Statewatch Says EU Report Makes Pitiful Reading

29 August 2011

The European Commission’s annual report on access to documents makes “very pitiful reading,” according to the public interest group Statewatch.

The Report from the Commission on the application in 2010 of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents (pdf). The Commission’s annual report on public access to its document again makes very pitiful reading:

As highlighted by Statewatch, 26.42% of requests for documents are refused under Article 4.3 of the Regulation – to protect the “space to think” during the deliberative process.

The number of applications for documents has risen from 5,055 (2009) to 6,127, “which is not at all surprising as the Commission’s public register of documents is pathetic,” the group reported.

The group further said:

There are just 5,109 user sessions per month on the Commission’s public register of documents – by way of comparison the Statewatch European Monitoring and Documentation Centre (SEMDOC) has 12,600 user sessions a month. This is primarily because the Commission’s public register contains less than 10% of the documents it produces or receives and many of these do not give access to the document itself.

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