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Access to EU Commission documents for my research: Still waiting and hoping

As reported one month ago, I’ve requested a meeting protocol of a meeting of the Chef de Cabinets of the European Commission, which I need for my research.

Having requested the document on 30 July 2011, the Commission refused to grant me any access on 12 August, and so on 12 August I filed a confirmatory application (i.e. an appeal).

Last week (on 6 Sept 2011) I have received the following letter (via email):

So I still have to hope to get “the widest possible access” in this case and in another case where I had initially requested the document in the first days of July.

What this tells for political science research dependent on access to documents of EU institutions: You need a lot of patience. And you need to plan your research according to the time rhythms of the institutions, even though this may not be the time rhythm of the funding of your research.


Here’s an extract from Regulation 1049/2001 regarding the prolongation confirmatory applications (appeals) and what follows afterwards:

2. In exceptional cases, for example in the event of an application relating to a very long document or to a very large number of documents, the time limit provided for in paragraph 1 may be extended by 15 working days, provided that the applicant is notified in advance and that detailed reasons are given.

3. Failure by the institution to reply within the prescribed time limit shall be considered as a negative reply and entitle the applicant to institute court proceedings against the institution and/or make a complaint to the Ombudsman, under the relevant provisions of the EC Treaty.

You can judge on your own whether the reply I have received contains “detailed reasons” why this is an “exceptional case”.

2 Responses to Access to EU Commission documents for my research: Still waiting and hoping

  1. Pingback: Waiting six months for one document from the EU Commission | Polscieu

  2. Pingback: No April Fools’ Day joke: Waiting eight months for one EU document | Polscieu

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