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Decision in the case 2171/2021/LDS on how the European Commission (Europe Direct) handled questions submitted

Dear Mr X,

You made a complaint to the European Ombudsman concerning how Europe Direct handled questions submitted by you.

You argue that Europe Direct failed to reply, or sent incomplete replies to several queries that you sent to it. We contacted the Commission, which is responsible for the functioning of Europe Direct, asking it to clarify how it handled the questions you submitted.

The Commission informed us that Europe Direct received 26 queries from you between 2020 and 2021. It replied to all your questions with the exception of one, to which it did not reply as it deemed the email to be spam. The Commission provided us with your queries and the responses sent by Europe Direct.

The Commission explained that Europe Direct replied to your questions regarding EU foreign policy in cooperation with the European External Action Service (EEAS), which is responsible for this area. For your queries concerning documents held by the EU institutions, Europe Direct explained how you could request access to such documents. Europe Direct also informed you when it considered that it replied to all possible issues you raised that were within its competence to deal with.

Based on the explanations provided by the Commission, and taking into account the remit of Europe Direct, we consider that Europe Direct replied in a reasonable and appropriate way to your queries.

Therefore, we do not find anything to suggest that Europe Direct acted with maladministration when handling your queries. The Ombudsman has therefore closed the case.

I appreciate this may not be your desired outcome but I hope you find these explanations useful. Thank you for having contacted the European Ombudsman.

Yours sincerely,

Tina Nilsson
Head of the Case-handling Unit

Strasbourg, 16/08/2022