On 30 May 2021, Regulation 1049/01 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents, will celebrate its 20th birthday. As happens in all life cycles, the surrounding environment has changed considerably in the intervening years, some might even say radically. The political, legal and digital context is a very different one twenty years after the Regulation was conceived, negotiated and saw the light of day. This is a timely moment to look back with a number of key players at the time the Regulation was adopted about the particular political (European Parliament and Council) constellations that came together back in 2001 and at the same time explore major successes and shortcomings in its practical application since then. This includes some other institutions and agencies as well as the pivotal role of the Courts (and the Ombudsman) when challenges are brought. Moving forward, are there pathways to widening its scope across the spectrum of the EU as well as deepening it in the digital and other contemporary contexts? What is the link, if any, with more radical ideas of transparency?

Helen Darbishire, Executive Director of Access Info Europe, participated in this webinar organised by the Centre for Judicial Cooperation, of the European University Institute of Florence.

She was joined by:

  • Onno Brouwer, Practising Lawyer;
  • Michael Cashman, former MEP;
  • Emilio di Capitani, Chairman FREE Group (Fundamental Rights European Experts);
  • Jean-Paul Jacqué, former Legal Advisor of the Council of the EU; and
  • Sir Graham Watson, fomer LIBE Chairman European Parliament.