"Common criteria to be applied to arms exports": document finally released to Heidi Hautala MEP after five year court battle

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In 1996 Heidi Hautala MEP (Green/EFA group) put a question to the Council of the European Union asking about the criteria on arms exports. In its answer, the Council referred to a report concerning the implementation of these criteria and Ms Hautala asked to see this report. The Council denied access, even after a formal application, compelling Heidi Hautala to take the matter to the Court of First Instance. This ruled in favour of Ms Hautala saying that the Council should at least have considered partial access. However, despite the Court ruling, a majoirty in the Council agreed that it should appeal against the decision.

On 6 December 2001 the Court of Justice rejected the Council's appeal and on 21 December the Council finally - five years after the initial request - released the document to Heidi Hautala.

The full-text of the document a report from the EU's Working Group on Conventional Arms Exports: "Common criteria to be applied to arms exports" (31.10.96): Full-text (pdf - note the file prints clearly)

As a result of this case, and the new Regulation, the Council has withdrawn its appeal against the decision of the Court of Justice in the Kuijer case, see Council Legal Service Opinion, 12.12.01: Text

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