Transparency is one of the EU’s key principles. It requires the EU to disclose information on policy-making and spending and to uphold the principle of freedom of information. These principles are set out in the EU treaties.
Article 10 of the Treaty on European Union stipulates that open decision-making is carried out ‘as closely as possible to the citizen’. Article 11 states that both individuals and representative associations should be given the opportunity to ’make known and publicly exchange their views in all areas of Union action’.
The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union expands on these points. It states that the EU institutions are obliged to act publicly and to ensure that individuals and any natural or legal person residing or having its registered office in an EU country can access documents (Article 15).
In practical terms, this means that you are entitled to access documents by the EU institutions, bodies and agencies, including legislative texts, official documents, meeting minutes and agendas. Follow the links on this page to access their databases and public registers, where you can obtain documents either directly online or upon request.
Access to documents
To increase transparency, the European Commission, European Parliament, European Council and Council of the EU publish their meeting schedules in advance and share information about their outcomes in press conferences. You can also follow Parliament sessions and parts of Council meetings online.
All programming priorities, including the Commission’s political guidelines, the State of the Union address and the Commission work programme, are made public. The European Council’s strategic agenda and subsequent Council presidency priorities are also made public.
You can consult the schedules of Commissioners, the European Council President and the European Parliament President.
The remaining EU institutions and bodies also publish their presidents’ schedules, calendars of meetings and web-streamed meetings.
For more information, consult institutions and bodies.
EUR-Lex is your gateway to EU law. You can search for treaties, legal acts, international agreements, law-making procedures, summaries of EU legislation and case law.
Search for organisations or register your own. The register includes information on interests being pursued, by whom and with what budgets at EU level. It is run by both the European Parliament and the European Commission. Note that organisation representatives cannot have high-level meetings with Commissioners or senior Commission officials if their organisation is not registered.
Search the DORIE database for documents on EU issues from 1946 to the present day. These include legal instruments adopted by the EU institutions, minutes of meetings held by institutions and bodies, press releases, newspaper articles, speeches by European leaders and internal Commission notes.
This report gives an account of the EU’s major initiatives and achievements of the past year.
Search the online library of publications from the EU institutions and other bodies.
Search the EU Open Data Portal, a single entry point to data from the EU institutions and other bodies. You can use and re-use this data for commercial or non-commercial purposes.
Access documents produced or received by the European Parliament since December 2001. Includes meeting minutes, agendas, legislative texts and resolutions.
Access documents issued by the European Council since 1999. Includes conclusions (from 2004), meeting minutes, agendas, votes and outcomes.
Council of the EU
Access documents issued by the Council since 1999. Includes preparatory legislative documents, meeting minutes, agendas, votes and outcomes.
Search for EU legislative acts adopted under the ordinary legislative procedure. Includes both ongoing and completed procedures.
Access documents produced or received by the Commission since January 2001. Includes legislative documents together with minutes and agendas of meetings.
Search for information and documents relating to the work of committees that help the Commission implement EU legislation.
Court of Justice of the European Union
Request access to administrative documents held by the Court of Justice of the EU.
European Central Bank (ECB)
Access documents released by the ECB. Includes diaries, decisions, opinions, agendas and meeting minutes.
European Court of Auditors (ECA)
Apply for access to documents issued by the ECA in writing or by email.
European External Action Service (EEAS)
Access documents produced by the EEAS since January 2015. Includes proposals, recommendations, working documents and administrative decisions.
European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)
Access documents produced by the EESC. They are available in electronic format.
European Committee of the Regions (CoR)
Contact the Transparency and Access to Documents Department to request access to documents produced by the CoR.
European Investment Bank (EIB)
Access environmental and social information/documents on sustainable investment projects, as well as environmental policy documents.
Search for core business documents (cases, decisions, recommendations) and documents relating to strategy, policy and high-level management.
European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS)
Access the records of EDPS activities on processing personal data.
European Data Protection Board (EDPB)
Access the EDPB’s three public registers. Includes records on codes of conduct, certification mechanisms, seals and marks, and binding corporate rules.
EU information centres
Contact your local Europe Direct Information Centre to find out more about how the EU works.