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The European Commission's refusal to give full public access to declarations of interests by the members of its Regulatory Scrutiny Board

The complainant, a journalist, asked the European Commission to grant public access to all declarations of interests of current and past members of its Regulatory Scrutiny Board, which is an independent body that provides advice to the College of Commissioners. The Commission provided access to parts of six such declarations, but redacted information the potential conflicts of interest identified in the declarations. In doing so, it argued that those parts of the declarations fell outside the scope of the request and it also invoked an exception under the EU legislation on public access to documents, arguing that disclosure could undermine the privacy of the individuals concerned.

The Ombudsman opened an inquiry and sought to inspect the documents in question.