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How the European Commission dealt with a request for public access to documents related to the 'recovery and resilience plan' of the Netherlands

The complainant asked the European Commission to grant public access to documents related to the 'recovery and resilience plan' of the Netherlands. The Commission disclosed some of the documents it identified as falling under the request but withheld others. In doing so, it invoked an exception under the EU's legislation on public access to documents, arguing that disclosure could undermine an ongoing decision-making process and financial, monetary or economic policy. The complainant asked the Commission to review its decision (making a 'confirmatory application'). The Commission subsequently failed to take a final decision within the applicable time limit, which is considered as an implicit negative decision.

The Ombudsman asked the Commission to take a decision on the confirmatory application without further delay. Following the Ombudsman's request, the Commission replied to the complainant. The Ombudsman therefore closed the case.