Europe’s citizens are showing an ever greater interest in Commission activities, over a growing number of policy areas. That’s the conclusion of the latest annual report on public access to documents, which shows an 18% increase in the number of requests for documents in 2010.
In total, the Commission received 6,361 requests for access to documents in 2010. This compares to 5,401 in 2009 – and just 450 ten years ago. These requests concerned everything from a single document to entire files concerning various administrative procedures. The many requests for documents that were already publicly available are not included in these figures.
Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič said: “These figures reflect a growing interest in Commission activities and I welcome that. Disclosure of documents is often in the public interest and is a key way of increasing transparency. This can only be a good thing. Greater transparency ensures that the Commission is open to public scrutiny and accountable for its work.”
Competition policy topped the list of areas of interest, accounting for nearly 1 in 10 requests, followed by home and justice affairs, transport and energy, the internal market and the environment. The biggest proportion of requests came from people or organisations based in Belgium (17.95%), with Germany close behind (16.62%).
Source: European Commission