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Meeting concerning the time taken by the European Commission to deal with requests for public access to documents

Ms Ursula von der Leyen


European Commission


Dear President,

Thank you for the Commission’s reply, dated 25 October 2022, in this own-initiative inquiry and specifically for having provided the requested sample files and addressed the additional questions raised.

Following the review of the sample files, I have decided that it would be useful for my inquiry team to meet with the relevant representatives of the Commission to obtain additional information and a full understanding of how public access requests are handled by the Commission. My inquiry team will share the questions in advance of the meeting.

I note that the Commission has, in the meantime, launched its new portal (‘EASE’) via which individuals can make requests for access to documents. A demonstration to my Office of the external module of this portal will likely take place on 12 January 2023. In the context of this own-initiative inquiry, it would be useful to see also the internal part of the module, which the Commission considers will render its procedure for dealing with access requests more efficient. I would therefore appreciate it, if the Commission could show the internal part of the portal to my inquiry team after the demonstration scheduled for 12 January 2023.

I would be grateful if your office could contact Ms Michaela Gehring, who is in charge of this own-initiative inquiry, to agree the arrangements for the meeting and the demonstration of the internal module of the EASE portal to take place in January 2023.

As per our usual practice, information or documents that your institution considers to be confidential will not be disclosed to the complainant or any other person without the prior agreement of the Commission.[1]

Yours sincerely,

Emily O'Reilly
European Ombudsman

Strasbourg, 16/12/2022


[1] Please clearly mark such material ‘Confidential’. Encrypted emails can be sent to our dedicated mailbox. Information and documents of this kind will be deleted from the European Ombudsman’s files shortly after the inquiry has ended.