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Ombudsman launches guide on access to EU documents

The Ombudsman has launched a guide on access to EU documents to help raise awareness and understanding about the public’s rights in this area.

Drawn up by experts in the European Ombudsman office, the guide answers basic questions about who can make access requests and what kind of documents are covered by the EU law, through to more complex ones on how the rules have been interpreted by the courts and the Ombudsman.

It should serve as an aid to those exercising their right to access EU documents for the first time as well as those wanting detailed information on particular aspects of the EU transparency law.

The guide is part of overall work by the Ombudsman to enable people to scrutinise EU decision making.

Each year the Ombudsman opens many inquiries related to access to documents. These inquiries have led to progressive change across the EU administration, such as the European Medicines Agency granting access to clinical trials documents, the Commission proactively publishing Commissioner travel expenses and the Eurogroup setting up an online repository of publicly available documents.