Access to EU documents: what next?
Polak Room, Résidence Palace, Rue de la Loi 155, Brussels
The EU institutions are obliged to keep records of documents relevant to their work and any EU citizen can request to view them. This right is enshrined in EU law but Regulation 1049/2001 is now 20 years old. New technologies, as well as changing expectations about the transparency of public administrations, mean it is time to discuss the future of the EU’s access to documents rules.
Transparency and access to documents inquiries account for around one quarter of the Ombudsman’s inquiries each year. There is a fixed timetable in the procedure for requesting documents, but are there too many delays in the system? While institutions have the right to refuse access to documents for certain specific reasons, are these exemptions applied too readily?
The conference was divided into two parts: an expert panel looking into the experiences people have when they request documents and a high-level panel considering the future of access to document rules.
See the report, summarising the debate.
In order to prepare the conference, the Ombudsman carried out an ad hoc survey of some stakeholders on their experience requesting access to EU documents (see report on results).
Join the debate
- Join the Twitter debate at: #EODebate
- Emily O’Reilly, European Ombudsman
- Věra Jourová, Vice-President for Values and Transparency, European Commission
- Heidi Hautala, Vice-President, European Parliament
- Reijo Kemppinen, Director-General for Communication and Information, Council of the European Union
- Rosita Hickey, Director of Inquiries, European Ombudsman
- Tanya Verrier, Director of Transparency, Efficiency and Resources, Secretariat-General, European Commission
- Päivi Leino, Professor of Transnational European Law, University of Helsinki
- Peter Teffer, Investigative journalist, Follow the Money
- Helen Darbishire, Executive Director, Access Info Europe
Panels moderated by James Kanter, Editor, EU Scream Podcast
The conference will be webstreamed.
At the end of the event, a sandwich lunch will be provided.
Vice-President for Values and Transparency, European Commission
Vice-President, European Parliament
Director-General for Communication and Information, Council of the European Union
Director of Inquiries, European Ombudsman
Director of Transparency, Efficiency and Resources, Secretariat-General, European Commission
Professor of Transnational European Law, University of Helsinki
Investigative journalist, Follow the Money
Executive Director, Access Info Europe
Editor, EU Scream Podcast