EU: Another bad day for democracy: CJEU Judgment

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"According to the EU General Court, impact analyzes to inform the Commission in drafting its legislative proposals are not in principle accessible to the public before the disclosure proposals. Premature access to these documents might seriously undermine the decision-making process of the Commission

In 2014, ClientEarth, a non-profit organization whose purpose is the protection of the environment, asked the Commission for access to two impact analyzes related to the environmental policy of the Union. The Commission refused to grant such access by indicating that, given the fact that the impact assessments were intended to assist in preparing legislative initiatives in the environmental field, the disclosure of these documents could be dramatically affect its decision-making processes affecting its discretion and reducing its ability to find compromises. Moreover, such disclosure was likely to result from external pressures that could hinder the difficult decision processes in which a climate of trust should prevail. Dissatisfied with the Commission's response, ClientEarth introduced in each case an appeal to the EU Court for the annulment of the refusal of the Commission.

By its judgment today, the Court dismisses the arguments of ClientEarth and confirms that the Commission was entitled to refuse access to the desired documents."

See: Selon le Tribunal de l’UE, les analyses d’impact destinées à éclairer la Commission dans l’élaboration de ses propositions d’actes législatifs ne sont pas, en principe, accessibles au public avant la divulgation des propositions (pdf)

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