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The European Parliament's refusal to give public access to documents related to the 'EU-China Friendship Group'

The complainant sought public access from the European Parliament to documents concerning the 'EU-China Friendship Group', an informal group of MEPs that has since been suspended. The Parliament identified four documents as falling under the request, but refused to disclose these documents. In doing so, it invoked an exception under the EU's rules on public access to documents, arguing that disclosing the documents could undermine the purpose of the investigation and the decision-making process.

The Ombudsman found that Parliament’s decision to refuse access was reasonable, given the sensitive nature of the Parliament’s investigation. She therefore closed the inquiry with a finding of no maladministration.