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How the Council of the EU ensures transparency of the decision making concerning sanctions against Russia

The Ombudsman carried out an initiative looking into the transparency of the decision making by the Council of the EU concerning sanctions in the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In this context, the Ombudsman sent a letter to the Council asking it to consider whether there are any additional documents which could be made proactively available to the public.

The Council replied that, due to the special nature of the decision-making process leading to the adoption of restrictive measures, and the circumstances of the war in Ukraine, it cannot make proactively available more documents concerning the adoption of sanctions.

The Ombudsman closed the initiative, taking note of the Council's reply and, notwithstanding the content of the reply, asking the Council to assess any requests for public access to related documents on their own merits. She also encouraged the Council to continue its efforts to inform the public adequately about the restrictive measures, to the greatest extent possible.