Article 15 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union states that citizens and residents of the European Union have a right of access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents.
Access to documents: a key element in transparency
Access to documents is an essential component of the policy of transparency being implemented by the European institutions. Under the Treaty, all EU citizens and all residents of the Union enjoy this right of access, which is governed by Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001.
The European Parliament tries to ensure that its work has a high level of visibility. This concern is all the more important since Parliament seeks above all to act in the interests of the citizens of Europe, who have directly elected it.
The Register of documents: a valuable search aid
In order to facilitate access to documents, as provided for in Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001, the European Parliament has established an electronic Register of documents. Intended as a search aid, it contains the references of documents drawn up or received by the European Parliament since 2001.
Documents which are directly accessible
The Register provides direct access to the majority of European Parliament documents via a search form. The documents are directly accessible in electronic format.
Documents which are accessible on request
Documents which cannot be consulted directly on the Register may be supplied on request. This is the case with documents prior to 2001 and with a limited number of documents to which access may be restricted on the basis of the exceptions to the right of access provided for in Article 4 of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001. Access to them is free of charge and the request, via an electronic form, does not require any special justification. After considering your request, the service responsible in the European Parliament will send a reasoned reply within 15 working days.