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Ombudsman launches public consultation on transparency in EU environmental decision making

The Ombudsman has launched a public consultation to assess the transparency of EU environmental decision making.

The aim is to evaluate whether citizens have access to up-to-date information, allowing them to  exercise their right to democratic scrutiny in an area of high importance and public interest.

Past Ombudsman inquiries have found instances in which environmental information was made public either too late or not at all, effectively removing people’s right to participate in decision making related to the environment.

The Ombudsman has decided to prioritise scrutiny of this area as the EU - in the face of unprecedented environmental challenges - has agreed a series of laws aimed at protecting the environment  and combatting climate change. The laws and proposals range from binding emission targets, to funding programmes for sustainable technologies, to biodiversity strategies and reduction in the use of chemical pesticides.

Questions in the consultation seek to find out how easy it is for the public to obtain documents or information related to the environment and how citizens could be more involved in the preparation and implementation of green policies.

The Ombudsman’s consultation is available in all 24 of the EU’s official languages and runs until 15/12/2022. Contributions will be published on the European Ombudsman website.

Find more background information on this issue here (in English only).