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

See all articles by Vincent Chaudet

Vincent Chaudet

HEC Paris

Connor Haynes

New York University (NYU)

Kayla Wieche


Alberto Alemanno

HEC Paris - Tax & Law

Paige Morrow

ARTICLE 19; University of Kent - Brussels Campus

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

Chaudet, Vincent and Haynes, Connor and Wieche, Kayla and Alemanno, Alberto and Morrow, Paige, Shining a Spotlight on EU Political Group Spending: Legal Guide on Access to Document Requests (September 4, 2017). HEC Paris Research Paper No. MKG-2017-1226. Available at SSRN: or

Vincent Chaudet

HEC Paris ( email )

1 rue de la Liberation
Jouy-en-Josas Cedex, 78351

Connor Haynes

New York University (NYU) ( email )

40 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012-1099
United States

Kayla Wieche

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

Alberto Alemanno

HEC Paris - Tax & Law ( email )

1 rue de la Libération
Jouy-en-Josas Cedex, 78351

Paige Morrow (Contact Author)

ARTICLE 19 ( email )

60 Farringdon Road
London, EC1R 1UQ
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://

University of Kent - Brussels Campus ( email )

Espace Rolin, Boulevard Louis Schmidt 2A
Brussels 1040

HOME PAGE: http://

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