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Recommendation on issues related to how the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) communicates with citizens in relation to its access to documents portal (Joined Cases 1261/2020 and 1361/2020)

Tuesday | 21 June 2022

The case concerned primarily Frontex’s decision not to communicate any more by email with applicants who request public access to documents. Frontex obliges citizens to use its online access portal. This causes a number of unnecessary problems for individual applicants as well as for transparency platforms that civil society organisations have set up to help further the EU’s aim of working as openly as possible. 

The Ombudsman could not find justifications for Frontex’s decision. She therefore issues a recommendation that Frontex should allow applicants to communicate with it by email, in full and without resort to its current access to documents portal.

The Ombudsman moreover suggests that Frontex should dedicate the resources that are required for handling the large number of access requests that it is likely to receive on a regular basis going forward.