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Beslut i ärendet 21/2016/JAP om att Europeiska unionens råd inte gett tillgång till rättsliga utlåtanden om förslag till förordningar om att inrätta Europeiska åklagarmyndigheten och Europeiska unionens byrå för straffrättsligt samarbete (Eurojust)

Torsdag | 07 mars 2019

Ärendet gällde att Europeiska unionens råd inte tillåtit fullständig tillgång till rättsliga utlåtanden om förslag till förordningar om att inrätta Europeiska åklagarmyndigheten och Europeiska unionens byrå för straffrättsligt samarbete (Eurojust).

Medan ombudsmannen undersökte saken samtyckte rådet till att lämna ut två av de fyra aktuella handlingarna, men endast delar av de två resterande handlingarna.

Ombudsmannen anser att beslutet om att inte lämna ut de rättsliga utlåtandena i sin helhet är motiverat eftersom sådant utlämnande skulle kunna äventyra skyddet för juridisk rådgivning och rättsliga förfaranden. Ombudsmannen fann att inget administrativt missförhållande förelåg och avslutade därmed ärendet. Ombudsmannen har dock uppmanat rådet att ompröva sitt beslut då tidens gång kan göra tillgång möjlig.

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

Torsdag | 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

Onsdag | 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.

Beslut i ärende 1959/2014/MDC om Europeiska kommissionens vägran att ge allmänheten tillgång till utvärderingsformulär för beviljande av ansökningar om medfinansiering av mekanismer för behandling av passageraruppgifter

Torsdag | 13 juli 2017

Ärendet gällde Europeiska kommissionens vägran att ge allmänheten tillgång till utvärderingsformulär utarbetade för bedömning av medlemsstaternas ansökningar om medfinansiering från kommissionen av nationella system för behandling av passageraruppgifter (PNR-behandlingssystem[1]). Klagomål inlämnat av en ledamot av Europaparlamentet.

Kommissionen vägrade att ge tillgång till de begärda bedömningsformulären med stöd av en dom från domstolen erkände att det fanns ett behov av att bevara sekretessen för utvärderingskommittéers förhandlingar avseende anbudsförfaranden. I det fallet bedömde domstolen att det skulle vara till men för oberoendet hos medlemmarna i utvärderingskommittén att yppa deras åsikter, vilket därmed i hög grad skulle undergräva beslutsprocessen för den berörda institutionen. Den klagande ansåg dock att denna dom inte kunde tillämpas på ett utvärderingsförfarande som gällde bedömning av ansökningar om finansiering som lämnats in av medlemsstaterna.

Ombudsmannen utredde ärendet och fann att kommissionens beslut att vägra att ge tillgång till de begärda handlingarna inte var välgrundat. Vidare höll hon med om att det fanns ett övervägande allmänintresse i att de begärda handlingarna lämnades ut. Ombudsmannen utfärdade därför en rekommendation till kommissionen om att lämna ut de begärda handlingarna (hon samtyckte dock till att utvärderarnas namn kunde redigeras bort).

Kommissionen vägrade att godta ombudsmannens rekommendation utan att ange övertygande skäl till ståndpunkten. Ombudsmannen fann att ett administrativt missförhållande förelåg och avslutade ärendet.

 

[1] Passageraruppgifter (PNR) är information som lämnas av passagerare vid reservation och bokning av biljetter och vid incheckning till flygresor samt samlas in av lufttrafikföretag för deras egna kommersiella ändamål. Informationen innehåller flera olika uppgifter, bland annat resdatum, resväg, biljettinformation, kontaktuppgifter, resebyrå genom vilken flygresan bokades, betalningsmedel, platsnummer och bagageinformation. Uppgifterna lagras i flygbolagets databaser för reservation och avgångskontroll.

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

Fredag | 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

Onsdag | 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

Måndag | 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

Måndag | 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

Torsdag | 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

Torsdag | 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

Torsdag | 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.