The Treaty of Amsterdam introduced a new Article 255, which provides for a right of access for citizens to documents of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission. These three institutions have adopted Regulation (EC) 1049/2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents, and subsequently, in a joint declaration, have asked the other European agencies and bodies to adopt similar rules on the matter.
Within our committee, this request has led to a new policy on access to documents, giving maximum transparency to our work. This transparency undoubtedly allows greater public participation in the Community decision-making process and helps to strengthen the principles of democracy and fundamental rights as defined by Article 6 of the EU Treaty and in the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights.
With the Treaty of Lisbon (2009), the right of access for citizens to documents, now laid down in Article 15§3 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), was formally extended to all institutions, bodies, offices and agencies of the European Union.