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Ombudsman calls on Convention President to give public access to Praesidium documents

The European Ombudsman, P. Nikiforos Diamandouros, has called on the President of the European Convention, Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, to give access to the agendas and minutes of the Praesidium once the Convention has finished its work. This follows a complaint from the Director of the European Citizen Action Service (ECAS) whose request for access to the documents was refused.

The Ombudsman agrees with the Convention President that "disclosure of the agendas and minutes before the Convention completes its work would seriously undermine the Convention's decision-making process". The Ombudsman says, however, that "it seems difficult to argue that the Convention's decision-making process could any longer be undermined once it has reached the end of its work".

The Secretary General of the Convention has already told the Ombudsman that "there is no reason why the documents concerned should not be made public at that stage". The Ombudsman states that it would be "in accordance with the principles of good administration for the Convention to make the appropriate arrangements as soon as possible to ensure such access".


The European Ombudsman investigates complaints about maladministration by the European Union's institutions and bodies. In the Ombudsman's opinion, the European Convention is a Community body and therefore within his mandate. Although Regulation 1049/2001 on access to documents does not apply directly to documents held by the Convention, the Ombudsman stated that it was useful to refer to this Regulation in examining whether there was maladministration in implementing the Convention's declared policy of making as much material as possible available to the public.

The Ombudsman's decision can be found on his website at:


For further information, please call Mr. Ian Harden, Head of the Legal Department, tel. +33 3 88 17 23 84.

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