EU council likes big ‘buts’
EU transparency ‘victory’
This is what passes for a triumph in the ongoing tussle to make the EU institutions less opaque.
Dutch MEP Sophie in ‘t Veld three years ago requested access to an internal legal opinion on the EU’s negotiating mandate to hand suspect payment data to the US authorities under terrorism laws.
The European Parliament had been left out of the process, while the European Commission and the Council of EU member states pressed on with the talks.
When she was refused full access to the Council legal opinion, she appealed to the EU courts.
Today, the courts said the council was wrong to hand her such a heavily redacted version of the opinion.
But don’t break out the champagne yet, Sophie.
Essentially, the court says
‘You may have access to some information, BUT not all, about the legal opinion on a mandate for a deal. BUT the deal was concluded two years ago. BUT it’s up to the people who refused you access to the information in the first place to now decide again how much information to give you.’
‘BUT the information you can have is in any case not on the substance of the mandate, only on an internal dispute over the legal basis.’