In the interests of greater transparency, the European Parliament has adopted amendments to the legislation on free access to EU documents. The proposal allows one, for example, to see how ministers and prime ministers are voting in the Council or the European Council. This could, in the words of the rapporteur, debunk the myth that some less popular measures are forced upon Member States. In the legislation, the definition of ‘document’ was amended to mean any data content — regardless of the medium on which it is carried — if it relates to matters falling within the scope of responsibility of the EU or its agencies. The documents must be held by the EU. This will also apply to the European Court of Justice, the European Central Bank and European Investment Bank. There will be exceptions to this obligation, especially if it involves an encroachment on certain public or private interests, such as personal data protection and the protection of intellectual property rights. It will not be possible to apply exceptions, however, where disclosure is a matter of greater public interest, for example in order to protect fundamental rights and the sound management of public resources.
What is the Commission’s position on the proposal for legislative changes?