16 Colum. J. Eur. L. 465 (2010)
Jan-Krzysztof Dunin-Wasowicz. J.D., Columbia Law School, expected 2012; Maîtrise en droit & degree in International Commercial Law, University of Paris I (Sorbonne), expected 2012; Master’s degree, Public Administration, Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po), 2007; European Studies undergraduate program, Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po), 2005.
This Article joins a policy debate over the reform of Council Regulation 1049/2001 (the “Transparency Regulation”) which governs access to documents held by European institutions. The Transparency Regulation was enacted under the premise that its disclosure-friendly rules would effectively mitigate the democratic deficit of the European Union. This Article probes the posited relationship between the law of access to documents and the theory of European Union legitimacy. It inquires into the actual effects that have ensued from applying the Transparency Regulation and shows how participants in the regulatory process have resort to that legislation for purposes not contemplated by its drafters. The reality of practice, as evidenced by the subject matter of the relevant case law, is at odds with legislative intent. The Article concludes that although the Transparency Regulation has contributed to the emergence of a supranational system of regulatory accountability, it has failed to enhance the democratic legitimacy of the European Union.