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The European External Action Service's (EEAS) refusal to grant public access to documents concerning EU-funded security projects in Mali

The complainant sought public access from the European External Action Service (EEAS) to documents concerning EU-funded security projects in Mali. The EEAS disclosed only parts of the documents it identified as falling under the request. It withheld access to the remaining parts, invoking an exception under the EU's rules on public access to documents and arguing that disclosure could undermine international relations and public security, as well as the protection of personal data.

The Ombudsman inspected the documents and obtained additional, confidential explanations from the EEAS. Based on this, the Ombudsman found that the EEAS’s decision to refuse access was not manifestly wrong, and closed the case finding no maladministration.