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Public Access to Documents after the entry into force of the Amsterdam Treaty: Much Ado About Nothing?

Ulf Öberg

European Integration online Papers (EIoP), 1998, vol. 2

Abstract: There is a trend towards recognising a general principle of public access to documents held by public authorities, both in national and in Community law. Once such a fundamental principle of Community law is established, the exceptions to public access to documents laid down in the internal rules of the institutions must not be construed or interpreted in a manner which will render it impossible to attain the objective of openness. To this effect, and in the light of the increasing but still marginal judicial review of the institutions refusals of access to documents, the European Ombudsman's inquires into public access to documents and his decisions on individual complaints of maladministration have provided an efficient and cost-effective recourse for European citizens. However, the entry into force of the Amsterdam Treaty and the subsequent adoption of secondary legislation is unlikely to resolve all the inadequacies of the current public access regime in Community law. This calls for a uniform interpretation of the law on public access to documents in the Community legal order.

Keywords: Amsterdam Treaty; transparency; democracy; European citizenship; institutions; European Agencies; European Court of Justice; fundamental/human rights; Sweden; Court of First Instance; European Ombudsman; judicial review; access to documents; law (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 1998-10-28
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