Policy regarding access to European Council and Council documents
As from the entry into force of the Amsterdam Treaty in May 1999, specific provisions on public access to documents of the institutions are laid down in Article 255 of the EC Treaty. This Article, which with the Treaty of Lisbon in December 2009 became Article 15(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), constituted the legal basis for Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents.
In accordance with Article 15(3), third subparagraph, of the TFEU, specific rules governing public access to Council documents are established in Annex II to the Council's rules of procedure. These rules apply mutatis mutandis to European Council documents, as stipulated in Article 10(2) of the rules of procedure of the European Council.
Pursuant to Article 17 of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001, the Council publishes an annual report on access to Council documents. So far, the Council has adopted and published annual reports concerning the years 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010.