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Council annual report on access to documents - 2003

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Annual report of the Council APRIL 2004 EN COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION GENERAL SECRETARIAT DGF Council Annual report on access to documents - 2003 Annual report of the Council on access to documents – 2003 April 2004 3 This brochure contains the Council’s annual report on the implementation of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding public access to documents in 2003. The report, adopted by the Council in April 2004, presents the regulatory, administrative and practical adjustments made by the Council to ensure compliance with the provisions of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001. It also gives information on the Council's public register of documents as well as statistics on public access to documents. In addition, the report highlights the key developments in the second year of implementation of the Regulation and reviews complaints submitted to the European Ombudsman and cases brought before the Court of First Instance regarding access to Council documents. Additional information (and previous reports) on access to Council documents and on other transparency issues can be found on the Internet website, under "Transparency". 5 CONTENTS Page INTRODUCTON 7 I. REGULATORY, ADMINISTRATIVE AND PRACTICAL ADAPTATIONS 8 1) Adoption of Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1700/2003 8 2) Public register of Council documents 10 3) Practical adaptations 12 4) Internal instructions, training sessions, staff 14 II. ANALYSIS OF REQUESTS FOR ACCESS 15 • Professional and geographical distribution of applicants 16 • Fields covered by applicants 17 • Number of documents examined and refusals of access 18 III. APPLICATION OF EXCEPTIONS TO THE RIGHT OF ACCESS 19 • Grounds for refusal 19 • Application by the institutions of exceptions to Regulation No 1049/2001 20 • The specific exception for legal advice 21 • Restrictive interpretation of the concept of a document from a Member State considered as a third-part

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