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‘Optimal’ versus ‘maximal’ public access to documents: a brief note on EU case law

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With the legislative reform of Regulation No 1049/2001 on Public Access to Documents stuck in a political deadlock for the last 3-4 years, this policy brief reflects on the main trends in the sizeable – not uncontroversial – body of case law by which the Court of Justice of the European Union has shaped to an important extent the right of public access to documents within the Union. Indeed, when policy-makers eventually manage to move beyond the current political stalemate, they will simply be obliged to take into account and respond to these jurisprudential interpretations. Hence, this policy brief aims to raise policy makers’awareness of the different issues at stake in this dossier and pleads in favour of ‘optimal’ as opposed to ‘maximal’ openness.
(Photo credit: European Parliament, Flickr)