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Transparency and Access to documents

The principle of transparency means that the public has a right to the documents of the EU institutions, including the Council and the European Council. It also means that ministers debate and vote in public on all future EU legislative acts. As from the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty on 1 December 2009, the specific provisions on public access to the documents of the EU institutions and bodies as well as on the openness of the decision-making process as regards draft legislative acts are laid down in Article 15 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).

The Public Register of Council documents, which has been operational since 1 January 1999, contains references to non-sensitive documents submitted to the Council or to one of its preparatory bodies which are to serve as a basis for deliberations, could influence the decisions-making process or reflect the progress made on a given subject.