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How the European Commission dealt with a request for public access to documents concerning the EU-US Energy Security Task Force

The complainant, a civil society organisation, asked the European Commission for information and public access to documents concerning the EU/US Energy Security Task Force, which brings together representatives of the Commission and the US authorities to discuss energy security and cooperation. The Commission identified five documents as falling under the scope of the request. It disclosed two of these and refused to give access to parts of the three remaining documents. In doing so, it invoked an exception under the EU legislation on public access to documents, arguing that disclosure could undermine the protection of commercial interests and international relations.

The Ombudsman opened an inquiry and sought to inspect the three documents in question.