Under the right of access to documents in the EU Treaties, as developed in Regulation 1049/2001, I hereby request access to all documents containing legal opinions by the legal service of the European Commission or by any other organ of the Commission, as well as documents that the Commission may have which contains legal opinions of the Council Secretariat, on aspects of international law relating to the Western Sahara issue and which relate directly or indirectly to the 2018 EU-Morocco Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement (entry into force in 2019) (OJ L 77 20.03.2019).
I understand that these documents may contain information that cannot be disclosed, for instance confidential information regarding the political positions taken by member states and third parties. My interest, however, is primarily the legal reasoning of the EU organs involved, and not political considerations. The legal positions of the Commission and the Council are already in the public domain, not least due to a number of cases at the Court of Justice of the European Union (most importantly Cases C-266/16 and C-104/16 P) as well as the report provided in a Commission staff working document (SWD(2018) 346 final of 11.6.2018). Citizens of the member states and other concerned parties have a justified claim to know how the relevant EU organs arrived at their positions. If these opinions are based on sound legal reasoning, there cannot possibly be a legitimate reason not to disclose them.
I would prefer for this information to be sent to me in machine-readable electronic format, to the following email address: [email address].
Professor of Public International Law, Stockholm University