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Decision of the European Ombudsman concerning complaint 559/2021/DL against the European Commission

Dear Mr X,

On 22 March 2021, you submitted a complaint to the European Ombudsman against the European Commission concerning how it dealt with a request for financial compensation for damages allegedly suffered because of Brexit.

Based on the information provided to us, the Ombudsman finds no maladministration.[1]

We consider that the Commission’s replies were reasonable and exhaustive. The Commission adequately addressed your concern and provided you with relevant information concerning the Brexit negotiations.

The Commission informed you on various occasions that the issue of copyrights falls under national law. It also explained that the property of intangible goods is not is not defined by their location and, consequently, you would not lose your property rights due to Brexit. The Commission also clarified to you that any complaints concerning liability should be directed against the United Kingdom, not against the European Union.

Regarding your argument that the Commission never substantively addressed the issue that you raised in your letter of 10 January 2021, we find that it was reasonable for the UK Taskforce to consider that it had sufficiently addressed your concern in its replies between July 2018 and June 2019, and that it thus had no new elements to add.

Please note that, in accordance with the European Code of Good Administrative Behaviour, EU institutions may decide to no longer reply to correspondence because of its repetitive or pointless character.[2] As such, since the Commission had substantively addressed your concerns on a number of occasions, its decision to end correspondence was also reasonable.

I appreciate that this decision might be disappointing to you. I do hope that the above information and explanations are helpful.

Yours sincerely,

Tina Nilsson
Head of the Case-handling Unit

Strasbourg, 14/04/2021


[1] Full information on the procedure and rights pertaining to complaints can be found at

[2] Article 14(3) of the European Code of Good Administrative Behaviour, available at: