Access to documents 

​​​​​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

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Decision No 18/2020 on public access to Committee of the Regions documents

Decision No 18/2020 on public access to Committee of the Regions ​documents​ explicitly embraces the principles and limits laid down in Regulation (EC) 1049/2001 and also lays down the procedure for requesting access to Committee documents.

Committee documents mentioned in the list appended to Decision No 18/2020 are directly accessible to citizens in an electronic document register. Other documents might also be included in this document register.

On request, citizens may request access to any other documents, subject to the limits laid down in Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001.

Applications must be made in a sufficiently precise manner and must, in particular, contain information enabling the document or documents requested to be identified as well as the name and contact details of the applicant. However, the applicant is not obliged to state the reasons for the application (except in some cases involving access to personal data). The Committee must acknowledge receipt of the application as soon as it is registered and reply within 15 working days from registration (this deadline may be exceptionally extended by 15 working days).

If the Committee totally or partially refuses access to the requested document, it must state the grounds for such refusal. The applicant then has 15 working days to make a confirmatory application. Following this, the Committee again has 15 working days (with a possible extension of 15 additional working days) to reply.

If the Committee still refuses to grant full access to the requested document following a confirmatory application, the applicant has the possibility to institute court proceedings against the Committee and/or make a complaint to the European Ombudsman.

If you are not able to find a document in the electronic document register, you can submit a request for access to that do​cument​ via the link below​.​

​Request a document

To request access to a document, please fill in the following form and select Access to Documents.​ 

Contacts​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

The Transparency and Access to documents Department is at your disposal to answer your questions and help you in your research.

Feel free to send us an email or find our postal address:

Committee of the Regions of the European Union
Archives service (office JDE 4253)
Rue Belliard/Belliardstraat 99
1040 Bruxelles/Brussel​​


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