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The European Commission's handling of a request for public access to documents concerning TTIP

The case concerned a request for access to documents concerning the Trans-Atlantic Trade Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations. The Commission denied access to some of the requested documents on grounds of the protection of international relations and the decision-making process. The complainants turned to the Ombudsman and argued that the Commission had not sufficiently justified the refusal to grant access and had failed to make a document-by-document assessment. Moreover, the complainants referred to the existence of an overriding public interest when environmental information is concerned.

The Ombudsman inquired into the issue and found no maladministration by the Commission. In her closing decision, the Ombudsman observed that some of the concerns raised by the complainants had already been addressed in the context of the Ombudsman's own-initiative inquiry on the transparency of the TTIP negotiations. She has therefore decided to close the case.