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Besluit in zaak 987/2020/EWM over de manier waarop de Europese Dienst voor extern optreden is omgegaan met een verzoek om het publiek toegang te verlenen tot documenten in verband met een beveiligd systeem voor instant messaging en een mogelijke gegevensbeschermingseffectbeoordeling

Dinsdag | 15 september 2020

De klacht betrof een weigering door de Europese Dienst voor extern optreden (EDEO) om het publiek toegang te verlenen tot documenten over een beveiligd systeem voor instant messaging dat wordt gebruikt voor de uitwisseling van gevoelige en gerubriceerde informatie binnen de EDEO. De EDEO verklaarde dat de openbaarmaking van de documenten de openbare veiligheid zou ondermijnen.

De Ombudsvrouw heeft de inhoud van de documenten onderzocht en was het er op die basis mee eens dat de weigering van EDEO om openbare toegang te verlenen, terecht was. Zij constateerde dan ook dat er geen sprake was van wanbeheer en sloot het onderzoek af.

Decision in case 1233/2019/MMO on how the European Commission ensures that Member State governments spend European Structural and Investment Funds in line with the obligations stemming from the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Donderdag | 30 juli 2020

The case concerned the use of European Structural and Investment Funds (ESI funds) for the construction of institutional care facilities for persons with disabilities in Hungary and Portugal. The complainant considered that the European Commission should have taken action on these projects, as it believed them to be at odds with the EU’s obligations to ensure people with disabilities are supported to live independently and to be included in the community.

The Ombudsman already had occasion, in the course of an earlier inquiry, to set out her views on the use of ESI funds on institutions rather than to promote independent living. The Ombudsman was encouraged by the Commission’s follow-up to her suggestions in that case, received in the course of this inquiry, and in particular the greater ambition it is showing for the 2021-27 programming period.

In this case, the Ombudsman finds that, as regards the first phase of the ‘deinstitutionalisation’ process in Hungary, the Commission has not acted in a sufficiently timely manner. Due to the lessons learnt in that phase, however, the Commission has shown greater caution as regards the use of ESI funds to continue the deinstitutionalisation process in that Member State. In the case of Portugal, the Ombudsman trusts that the Commission will act upon the findings and recommendations of the UN and the upcoming expert report in an effective manner.

On this basis, the Ombudsman closes the inquiry. She will now examine with the members of the European Network of Ombudsmen the need for further work in this area, in particular in light of the problems encountered in institutional care facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. She also sets out three suggestions for improvement to address the issues identified in this case.