Under the right of access to documents in the EU treaties, as developed in Regulation 1049/2001, I am requesting access to all opinions written by the Commission's legal service since 2019.
My preference is to receive an electronic copy by e-mail.
c/o European Parliament
Rue Wiertz 60
Your request for Access to Documents - Confirmation of registration -
Ares(2021)6293059 (Please use this link only if you are an Ares user –
Svp, utilisez ce lien exclusivement si vous êtes un(e) utilisateur d’Ares)
Dear Mr Breyer,
We hereby acknowledge receipt of your application for access to documents
concerning “… access to all opinions written by the Commission's legal
service since 2019”, which has been registered today under reference
In accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding public access to
European Parliament, Council and Commission documents, your application
will be handled within 15 working days. The time limit will expire on 9
November 2021. You will be informed in due course, in case this time limit
needs to be extended.
For information on how we process your personal data, please visit our
page Privacy statement – access to documents.
Access to Documents team
8. mailto:[email address]
Your request for Access to Documents - Reference: GestDem 2021/6144 -
Clarification - Ares(2021)6586835 (Please use this link only if you are
an Ares user – Svp, utilisez ce lien exclusivement si vous êtes un(e)
Dear Mr Breyer,
Reference is made to your request for access to documents under Regulation
(EC) No 1049/2001 regarding public access to documents, received on 14^th
October 2021, by which you ask for: “ … access to all opinions written by
the Commission's legal service since 2019”.
The Legal Service has a dual role both as legal adviser of the Commission
and its representative before the Courts. Its role as legal adviser covers
all the activities and fields of competence of the Commission. In 2019 the
Legal Service dealt with some 13.500 consultations and in 2020 it replied
to some 15.000 consultations. Therefore, your request concerns more than
In the light of the volume of documents requested, the Legal Service will
not be in a position to deal with your application under Regulation (EC)
As already explained in the Legal Service’s reply of 25 May 2021 to your
request GestDem 2021/2788, the Commission’s internal systems do not allow
the Legal Service to stablish “[…] a list of all opinions written by the
Commission's Legal Service since 2019 which reflects the dates and subject
matters of each opinion”.
We therefore invite you, pursuant to Article 6(2) of Regulation (EC) No
1049/2001, to provide us with more detailed information on the concrete
documents you seek to obtain, such as references, a concrete subject
matter concerned or other information that allows the Legal Service to
deal with your request.
Please note that in accordance with Article 2, third paragraph of the
Implementing Rules to Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 (Official Journal L
345, 29.12.2001, p. 94), the 15 working days’ time-limit for handling your
application will start running when we receive those clarifications.
Thank you in advance for your understanding.
Access to Documents team
7. mailto:[email address]
in order to limit my application I would need to know by which criteria the Commission’s internal systems allow the Legal Service to filter/select relevant opinions.
If possible I will limit my application to
- opinions the Legal Service wrote in its role as legal adviser
- opinions which concern existing or upcoming/potential legislation or legislative proposals in the responsibility of DGs HOME, JUST or Connect
I can further limit my application if you provide me with a list of opinions. A digital document is fine. (Since you are able to count the number of opinions, I take it that you are also able to create a list of them.)
Dear Mr Breyer,
You have been in contact with my colleagues concerning your request for
access to the Legal Service’s opinions.
Let me address some crucial issues which might have been not fully clear.
Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 provides for access to a document and not to
a database. Furthermore, it provides for access to a document held by an
institution (Article 3(2)). Finally, it requires the application for
access to a document to be sufficiently precise to enable the institution
to identify the document (Article 6(1)).
Unfortunately, your request does not fulfil any of those conditions.
The Legal Service does not hold any document consisting in a list of all
its opinions from a given period. As already explained, the Commissions’
systems/databases do not allow the Legal Service to produce automatically
such a complete list in the meaning of the case-law (judgment of the Court
of Justice in Case C-491/15P, Typke v. Commission, paragraph 36).
Therefore, your application would amount in fact to a request to create
such a document and that is not covered by the Regulation. The
Commission’s internal databases have not been designed to list certain
collections of documents, but to facilitate the internal correspondence,
decision making and archiving. The documents and correspondence in which
the Legal Service’s opinions are expressed may be of a very diverse nature
(legislative, procedural, judicial, but also concerning internal
organisation, HR personal matters etc.). Even the fact whether a given
document is an opinion or another type of the Legal Service’s documents is
not necessarily expressed in its registration title, so practically the
precise identification of all the Legal Service’s opinions would require
the verification of each of the estimated 40.000 documents.
For those reasons, the Legal Service cannot deal with your proposal of
identifying the legal opinions concerning existing legislation or
legislative proposals under the responsibility of DGs HOME, JUST or CNECT.
So if you are interested in a specific document or a document concerning a
specific case or Commission’s proposal we will be happy to assist you in
However, in the framework of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001, we are not able
to create any document for you or undertake an individual assessment of
Head of the Information and Documentation Group
I will withdraw this application and file another more specific one.