You have a complaint against an EU institution or body?

Search inquiries

Date range
Or try old keywords (Before 2016)

Showing 1 - 20 of 402 results

Decision on how the European Commission dealt with a request for public access to documents concerning the adoption of EU rules on real driving emissions values (case 1920/2022/NH)

Wednesday | 22 March 2023

The complainant, a journalist, asked the European Commission for public access to documents concerning the adoption of EU rules on real driving emissions values. The Commission refused to grant access. In doing so, it invoked an exception under the EU's legislation on public access to documents, arguing that disclosure could undermine legal proceedings, as the matter had previously been subject to court proceedings and could be again in the future.

The Ombudsman inquiry team inspected the documents in question and confirmed that they contain internal legal advice concerning a judgment of the General Court of 13 December 2018. The Ombudsman found that, in view of the specific context of the case, it was reasonable for the Commission to assume that the same subject matter would be challenged in court again.

She therefore considered that the Commission was justified in protecting the confidentiality of four out of five documents at this stage, and concluded that there was no maladministration.

The fifth document is an official Commission decision to appeal to the Court. The Ombudsman’s view is that this document could be made public, in particular because the Commission’s arguments (as presented to the Court) are reflected in the publicly available opinion of the Advocate General. However, since this document was not the main document at issue of the complaint, the Ombudsman does not find it justified to prolong the inquiry into this matter. She trusts that the Commission will look at the document again and reconsider its position.

Decision on European Commission's decision to recover funds from an organisation in the context of an EU-funded project in the Horn of Africa relating to conservation and biodiversity (case 1842/2021/LM)

Tuesday | 06 December 2022

The case concerned the European Commission’s decision to recover funds from an organisation that carried out an EU-funded project relating to environmental protection and biodiversity in the Horn of Africa. The Commission sought to recover the funds following the findings of an audit report. The complainant contested this decision.

In the course of the inquiry, the Commission waived its decision to recover the funds granted for one of the costs. The Commission further explained why it had considered the other costs concerned as ineligible. The Ombudsman considered that the Commission’s explanations were reasonable and closed the case with a finding of no maladministration.

Decision on how the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) dealt with a request for public access to documents related to a proposal to restrict lead in ammunition (case 2124/2021/MIG)

Monday | 14 November 2022

The case concerned a request for public access to documents held by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) concerning lead in ammunition. EFSA took more than seven months to deal with the request, extending the deadline on various occasions, which prevented the complainant from using the documents in preparing a contribution to a public consultation organised by another EU agency.

The Ombudsman opened an inquiry and found maladministration in how EFSA had dealt with the complainant’s access request and, specifically, its failure to comply with the time limits set out in the EU legislation on public access to documents. She recommended that EFSA should cease its practice of extending the prescribed time limits beyond 30 working days when proposing a ‘fair solution’. She also recommended that EFSA should provide applicants at an early stage with a list of the documents it identifies where an access request is formulated in broad terms. 

EFSA replied positively to the Ombudsman’s recommendations, committing itself to changing its rules and practices to ensure that requests for public access to documents are processed swiftly. The Ombudsman closed the inquiry, welcoming EFSA’s positive response and the steps it has already taken and intends to take to implement her recommendations.