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Report a Formal Complaint

The EUI policy on harassment, sexual harassment and bullying ensures a victim-centred approach and a clear and transparent investigation and adjudication process.

What does victim-centred approach mean?

A victim centred approach is a way to protect the victim’s rights, dignity and self-determination during a case of harassment, sexual harassment or bullying.

It entails giving priority to listening to the victim, in order to avoid double victimization that could be caused by additional harm or victim-blaming by the institutional procedures set up to protect the victim. A victim-centred approach focuses on the victim’s safety, rights, wellbeing, needs and choices, providing empathy and sensitivity in the application of the measures provided to prevent harassment and bullying, and to secure prompt and effective redress.

If you feel you are being bullied or harassed, or that you have assisted to an episode of harassment, sexual harassment or bullying involving someone else, you have different options.

  • You can report the episode to the police if you think that the incident is particularly serious and amounts to a crime, such as rape, sexual assault, or physical assault. Please notice that if a criminal procedure is initiated with national authorities, EUI’s procedures would be suspended.


  • You can first refer to the support mechanisms that the EUI has put in place.

Informal options

If you have experienced, witnessed or heard of a problematic behaviour, harassment or bullying by an individual or group of individuals, the EUI established the Confidential Harassment Advice Service (CHAS), a service provided by trained staff members who can help you understand what your options are and listen to your concerns.

  • The CHAS can advise you on support available both within and outside the EUI.
  • A CHAS member can act informally to seek a personal resolution of the issue of concern and act as mediator if you feel comfortable in doing so.
  • The CHAS can also advise people who heard of a problematic behaviour, harassment or bullying by an individual or group of individuals occurred to a third party and have been approached for guidance.

If you refer to the CHAS, this does not exclude using the formal complaint procedure.

Informal complaint procedure steps

Last update: February 2024

English (408 KB - pdf)

Formal complaint procedure

You can lodge a formal complaint in serious cases of harassment, sexual harassment or bullying, or where attempts of personal resolution have failed.

We strongly recommend you contact the Confidential Harassment Advice Service before submitting a formal complaint. The Advisors can assist you in understanding the procedure and providing guidance on the evidence to be submitted.

The formal complaint process is handled by the Harassment Decision-Panel. The Panel consists of three members who can preliminarily decide if there is a case to answer. They can also commission an investigation to determine the facts of the case or if they need additional information to reach a decision.

The process is conducted with fairness, respecting the parties’ confidentiality.

If you wish to start a formal complaint, write an email to [email protected].

The complaint will be received by the Secretary to the Panel and read by the Harassment Decision-Panel. Your complaint is treated confidentially. Only the Harassment Decision-Panel, and the EDI Officer who acts in autonomy as Secretary to the Panel, have permission to read the complaint.

The Procedure

When you submit a formal complaint, it is important that you provide sufficient information to enable the Decision Panel to understand the nature of the complaint. For instance, make a note of any incidents, including dates and times; taking photos or screenshots of offensive written or visual materials can also be helpful.

The Harassment Decision-Panel may proceed with the case without an investigation if they decide it is not necessary, or if the respondent accepts responsibility for the facts of the case. Both the complainant and the respondent shall be informed of the decision.

President’s Decision No. 2/2023 on the composition of the Harassment Decision-Panel

Last update: January 2023

English (110 KB - pdf)


The Panel has the power to commission an investigation. This is conducted by a staff member in the Internal Audit Team. The investigation may involve one or more meetings with the complainant, any potential witnesses, and the respondent. These meetings will normally take place separately.

The investigation outcome is reported to the Harassment Decision Panel. Based on the investigative report, the Decision Panel decides if there is a case to answer.

The parties have the right to access the investigation report, and to have their names anonymised if the individuals concerned require protection.

President’s Decision No. 75/2022 appointing one internal investigator and one alternate in the case of formal harassment complaints at the EUI

Last update: January 2023

English (106 KB - pdf)

The Panel’s decision

The Decision-Panel decides if there is a case to answer.

If there is a case, the Decision Panel can exercise different actions, depending on the circumstances, such as – but not limited to:

  • Meetings with each party to find reconciliation
  • Prescribe appropriate training
  • Limit contacts between parties, or limit the access to certain EUI premises or activities (e.g. Fiasco)
  • Refer the case to the relevant disciplinary panel if disciplinary actions are considered necessary:
    • The Disciplinary Committee for students, researchers and fellows (other than research fellows covered by the Staff Regulations)
    • The Disciplinary Board for members of staff

If the complainant is not satisfied by the Panel’s decision, they can issue a complaint to the Italian authorities under Italian law.

Formal complaint procedure steps

Last update: February 2024

English (409 KB - pdf)

What happens if law enforcement authorities initiate a criminal process in Italy or elsewhere?

If a criminal process is initiated by law enforcement authorities in Italy or elsewhere, the EUI’s internal process is suspended. If a timely decision by law enforcement authorities in Italy or elsewhere cannot be expected, the Harassment Decision Panel is authorised to order protective interim measures (e.g. limit the presence of the respondent in some EUI premises).

If you are victim of an assault on the EUI premises, you are advised to:

Notify the incident to a member of CHAS.

Report the incident to the police.

Report the incident to the Harassment Decision Panel by writing an email at [email protected]. The email is accessible only to the EDI Officer, who act as Secretary to the Harassment Decision Panel.

Page last updated on 05/02/2024

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