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Letter from the European Ombudsman to the European Commission on how the European Commission handled a request for public access to correspondence exchanged with Member State authorities on the distribution of medical masks in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic

Mr Christian Linder


Head of Unit - C2

Ethics, Good Administration &

Relations with the European Ombudsman

European Commission


Strasbourg, 27/01/2021

Dear Mr Linder,

The Ombudsman has received a complaint from Mr X against the European Commission. The Ombudsman has asked me to deal with the case on her behalf.

The complaint concerns the Commission’s failure to adopt a confirmatory decision within the time limits set out in Article 8 of Regulation 1049/2001 (reference GestDem 2020/3437).

I would suggest, if it has not been done in the meantime, that the Commission adopt a confirmatory decision without further delay, and inform us once it is done. As the complainant focuses on the lack of a response to his confirmatory application, we will not request an inspection of documents at this stage.

Please note that the complainant sets out the claim that the Commission should improve its administration so that delays in replying to access to documents requests no longer occur. In our reply to the complainant, we inform him that the Ombudsman is aware of a number of delays and is monitoring the matter closely.

Attached to this e‐mail, please find a copy of the complaint.

Yours sincerely, 

Rosita Hickey

Director of Inquiries