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Closing summaries of cases

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Summary of the Decision in case 1579/2018/KR on a request to review Commission Decisions authorising the import of three types of genetically modified soybeans

Monday | 25 March 2019

This complaint concerns the European Commission’s decisions to authorise the importation of products containing, consisting of or produced from three genetically modified soybeans. The complainant was of the view that the Commission wrongly authorised the importation. The arguments it presented to the Ombudsman were scientific in nature. Given the Ombudsman’s limited role in reviewing decisions in...

Summary of the decision in case 2034/2018/MIG on how the European Commission dealt with a request to approve a food decontaminant

Monday | 04 March 2019

Food ‘decontaminants’ can be used in the EU only if the European Commission authorises their use. The complainant, a producer of food decontaminants, asked the Commission to authorise its product. The Commission did not approve the request. Dissatisfied with this decision, the applicant turned to the Ombudsman. The Ombudsman found that the Commission had dealt properly with the complainant’s appli...

Summary of the decision in case 2104/2018/MH on how the European Commission dealt with concerns about the employment law applicable to cabin crew

Wednesday | 27 February 2019

The complainant is a Spanish trade union. European trade unions wrote to the European Commission calling on it to take appropriate action about their concerns relating to the failure of some Member States to apply local employment laws to cabin crew in the airline sector. The complainant turned to the Ombudsman because it was not satisfied with the Commission’s response. The Ombudsman found that t...

Decision in case 476/2018/EA on the information made available by the European Commission about an ‘expert group’ on defence research

Friday | 22 February 2019

The case concerned the information made available by the European Commission about the As-If Programme Committee for Defence Research, which advises the Commission on defence research. The complainant contended that the information on the Commission’s register of ‘expert groups’ was not up-to-date. The Ombudsman found that the Commission had updated the register by adding the agendas and minutes o...

Summary of the decision in case 1485/2018/MH on how the European Commission dealt with the complainant’s question about EU funding to Hungary

Monday | 25 March 2019

The complainant wrote to the European Commission asking it to take a position on whether there is a legal basis for it to suspend EU funding to Hungary. He complained to the European Ombudsman because the Commission had not addressed this specific question in its replies to him. The Ombudsman asked the Commission to reply to the complainant’s question. In its reply, the Commission described in det...

Summary of the decision in cases 562/2017/THH and 1069/2017/THH on the Commission’s handling of a large number of requests for access to documents concerning Commissioners’ travel expenses

Friday | 16 November 2018

The case arose from a campaign launched by Access Info Europe, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) based in Spain, in January 2017 to obtain public access to the travel expenses of European Commissioners for the year 2016. Some 120 citizens participated in the campaign, submitting a total of 188 requests to the Commission. The Commission decided to handle the many requests as coming from one sou...

Summary of the decision in case 1861/2018/KR on the European Commission’s refusal to disclose documents pertaining to interactions between financial organisations and the Brexit Taskforce

Wednesday | 17 April 2019

The case concerned the refusal of the European Commission to grant the complainant public access to documents drawn up in the context of the on-going negotiations on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU (“Brexit”). The documents relate to meetings of the Commission’s Brexit Taskforce with economic actors from the financial sector. Having reviewed the documents, the Ombudsman is of the view that the Com...

Summary of the decision in case 1778/2018/FP on the European External Action Service’s failure to grant access to briefing material provided to the EU Heads of Delegation to Israel

Thursday | 06 December 2018

The case concerned the European External Action Service’s refusal to grant access to briefing material provided to the EU Heads of Delegation to Israel on the Horizon 2020 programme and on a meeting with an Israeli politician. The Ombudsman inquired into the issue and found that the European External Action Service conducted a proper search for the documents and came to the conclusion that the Eur...

Summary of the decision in case 1774/2018/THH on the European Commission’s refusal to grant full public access to documents related to the first call for applications of the WiFi4EU portal

Friday | 30 November 2018

The case concerned how the European Commission dealt with a request for access to documents related to a technical issue which affected an EU funded project, namely the WiFi4EU portal project. The complainant turned to the Ombudsman, because the Commission had disclosed only parts of the requested documents. Besides, the Commission had not replied to the part of the complainant’s request for revie...

Q4/2018/JAP - Query from the Belgian Federal Ombudsmen on the application of Citizens’ rights directive (Directive 2004/38/EC) concerning problems with obtaining entry visas for non-EU family members of EU citizens (concerns over sham marriage)

Thursday | 25 April 2019

The applicable law Pursuant to Article 5(2) of Directive 2004/38/EC,[1] Member States may, where the EU citizen exercises the right to move and reside freely in its territory, require the family member, who is a non-EU national, to have an entry visa. Member States must grant such persons every facility to obtain the necessary visas, which must be issued as soon as possible and on the basis of an ...