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Showing 1 - 20 of 250 results

Decision in case 670/2019/PL on the European Investment Bank’s refusal to disclose an expert report on whether Svans are indigenous people

Wednesday | 15 July 2020

The case concerned the European Investment Bank’s (EIB) refusal to grant public access to an expert report on whether Svans, an ethnic minority that live in the Svaneti region of Georgia, are indigenous people.

The Ombudsman found that the report largely contained information of a historical, geographical or anthropological nature. The Ombudsman therefore made a proposal for a solution asking the EIB to disclose at least this objective information in the report.

The EIB accepted the Ombudsman’s proposal for a solution and granted the complainant partial access to those parts of the document that contain objective information.

The Ombudsman welcomed the EIB’s positive response to her proposal for a solution and closed the inquiry.

Decision in case 2265/2019/EWM on the European Commission’s alleged failure to take a decision as regards an infringement complaint against Germany regarding a violation of EU environmental rules and failure to reply to requests for information on the matter

Friday | 19 June 2020

The case concerned how the Commission handled a complaint about Germany’s possible infringement of the EU’s Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive. The complaint has been pending before the Commission for two and a half years and the Commission has currently regular contacts with the German authorities. The Ombudsman inquired into the issue and found that there was no maladministration in the Commission’s conduct.

Decision in case 2207/2019/EIS on how the European Commission handled an infringement complaint concerning the impact of a road construction project in Poland on the European hamster

Thursday | 28 May 2020

The case concerned how the European Commission handled an infringement complaint against the Polish government regarding a road construction project. The complainant, a Polish NGO, argued that the relevant Polish law does not allow it to challenge the project at national level effectively. The Commission considered that the complaint did not concern a systemic infringement of EU law and closed the case.

The Ombudsman noted that the complainant had raised an important matter which touches upon a significant body of EU law and concerns a recognised protected species, the European hamster. The complainant was therefore right to bring the matter to the Commission’s attention to check whether the Commission could do anything for the protection of the species.

Following consideration of all the facts and an inspection of the Commission’s file on the complaint, the Ombudsman found that the Commission’s decision was in line with the discretion it enjoys in dealing with infringement complaints. The Commission provided the complainant with a detailed explanation of its decision and showed that it is assessing the Polish law on access to justice for NGOs in the context of an ongoing infringement procedure. The Commission further stated that it is ready to reopen the matter if Poland were to ask for EU funding for the same project

The Ombudsman thus closed the case with a finding of no maladministration.