You have a complaint
against an EU institution or body?

Search cases

Text search

Document type

Institution concerned

Type of settlement

Case number

Language

Date range

Keywords

Or try old keywords (Before 2016)

Showing 1 - 20 of 214 results

Decision in case 766/2018/PL on how the European Chemicals Agency conducted a consultation on a proposal to restrict lead in gunshot

Tuesday | 16 July 2019

The case concerns how the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) conducted a consultation of stakeholders on a proposal to restrict lead in gunshot used in wetlands. The complainant took issue with the wording of the questions and the fact that the consultation was available in English only.

The Ombudsman considers that the questions, and the opportunity to send general comments, allowed participants to express their views freely. Regarding languages, however, the Ombudsman found ECHA’s justification for using English only to be inadequate.

The Ombudsman therefore welcomes ECHA’s commitment for the future to consider translating into other languages at least parts of its consultations. Where ECHA restricts the use of languages, it should put in place relevant safeguards such as making available a summary in all EU official languages, making relevant supporting material available in as many languages as possible and, above all, making clear that responses can be submitted in any EU official language. This latter element is a fundamental right.

The Ombudsman closed the case with a suggestion to ECHA to avoid similar problems arising in the future.

Decision in case 1082/2018/PL on how the European Chemicals Agency conducted a consultation on a proposal to restrict lead in gunshot

Tuesday | 16 July 2019

The case concerns how the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) conducted a consultation of stakeholders on a proposal to restrict lead in gunshot used in wetlands. The complainant took issue with the wording of the questions and the fact that the consultation was available in English only.

The Ombudsman considers that the questions, and the opportunity to send general comments, allowed participants to express their views freely. Regarding languages, however, the Ombudsman found ECHA’s justification for using English only to be inadequate.

The Ombudsman therefore welcomes ECHA’s commitment for the future to consider translating into other languages at least parts of its consultations. Where ECHA restricts the use of languages, it should put in place relevant safeguards such as making available a summary in all EU official languages, making relevant supporting material available in as many languages as possible and, above all, making clear that responses can be submitted in any EU official language. This latter element is a fundamental right.

The Ombudsman closed the case with a suggestion to ECHA to avoid similar problems arising in the future.

Recommendation of the European Ombudsman in case 452/2018/AMF on the European Commission’s failure to disclose information on the existence of EU Pilot dialogues and to publish proactively Member State reports on the implementation of the Fisheries Control Regulation

Wednesday | 19 June 2019

The case concerns a refusal by the European Commission to give an environmental NGO general information about discussions between the Commission and Member States regarding their potential non-compliance with the EU’s Fisheries Control Regulation. The complainant also asked the Commission to publish proactively Member State reports on how they implemented the Fisheries Control Regulation.

The Ombudsman considers that the Commission is wrong not to provide the complainant with the information it requested and makes a recommendation in that regard. The Ombudsman also suggests that the Commission proactively publish Member State reports on the implementation of the Fisheries Control Regulation.

Recommendation of the European Ombudsman in case 2142/2018/TE on the European Commission’s refusal to grant access to Member State positions on a guidance document concerning the risk assessment of pesticides on bees

Friday | 10 May 2019

Pesticides are considered to be a contributing factor in the decline of bees in Europe. Following concerns, widely raised, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) developed, in 2013, guidance on the assessment of risk of pesticides on bees.

The complaint, submitted by a French civil society group, concerned a request for public access to documents containing the positions of EU Member States on the 2013 EFSA guidance. The European Commission refused access on the basis that the disclosure of Member State positions would jeopardise an ongoing decision-making process.

The Ombudsman found that the documents at issue should, in view of the context in which they were drawn-up and in view of their purpose, benefit from the wider access granted to “legislative documents” under the EU law on public access to documents. Wider access to such documents is crucial to ensure that EU citizens can exercise their treaty-based right to participate in the democratic life of the Union. The Ombudsman also considers that the documents in question contain environmental information, as defined in the Aarhus Regulation. The exception invoked by the Commission to refuse public access to the requested documents must therefore be applied all the more restrictively.

The Ombudsman also found that the Commission has not demonstrated that disclosure of the documents in question would seriously affect, prolong or complicate the proper conduct of the decision-making.

The Ombudsman therefore considers that the Commission’s refusal to grant public access to the positions of Member States constituted maladministration. She recommends that the Commission should grant public access to the requested documents.

Decision in case 1708/2015/MH on the European Commission’s refusal to grant public access to documents on the use of GMOs as food or feed

Monday | 06 May 2019

This complaint, made by Greenpeace, concerns the European Commission's refusal to grant full public access to four documents, which the Commission took into account when preparing its proposal to amend EU legislation on the use of GMOs as food or feed.

The Commission refused access to three documents in their entirety and withheld parts of a fourth document, relying on the exceptions protecting the decision-making process. The Ombudsman found that the Commission had failed to justify properly its refusal. She therefore recommended that the Commission disclose all the documents in full.

The Commission did not follow the Ombudsman’s recommendation, on the basis that its original decision was legally correct at the time. The Ombudsman regrets that the Commission did not follow her recommendation. She confirms her view that the Commission’s continued refusal to give full access to the documents constitutes maladministration.