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The European Commission’s refusal to give full public access to documents concerning a Horizon 2020 mineral exploration research project
Miércoles | 19 abril 2023
Decision on the European Commission’s refusal to give full public access to documents concerning a Horizon 2020 mineral exploration research project (cases 1132/2022/OAM and 1374/2022/OAM)
Lunes | 17 abril 2023
The case concerned the European Commission’s refusal to give full public access to documents concerning a Horizon 2020 mineral exploration research project implemented by a pan-European consortium. The complainant, an environmental organisation from Spain, was interested in the implementation of the project at a Spanish mine, San Finx.
The Commission granted only partial access to the documents, arguing that their full disclosure would have undermined the commercial interest of the consortium’s members.
After reviewing the documents, the Ombudsman considered that they contain information that can be understood as being “environmental information” within the meaning of the EU Aarhus Regulation. Such information should benefit from greater transparency. She asked the Commission to review its position with a view to granting the widest possible public access. The Commission maintained its position that no further access can be granted.
While the Ombudsman regretted the Commission’s decision not to disclose more parts of the documents at stake, she acknowledged that the Commission has already made information publicly available about the research project and, in particular, about the activities at the San Finx mine. In view of this, the Ombudsman considered that further inquiries into this matter are not justified.
Having said that, the Ombudsman is concerned about the Commission’s application of the EU Aarhus Regulation and the Aarhus Convention when assessing requests for public access to documents. She emphasised that the exceptions to granting public access have to be interpreted in a restrictive way as regards environmental information and reminded the Commission that transparency in this area is crucial to enhance the legitimacy of, and public trust in, the EU’s activities.
Decisión de la Comisión Europea de imponer una indemnización por daños y perjuicios a una empresa que presta servicios informáticos
Lunes | 27 marzo 2023
Falta de adopción, por parte de la Comisión Europea, de una decisión definitiva en el plazo aplicable sobre una solicitud de acceso público a los documentos relativos al Plan de Recuperación y Resiliencia de los Países Bajos
Jueves | 16 marzo 2023
Decision on the decision by the European Commission to recover EU funds granted under a contract for the provision of technical assistance in Gabon (case 1650/2021/EIS)
Lunes | 13 marzo 2023
The case concerned the decision by the European Commission to recover EU funds granted under a contract for the provision of technical assistance in Gabon. The complainant considered that the cost of the protective measures it had adopted when the ‘contracting authority’ suspended the contract should have been added to the price of the contract, and thus covered by EU funds. The complainant also claimed that, as the amount recovered by the Commission was equivalent to the amount owed to the complainant by the contracting authority for the protective measures, the Commission should have offset the amount it sought to recover by this amount.
The Ombudsman considered that there was a sound legal basis for the Commission’s decision, and that it was reasonable for the Commission to recover the funds. The Ombudsman therefore closed the inquiry with a finding of no maladministration.
The European Investment Bank's failure to proactively disclose environmental and social information on projects prior to decisions on funding
Viernes | 24 febrero 2023
Letter from the European Ombudsman to the European Investment Bank on how the institution handled a request for public access to a document concerning environmental and social information on a transport project in Nairobi - 2252/2022/OAM
Miércoles | 22 febrero 2023
Modo en que el Banco Europeo de Inversiones tramitó una solicitud de acceso público a un documento relativo a la información medioambiental y social sobre un proyecto de transporte en Nairobi
Miércoles | 22 febrero 2023
Modo en que el Banco Europeo de Inversiones (BEI) gestionó una solicitud de acceso público al resumen de un proyecto que está financiando para la modernización de una red de distribución eléctrica en Polonia
Miércoles | 01 febrero 2023
The European Commission’s refusal to give full public access to documents related to the German plan under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF)
Martes | 31 enero 2023
Negativa de la Comisión Europea a conceder acceso público completo a documentos relativos al plan de recuperación y resiliencia de Alemania
Viernes | 27 enero 2023
Decision on how the EU Delegation to Mauritania handled a contract for auditing and accounting services (case 2196/2019/NH)
Martes | 24 enero 2023
The case concerned the decision by the EU Delegation to Mauritania to terminate a contract for auditing services with an audit company. The Delegation argued that the audit company, which had its seat in Morocco, had failed to base its auditors in Mauritania permanently, despite its contractual obligation to do so. The Delegation had also decided to reject one of the audit reports that the company submitted because it deemed that the report had been signed by an unauthorised staff member of that company. The Delegation also refused to pay the company for the remaining reports.
The Ombudsman conducted an extensive inquiry. She found that the Delegation’s decision to reject the audit report and to terminate the contract was not unreasonable and did not amount to maladministration. The Ombudsman did not find maladministration in how the Delegation handled the subsequent amicable settlement procedure.
However, how the Delegation handled the communication with the complainant, in particular in providing comments on draft audit reports and explaining clearly its decisions, did amount to maladministration.
As these issues occurred five years ago, the Ombudsman considered that no purpose would be served by making a recommendation on that aspect of the complaint.
The European Parliament's refusal to give public access to a document concerning its financial contribution to a voluntary pension fund for MEPs
Martes | 17 enero 2023
Negativa del Parlamento Europeo a conceder acceso público a un documento relativo a su contribución financiera a un fondo voluntario de pensiones para diputados al Parlamento Europeo
Viernes | 13 enero 2023
Reply from the European Commission to the European Ombudsman proposal for a solution concerning the European Commission’s refusal to give full public access to documents concerning a Horizon 2020 mineral exploration research project
Miércoles | 11 enero 2023
Entscheidung in der oben genannten Angelegenheit über die Entscheidung der Europäischen Exekutivagentur für Gesundheit und Digitales (HaDEA) bereits gebilligte Fördermittel nicht zu gewähren
Jueves | 01 diciembre 2022
The transparency and accountability of the Recovery and Resilience Facility
Viernes | 07 octubre 2022
Letter from the European Ombudsman to the European Commission on the transparency and accountability of the Recovery and Resilience Facility
Viernes | 07 octubre 2022
The European Commission's refusal to give public access to the 'pillar assessment' of an international organisation that is implementing EU funds in the area of migration
Viernes | 30 septiembre 2022
Negativa de la Comisión Europea a dar acceso público a la «evaluación por pilares» de una organización internacional que está ejecutando fondos de la UE en el ámbito de la migración
Miércoles | 28 septiembre 2022