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Showing 1 - 20 of 58 results

Decision in case 1484/2019/UNK on the European Commission’s handling of a request for full public access to drafts of an article on the copyright directive published on the Commission's website

Monday | 02 December 2019

The case concerned the European Commission’s decision to redact the names of Commission staff members from a document before granting the complainant public access to it.

The Ombudsman found that the Commission was correct to redact the names. She therefore closed the inquiry with a finding of no maladministration.  

Decision in case 552/2018/MIG on the European Commission’s refusal of public access to documents concerning the German Network Enforcement Act

Wednesday | 20 November 2019

The case concerned a request for public access to documents held by the European Commission concerning the German Network Enforcement Act[1], a national law aimed at combating fake news on social networks.

The Ombudsman made a proposal for a solution, asking the Commission to re-consider its (partial) refusal to grant public access to the documents. The Commission did not reply within the deadline specified by the Ombudsman. The Ombudsman then made a recommendation to the Commission.

The Commission responded that it did not accept the Ombudsman’s recommendation.

The Ombudsman regrets that the Commission did not follow her recommendation. She maintains her findings of maladministration.

 

[1] In German the “Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz”, https://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/netzdg/.

Decision in case 1731/2018/FP on the refusal by the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency to grant public access to the documents submitted by a public undertaking for a funding approval in the context of a call for proposals by the Connecting Europe Facility

Friday | 04 October 2019

The case concerned the refusal by the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) to grant public access to documents submitted by a national cybersecurity authority that was seeking funding from INEA.

The Ombudsman inquired into the issue and proposed that INEA should partially disclose the requested documents, redacting only information that it considers to be genuinely commercially sensitive or personal data.

INEA rejected the Ombudsman’s proposal, arguing that most of the information that could be disclosed was already in the public domain and the proposed partial disclosure would impose a disproportionate administrative burden on INEA. It also said that it accepted the arguments of the national cybersecurity authority regarding the likely damage disclosure would cause to its commercial interests.

The Ombudsman found INEA’s refusal to grant even partial access to the requested documents to be maladministration and recommended that INEA partially disclose the relevant Grant application.

INEA rejected the Ombudsman’s recommendation. Consequently, the Ombudsman now closes the case, confirming her finding of maladministration.

Recommendation of the European Ombudsman in case 552/2018/MIG on the European Commission’s refusal of public access to documents concerning the German Network Enforcement Act

Tuesday | 11 June 2019

The case concerned a refusal by the Commission, in 2017, to give a Member of the European Parliament public access to Commission documents regarding a new German social media law. The complainant considered that the Commission had failed to identify all the documents falling within the scope of her request. Regarding those documents it did identify, she considered that the Commission had wrongly redacted the documents.

The Ombudsman found that the Commission had failed to identify all the documents falling within the scope of the complainant’s request. She also found that the redactions made by the Commission were excessive. She thus proposed that the Commission reassess the scope of the request and reconsider its decision to (partially) deny access to the identified documents.

The Commission did not follow this solution proposal. As the Ombudsman considers the Commission’s handling of the complainant’s access request to constitute maladministration, she makes a corresponding recommendation and expresses her concern at the inordinate length of time the Commission has taken in dealing with this matter.

Decision in case 2124/2017/KT on the treatment of certain journalists by the European Parliament’s Information Office in Cyprus

Thursday | 25 April 2019

The complaint was about how the European Parliament’s Information Office in Cyprus selected journalists to travel to a conference in Brussels organised by Parliament. The complainant considered that the Information Office´s outreach policy is not transparent, especially when it comes to selecting journalists to travel abroad to cover its activities.

The Ombudsman found that Parliament’s criteria for selecting journalists were reasonable and concluded that there was no maladministration.

Recommendation of the European Ombudsman in case 1731/2018/FP on the refusal by the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency to grant public access to the documents submitted by a public undertaking for a funding approval in the context of a call for proposals by the Connecting Europe Facility

Monday | 01 April 2019

The case concerned the refusal by the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) to grant public access to the documents submitted by a public undertaking for a funding approval in the context of a call for proposals by the Connecting Europe Facility.

The Ombudsman inquired into the issue and proposed that INEA should partially disclose the requested documents, redacting only information that it considers to be genuinely commercially sensitive or personal data requiring protection. However, INEA rejected the Ombudsman’s proposal, arguing that most of the information which was proposed for disclosure was already in the public domain and the proposed partial disclosure would impose a disproportionate administrative burden on INEA. It also said that it accepted the arguments of the relevant third party, the national cybersecurity authority of a Member State, regarding the likely damage to commercial interests which would result from disclosure.

The Ombudsman found INEA’s refusal to grant even partial public access to the requested documents to constitute maladministration. The Ombudsman therefore recommends that INEA should partially disclose the requested Grant application forms A and D submitted by the public undertaking in the context of a call for proposals by the Connecting Europe Facility’s, redacting only information that it considers to be genuinely commercially sensitive (which the Ombudsman considers to be very limited) or personal data requiring protection (such as the CVs and personal details of the individuals to be employed on the project).