Austria's Peter Kostelka, who is president of the European Ombudsman Institute, held the meeting in Vienna on Monday.
The directors also said it would make sense to divide the work of the European section regionally, since neighbouring institutions that already have closer ties will find it easier to share information that way.
At the same time, the ombudsmen called for greater cooperation on the European level and decided to organise a pan-European conference in 2006.
When the new board of directors was appointed two months ago, only Slovenia's Hanzek was not relieved of his duties, remaining in charge of Central and Eastern Europe.
The International Ombudsman Institute was set up in 1978 to unite ombudsmen from around the world in an attempt to promote the concept of ombudsman and facilitate its development.