CJEU - T-496/13 -

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CJEU - T-496/13
Court: CJEU
Jurisdiction: European Union
Relevant Law:
Article 4(1)(b) Regulation 1049/2001
Article 4(3) Regulation 1049/2001
[ Article 8(b) Regulation 45/2001]
Article 8(b) Regulation 45/2001
Article 8(b) Regulation 45/2001
Decided: 11.06.2015
Parties: Colin Boyd McCullough
European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop)
Case Number/Name: T-496/13
European Case Law Identifier:
Reference from:
Language: 24 EU Languages
Original Source: Judgement
Initial Contributor: Victoria Paganella

CJEU held that request of access to administrative documents excepts surnames and that the refusal to grant access requires specific and actual grounds

English Summary[edit | edit source]

Facts[edit | edit source]

The applicant was employed by the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop). The applicant requested Cedefop to provide access to documents, in order to prepare their defense in legal proceedings before the Greek courts. Cedefop refused to give access to the requested documents, claiming that the disclosure of the documents represented (a) a risk to privacy and to integrity regarding the names of its members and (b) a risk to the decision-making process.

Holding[edit | edit source]

The CJEU annulled the Cedefop's decision that refused access to the documents, but excepted the access to the surnames of the members of Cedefop. The CJEU held that surnames of the members of the Cedefop are personal data protected by the provisions of Regulation 45/2001. The CJEU held that Cedefop was right to refuse to give access to the surnames of the members, because the applicant failed to prove the necessity of having that data transferred. Moreover, the CJEU considered that Cedefop did not assess whether granting access to the requested documents would specifically and actually violate the privacy and undermine the decision-making process. The CJEU explained that this justification is necessary, because the exceptions to the principle of transparency and to the principle of the widest possible public access to documents must be interpreted and applied strictly. Furthermore, the CJEU held that the refusal of access to the documents was illegal, because the Cedefop failed to explain how the disclosure of the requested documents would specifically and actually undermine the decision-making process which had already been closed. The CJEU highlighted that the reasons invoked by an institution that are capable of justifying refusal of access to a document requested before the closure of the decision-making process might not be sufficient for refussing disclosure of the same document after the adoption of the decision.

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