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Eiropas Komisijas atteikums piešķirt publisku piekļuvi dokumentiem par Francijas nacionālo plānu Atveseļošanas un noturības mehānisma ietvaros

Head of Unit - C2

Secretariat‐General

European Commission

 

Dear Mr X,

The Ombudsman has received a complaint against the European Commission concerning a request for public access to documents concerning “all documents regarding the interactions that the General secretariat had with the French government when working on the draft plan” as well as “possible contacts between the Task force and French non-governmental stakeholders”. This request was registered as GESTDEM 2021/2929.

In its confirmatory decision, the Commission refused access to the documents included in Annex 1. The Commission based its refusal on the fourth indent of Article 4(1) (a) (protection of the public interest as regards the financial, monetary or economic policy of the European Union or a Member State), the first subparagraph of Article 4(3) (protection of the decision-making process) and Article 4(1)(b) (protection of privacy and the integrity of the individual) of Regulation 1049/2001.

Regulation 1049/2001 states that applications for access should be handled promptly. It is in line with this principle that the Ombudsman also seeks to deal with cases such as this as quickly as possible.

As a first step, we consider it necessary to review the documents at issue in the complainant’s request. We would therefore be grateful if the Commission could provide us with copies of the documents listed in Annex 1 of its confirmatory reply in GESTDEM 2021/2929, along with any documentation relating to the consultation of the French authorities (conducted in line with Article 4(5) of Regulation 1049/2001), preferably in electronic format through encrypted e-mail,[1] by 4 July 2022.

The documents subject to the public access request will be treated confidentially, along with any other material the Commission chooses to share with us that it marks confidential. Documents of this kind will be handled and stored in line with this confidential status and will be deleted from the Ombudsman’s files shortly after the inquiry has ended.

The Commission’s position has been set out in its confirmatory response. However, should the Commission wish to provide additional views, to be taken into account by the European Ombudsman during this inquiry, we would be grateful if they could be provided to us within fifteen working days from the receipt of this letter, that is, 18 July 2022.

Once we have reviewed the documents in question, as well as any additional views the Commission might provide, it might be necessary to arrange a meeting with Commission representatives to discuss the case.

The inquiries officer responsible for the case, Leticia Díez Sánchez, can be reached.

Yours sincerely,

Rosita Hickey
Director of Inquiries

Strasbourg, 24/06/2022

 

[1] Encrypted emails can be sent to our dedicated mailbox.