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Decision of the European Ombudsman on complaint 917/2000/GG against the Council of the European Union


Strasbourg, 17 December 2002

Dear Mr B.,

On 11 July 2000, you submitted a complaint to the European Ombudsman against the Council of the European Union concerning the Council's refusal to provide certain documents that you believed had been put before various meetings held in January 1999 and September 1998.

On 30 November 2001, and following an in-depth inquiry into your complaint, I submitted a special report to the European Parliament, in conformity with Article 3 (7) of the Statute of the European Ombudsman. A copy of this special report was sent to the Council. In this special report I recommended that the Council should reconsider your application and give access to the documents requested, unless one or more of the exceptions contained in Article 4 of Decision 93/731 of 20 December 1993 on public access to documents applied. I further noted that I welcomed the European Parliament's views regarding the draft recommendation I had previously made and according to which the Council should maintain a list or register of all the documents put before the Council and make this list or register available to citizens.

On 8 October 2002, the European Parliament's Committee on Petitions adopted a report (reference A5-0363/2002) in which it endorsed my special report and submitted a draft resolution to that effect. The report was drafted by Astrid Thors MEP.

On 17 December 2002, the European Parliament voted to approve the resolution on the Ombudsman's Special Report. In its resolution, the European Parliament supported the recommendation I had made. Parliament also welcomed the published intentions by the Secretary-General of the Council to implement my recommendation and requested the Council to report to the competent committee in six months on the further concrete measures taken to implement the Secretary-General's decision and Regulation (EC) no. 1049/2001.

Given that the European Parliament has now completed its examination of my special report and supported my recommendation, I will close the file.

Yours sincerely,

 

Jacob SÖDERMAN