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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

The complainant sought public access from the European Commission to correspondence exchanged with Member State authorities on the distribution of medical masks in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. After a delay, the Commission proposed to grant access to parts of some of the documents covered by the complainant's request. The Commission then failed to reply within the applicable deadline to the complainant's request that it review its decision (an implicit refusal of access).

The Ombudsman opened an inquiry into the complaint and asked the Commission to adopt a final decision on the access request without further delay.