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Of probeer oude trefwoorden (voor 2016)

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Besluit in zaak 21/2016/JAP over het verzuim van de Raad van de EU om toegang te verlenen tot juridische adviezen over voorstellen voor verordeningen betreffende de oprichting van het Europees openbaar ministerie en over het EU-Agentschap voor justitiële samenwerking in strafzaken (Eurojust)

Donderdag | 07 maart 2019

De zaak betreft de weigering van de Raad van de Europese Unie om volledige toegang te verlenen tot juridische adviezen over wetgevingsvoorstellen voor verordeningen betreffende de oprichting van het Europees openbaar ministerie (EPPO) en over het EU-Agentschap voor justitiële samenwerking in strafzaken (Eurojust).

In de loop van het onderzoek van de ombudsvrouw heeft de Raad ermee ingestemd twee van de vier documenten openbaar te maken, maar is hij bij zijn weigering om de twee andere documenten volledig openbaar te maken, gebleven. Wel heeft hij gedeeltelijke inzage verleend.

De ombudsvrouw onderkent dat de weigering om de juridische adviezen volledig openbaar te maken, gerechtvaardigd was op grond van het feit dat openbaarmaking zou leiden tot ondermijning van de bescherming van juridisch advies en gerechtelijke procedures. Daarom sluit de ombudsvrouw de zaak af met de constatering dat er geen sprake is van wanbeheer, maar verzoekt zij de Raad zijn weigering in heroverweging te nemen aangezien er inmiddels al meer tijd is verstreken.

Decision in case 66/2016/DK on the European Research Council Executive Agency’s action concerning a request for access to documents

Donderdag | 21 december 2017

The case concerned the complainant’s request for access to two e-mails sent from the private e-mail account of the President of the Governing Board of the European Research Council Executive Agency to the members of the Scientific Council of the Agency. When the Agency refused access on the basis that the two e-mails were not in its possession as they were sent from a private account, the complainant turned to the European Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman opened an inquiry into the issue, after which the President of the Governing Board provided the Agency with copies of the two e-mails. Thus, the Agency could assess the complainant’s request for access to the e-mails under Regulation 1049/2001[1]. The Agency then granted the complainant partial access to the documents. The Ombudsman obtained full copies of the two e-mails and was able to verify that the redactions made in the copies disclosed to the complainant were justified.

The Ombudsman therefore closed the inquiry with a finding of no maladministration.

Decision in case 709/2015/MDC on the Commission's refusal to grant public access to drafts of the final Impact Assessment Report accompanying its proposal for a Directive amending the Fuel Quality and Renewable Energy Directives

Woensdag | 04 oktober 2017

The case concerned the Commission’s refusal to grant public access to draft versions of an Impact Assessment Report (IAR) on indirect land-use change related to biofuels (ILUC). Disclosure of the documents was refused on the ground that it would undermine the Commission’s decision-making process. The complainant, a group of organisations, considered that it should be granted access to the documents it requested.

The Ombudsman inquired into the issue. She noted that in September 2015, Parliament and Council adopted Directive 2015/1513. That Directive was based on the Commission’s legislative proposal to which the impact assessment report, the draft versions of which were at issue in this case, was attached. The Ombudsman therefore proposed that, in light of these new circumstances, the Commission grant public access to the requested documents. The Commission disagreed, arguing that there had been no maladministration on its part. It however invited the complainant to make a new request for access to documents, in light of the new circumstances. The complainant later informed the Ombudsman that, following a new request for access to documents, the Commission granted access to the documents it had requested. The Ombudsman thus closed the case with a finding that no further inquiries into the complaint were justified. She also pointed out that the Ombudsman is entitled to ask an institution to take into consideration, when responding to a proposal for a solution of the Ombudsman in an access to documents case, new arguments as to why a document should be released.

Besluit in zaak 1959/2014/MDC in verband met de weigering van de Europese Commissie om publieke toegang te verschaffen tot de evaluatieformulieren van aanvragen voor de medefinanciering van mechanismen voor het verwerken van gegevens van passagiers

Donderdag | 13 juli 2017

De zaak betrof de weigering van de Europese Commissie om publieke toegang te verschaffen tot evaluatieformulieren die waren opgesteld om aanvragen van lidstaten te evalueren inzake medefinanciering van de Europese Commissie voor het opzetten van systemen voor de verwerking van persoonsgegevens van passagiers (PNR-gegevens[1]). De klacht was ingediend door een lid van het Europees Parlement.

Wanneer de Commissie toegang weigerde tot de gevraagde evaluatieformulieren, heeft ze zich beroepen op een arrest van het Gerecht dat wees op het belang om de vertrouwelijkheid van de procedures van evaluatiecommissies in verband met aanbestedingsprocedures, te waarborgen. In deze zaak heeft het Gerecht geoordeeld dat de openbaarmaking van de adviezen van de leden van de evaluatiecommissie hun onafhankelijkheid in het gedrang zou kunnen brengen waardoor het besluitvormingsproces van de betrokken instelling ernstig ondermijnd wordt. De klager was echter van mening dat dit vonnis niet van toepassing was op een evaluatieprocedure met betrekking tot de beoordeling van financieringsaanvragen van lidstaten.

De ombudsvrouw onderzocht de kwestie en kwam tot het oordeel dat het besluit van de Commissie om toegang tot de gevraagde documenten te weigeren, niet gefundeerd was. Ze ging er bovendien mee akkoord dat er sprake was van een groot openbaar belang bij de openbaarmaking van de gevraagde documenten. De ombudsvrouw heeft daarom een aanbeveling aan de Europese Commissie opgesteld die vraagt dat de gevraagde documenten openbaar worden gemaakt (ze ging er evenwel mee akkoord dat de namen van de beoordelaars geschrapt konden worden).

De Europese Commissie weigerde om de aanbeveling van de ombudsvrouw te aanvaarden zonder een overtuigende motivering te geven. De Ombudsvrouw sloot daarom het onderzoek af met de constatatie dat er sprake was van wanbeheer.

 

[1] Het Passenger Name Record (PNR - register van passagiersgegevens) betreft informatie die door passagiers wordt verstrekt tijdens de reservatie en het boeken van vliegtuigtickets evenals tijdens het inchecken. Luchtvaartmaatschappijen verzamelen PNR-gegevens ook voor hun eigen commerciële doeleinden. Het bevat informatie zoals reisdata, reisschema‘s, ticketinformatie, contactgegevens, het reisagentschap waar de reis werd geboekt, betaalmiddelen, stoelnummers en bagage. De gegevens worden opgeslagen in de boekings- en vertrekcontrolesystemen van de luchtvaartmaatschappijen.

Decision in case 1102/2016/JN on the Commission’s failure to reply to correspondence and to fully disclose a document

Vrijdag | 13 januari 2017

The case concerned the Commission’s failure to reply to the complainant’s correspondence in the context of a financial audit at the Member State level. Following the Ombudsman’s intervention, the Commission replied. It disclosed the document requested by the complainant but redacted some personal data (names of physical persons). The Ombudsman found that the Commission correctly justified the redaction under Regulation 45/2001.

Decision in case 739/2016/JAP concerning the European Union Intellectual Property Office’s refusal to grant access to a downloadable version of its case law database

Woensdag | 11 januari 2017

The case concerned the handling of a request for information as how to obtain a downloadable version of a case law database held by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (‘EUIPO’). The Ombudsman inquired into the issue and asked EUIPO to better explain its reasons why it could not comply with the request. The EUIPO’s explanation was accurate and reasonable. Thus, the case was closed with the finding of no maladministration.

Decision in case 393/2015/MDC on the European Commission’s refusal to grant full public access to evaluation documents concerning a public procurement process

Maandag | 19 december 2016

The complaint, submitted by the NGO Access Info Europe, concerns the European Commission's allegedly wrongful refusal to grant full public access to evaluation documents concerning a public procurement process for the 'Rehabilitation and extension of the waste water treatment plant of Subotica' (Serbia). The disclosure of the documents was refused on the basis of Article 4(1)(b) (the protection of personal data), Article 4(2) (the protection of commercial interests) and Article 4(3) (the protection of the decision-making process) of Regulation 1049/2001. The complainant considered that it should be granted full access to the evaluation documents.

The Ombudsman inquired into the issue and found that there was no maladministration in the Commission's conduct.  However, she suggests that the Commission should systematically obtain, prior to their appointment, the consent of evaluation committee members in procurement processes to the disclosure of their names. Disclosure of their names at the conclusion of the evaluation process should be considered a condition of appointment to such a committee.

Decision of the European Ombudsman closing the inquiry into complaint 1206/2014/PD concerning the European Commission’s refusal to disclose the names of officials in a State aid case

Maandag | 19 december 2016

The case concerned a refusal by the Commission to disclose the names of staff who had worked on a Commission State aid investigation. In the course of the inquiry the Ombudsman obtained the views of the Commission, the complainant and the European Data Protection Supervisor.

The question of whether the refusal to disclose the names was right hinged upon Article 8 of Regulation 45/2001 on Data Protection. Under that provision the person asking for disclosure must first show the necessity of disclosing the names to that person. If that test is met, the public authority must still establish whether the legitimate interests of the staff members would be affected by the disclosure of their names and, if so, whether those legitimate interests were more important than the necessity put forward by the person asking for the disclosure of the names.  

While holding that the Commission should not apply Article 8 in a restrictive manner when names of staff are at issue, the Ombudsman found that there was no maladministration on the part of the Commission in refusing to disclose the names of the staff members at issue.

Transparency of the Eurogroup

Donderdag | 01 december 2016

Decision in case 1171/2016/EIS on the Commission’s handling of correspondence concerning alleged illegalities committed by national courts in Estonia

Donderdag | 24 november 2016

The case concerned the Commission’s failure to reply to the complainant’s letter concerning alleged illegalities committed by national courts in Estonia. In that letter, the complainant also criticised the Commission for not taking any action. The Commission explained that it has no competence to intervene in the matter. The Ombudsman inquired into the issue and found that the Commission’s explanations were correct, helpful and in line with its statutory powers. The case was thus closed as settled.

Decision of the European Ombudsman in case 789/2016/EIS concerning the EEAS’ handling of a request for public access to the “Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement” between the EU and Cuba

Donderdag | 10 november 2016

The case concerned the handling by the European External Action Service (EEAS) of the complainant’s request for public access to the “Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement” between the EU and Cuba. In the course of the Ombudsman’s inquiry, the EEAS released the document. As a result, the Ombudsman closed the case as settled.