Darkness at the break of noon: The case law on Regulation No. 1049/2001 on access to documents

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Series Details Vol.43, No.3, June 2006, p735–781
Publication Date June 2006
ISSN 0165-0750
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Publishers Abstract:
On 30 May 2001, Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents (hereinafter Regulation No 1049/2001) was adopted in the European Union. The overall purpose of the Regulation, as stated in the Preamble, is to give the fullest possible effect to the right of public access to documents and, in so doing, to contribute to openness and transparency in the functioning of the Union's institutions. The purpose of the present contribution is to assess whether a corresponding shift towards a genuinely constitutional right has taken place in the case law of the Court of First Instance (hereinafter CFI) interpreting Regulation No 1049/2001. If, at a more general level and in the every-day institutional practice, the Regulation has contributed to a change towards greater openness and transparency, the conclusion of the present analysis is that the CFI, unfortunately, has chosen another direction.

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