Shining a Spotlight on EU Political Group Spending: Legal Guide on Access to Document Requests
34 Pages Posted: 14 Sep 2017 Last revised: 28 Nov 2017
Date Written: September 4, 2017
The purpose of this legal memorandum is to provide advice to organisations and individuals interested in submitting a request for public access to documents under Regulation (EC) No 1049/01 (“Regulation 1049/01”) to the European Parliament for documents related to the spending of political groups covered by Budget Item 400 appropriations under Chapter 7.
Requests for those documents may face rejection on grounds related to exceptions provided for in Regulation 1049/01, specifically those found in Articles 4(1)b, 4(2), and 4(3) pertaining to privacy and integrity of the individual, commercial interests, and institution’s decision-making process respectively.
This legal memorandum addresses the applicability of those exceptions to the documents requested for potential use in a confirmatory request to be submitted to the European Parliament subsequent to the initial rejection in line with Article 7 of Regulation 1049/01. The memo also provides arguments for overcoming these exceptions in light of: 1) recent developments in the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) relating to the privacy exception; and 2) the strict legal requirements for triggering the commercial interests and institutional decision-making exceptions.
The last section of the memo is structured to provide draft responses to the denial of requests for documents and should be tailored to the specific situation in question.
Keywords: Open Government, Transparency, Participation, Civic Empowerment, Legitimacy, Accountability, Civil Society, European Union, Good Governance
JEL Classification: K19, K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation