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The European Central Bank’s refusal to grant public access to documents containing detailed information regarding two asset purchase programmes

The complaint concerns public access to documents containing the separate bond value of the assets held by the European Central Bank (ECB) under the Corporate Sector Purchase Programme (CSPP) and the Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme (PEPP) in the context of the COVID-19 crisis. The ECB refused access, invoking an exception under the applicable rules on public access to documents. It argued that disclosing the documents could undermine the protection of public interest as regards financial, monetary and economic policy.

The Ombudsman noted that the ECB enjoys wide discretion in deciding whether it is necessary to invoke the exception in question. As such, the ECB's decision was reasonable. Furthermore, it had provided the complainant with sufficient explanations for its decision. The Ombudsman therefore closed the inquiry, finding no maladministration