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The European External Action Service's refusal of public access to documents concerning the EU's Police Mission for the Palestinian Territories

The complainant asked the European External Action Service (EEAS) for public access to documents concerning the EU's Police Mission for the Palestinian Territories. The EEAS refused access, invoking one of the exceptions provided for under the EU legislation on public access to documents, and arguing that disclosure would undermine public security and international relations. The complainant argued that the EEAS was wrong to invoke the exception in question.

The Ombudsman inquiry team inspected the documents at issue and obtained additional, confidential explanations from the EEAS. Based on this and considering the wide margin of discretion that EU institutions enjoy where they consider that public security and international relations are at risk, the Ombudsman found that the EEAS’s decision to refuse access was not manifestly wrong, and closed the case finding no maladministration.