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Melanie Fink on public access to documents and the case of Frontex

On 28 May 2021, Melanie Fink spoke at the conference ‘Twenty years of Regulation 1049/2001 on Public Access to EU Documents: Taking Stock and Looking Ahead’

The Webinar marked the 20 years anniversary of Regulation 1049/2001 setting up a regime for public access to documents held by EU institutions. It was organised by the Academy of Finland project ‘Transparency in the EU – From Reaction to Manifesto’ (TrUE) at the Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights in cooperation with the Open Government in the EU Blog.

The participants recalled the challenges and opportunities in the drafting process of the Regulation, took stock of its strengths and weaknesses, and discussed its potential for the future. Did Regulation 1049/2001 fulfil its function and live up to expectations? Where do we stand today? Are 12 years of failed revision a sign of its weakness, or rather of its strength? And finally, in an era of social media communication, constant data leaks, and disinformation, does the right of access need to be revised, complemented, or perhaps left untouched?

Melanie spoke on Frontex's practice regarding access to documents from the perspective of someone making frequent use of Regulation 1049/2001 for research purposes. The two main challenges she highlighted concerned Frontex’s administrative practice in dealing with access to documents request on the one hand and the possibility for individuals to challenge refusals of access.

A recording of the Webinar is available here.

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