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Showing 1 - 20 of 178 results

Decision in case 2204/2018/TE on how the European Commission dealt with comments submitted under the notification procedure set up by the EU Single Market Transparency Directive

Thursday | 19 September 2019

The European Commission runs a publicly accessible database, which informs interested parties about national technical regulations communicated to the Commission by EU Member States before their adoption. The database also allows interested parties to submit comments on the proposed national technical regulations.

The complainant is an international technical association for generation and storage of power and heat. It submitted comments on proposed technical rules that Germany intended to introduce.

As the German authorities had requested the Commission to keep information about the measures confidential, only limited information about these measures was accessible via the public database. The complainant took issue with this. The complainant was also concerned about how the Commission dealt with its comments, as it did not receive a substantive reply from the Commission after it made its comments.

The Ombudsman found no maladministration in how the Commission dealt with the complainant’s comments made under the notification procedure. The Ombudsman suggested, however, that the Commission provide clear information in its acknowledgements of receipt and on the database website, as to what interested parties can expect in terms of the Commission’s reply to their comments. Regarding the information that is made available, the Ombudsman expects the Commission carefully to monitor Member States’ use of confidential notifications under the Single Market Transparency Directive and to take the necessary measures in case of suspected abuse of the confidentiality provision.

Decision in case 2076/2018/LM on the European Commission’s refusal to grant public access to documents concerning an ‘EU Pilot’ procedure on Italy’s compliance with EU health and safety law in the workplace

Tuesday | 23 July 2019

The case concerned a request for public access to documents of the European Commission concerning an ‘EU Pilot procedure’ on Italy’s compliance with the directive on health and safety in the workplace. The Commission refused access, even though the procedure was no longer ongoing, because it was analysing infringement complaints and petitions that could lead it to reopen dialogue with the Italian government on the same issue.

The Ombudsman found that the Commission was justified in not disclosing the documents, as doing so could affect its investigation of the new complaints on the same matter. She thus closed the inquiry with a finding of no maladministration.

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.