This article considers the investigative powers of the European Ombudsman. Despite the increasing intensity of focus and diversity of approach, issues pertaining to the Ombudsman?s investigative toolkit persistently remain a relatively under-explored subject of study in the relevant legal and political literature. The multitude and complexity of the doctrinal challenges and practical questions that these issues are capable of raising are highlighted by the Ombudsman?s current attempt to capitalize on his growing institutional stature and strengthen his investigative capacity.
The analysis begins by placing the discussion in its proper historical perspective and political context. The normative foundations of the Ombudsman?s investigative regime are then explored, and followed by an empirical examination of the Ombudsman?s investigative tools. An overall assessment of the emerging picture is then carried out and the inquiry concludes with some brief reflections.Common Market Law Review