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Showing 1 - 20 of 724 results

Decision in case 21/2016/JAP on the Council of the EU’s failure to grant access to legal opinions on proposals for Regulations on the establishment of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office and on the European Union Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation (EUROJUST)

Thursday | 07 March 2019

The case concerned the refusal of the Council of the European Union to grant full access to legal opinions on the legislative proposals for Regulations on the establishment of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) and on the European Union Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation (EUROJUST).

In the course of the Ombudsman’s inquiry, the Council agreed to disclose two of the four documents, but maintained its refusal to disclose fully the two remaining documents, although partial access was granted.

The Ombudsman accepts that the refusal to disclose the legal opinions fully was justified on the grounds that it would undermine the protection of legal advice and court proceedings. She therefore closes the case with a finding of no maladministration, but invites the Council to review its refusal in light of the further passage of time.

Decision in case 66/2016/DK on the European Research Council Executive Agency’s action concerning a request for access to documents

Thursday | 21 December 2017

The case concerned the complainant’s request for access to two e-mails sent from the private e-mail account of the President of the Governing Board of the European Research Council Executive Agency to the members of the Scientific Council of the Agency. When the Agency refused access on the basis that the two e-mails were not in its possession as they were sent from a private account, the complainant turned to the European Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman opened an inquiry into the issue, after which the President of the Governing Board provided the Agency with copies of the two e-mails. Thus, the Agency could assess the complainant’s request for access to the e-mails under Regulation 1049/2001[1]. The Agency then granted the complainant partial access to the documents. The Ombudsman obtained full copies of the two e-mails and was able to verify that the redactions made in the copies disclosed to the complainant were justified.

The Ombudsman therefore closed the inquiry with a finding of no maladministration.

Decision in case 709/2015/MDC on the Commission's refusal to grant public access to drafts of the final Impact Assessment Report accompanying its proposal for a Directive amending the Fuel Quality and Renewable Energy Directives

Wednesday | 04 October 2017

The case concerned the Commission’s refusal to grant public access to draft versions of an Impact Assessment Report (IAR) on indirect land-use change related to biofuels (ILUC). Disclosure of the documents was refused on the ground that it would undermine the Commission’s decision-making process. The complainant, a group of organisations, considered that it should be granted access to the documents it requested.

The Ombudsman inquired into the issue. She noted that in September 2015, Parliament and Council adopted Directive 2015/1513. That Directive was based on the Commission’s legislative proposal to which the impact assessment report, the draft versions of which were at issue in this case, was attached. The Ombudsman therefore proposed that, in light of these new circumstances, the Commission grant public access to the requested documents. The Commission disagreed, arguing that there had been no maladministration on its part. It however invited the complainant to make a new request for access to documents, in light of the new circumstances. The complainant later informed the Ombudsman that, following a new request for access to documents, the Commission granted access to the documents it had requested. The Ombudsman thus closed the case with a finding that no further inquiries into the complaint were justified. She also pointed out that the Ombudsman is entitled to ask an institution to take into consideration, when responding to a proposal for a solution of the Ombudsman in an access to documents case, new arguments as to why a document should be released.

Decision in case 1959/2014/MDC on the European Commission’s refusal to grant public access to the award evaluation forms concerning applications for co-funding of mechanisms for the processing of passenger name records

Thursday | 13 July 2017

The case concerned the European Commission's refusal to grant public access to evaluation forms drawn up to assess Member States’ applications for Commission co-funding of national passenger name record data (PNR[1]) processing systems. The complaint was lodged by a Member of the European Parliament.

When denying access to the requested evaluation forms, the Commission relied on a judgment of the General Court which recognised the need to maintain the confidentiality of evaluation committees' proceedings in relation to tender procedures. In that case, the Court ruled that disclosure of the opinions of the evaluation committee members would compromise their independence, and thus seriously undermine the decision-making process of the institution concerned. The complainant considered, however, that this judgment was inapplicable to an evaluation procedure concerning the assessment of applications for funding submitted by Member States.

The Ombudsman inquired into the issue and found that the Commission's refusal to disclose the requested documents was not justified. Moreover, she agreed that there was an overriding public interest in the disclosure of the requested documents. The Ombudsman therefore made a recommendation to the Commission to release the requested documents (she agreed however that the names of the evaluators could be redacted).

The Commission refused to accept the Ombudsman’s recommendation without providing convincing reasons for its position. The Ombudsman therefore closed the case with a finding of maladministration.

Decision in case 1102/2016/JN on the Commission’s failure to reply to correspondence and to fully disclose a document

Friday | 13 January 2017

The case concerned the Commission’s failure to reply to the complainant’s correspondence in the context of a financial audit at the Member State level. Following the Ombudsman’s intervention, the Commission replied. It disclosed the document requested by the complainant but redacted some personal data (names of physical persons). The Ombudsman found that the Commission correctly justified the redaction under Regulation 45/2001.

Decision of the European Ombudsman in case 789/2016/EIS concerning the EEAS’ handling of a request for public access to the “Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement” between the EU and Cuba

Thursday | 10 November 2016

The case concerned the handling by the European External Action Service (EEAS) of the complainant’s request for public access to the “Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement” between the EU and Cuba. In the course of the Ombudsman’s inquiry, the EEAS released the document. As a result, the Ombudsman closed the case as settled.