Inspection rights of the EU Parliament into classified information for EU legislation
MEPs and Parliament staff do not have full access to all EU documents. But Parliament's greater responsibility under the 2007 Lisbon Treaty has made it essential for MEPs or parliamentary staff to be able to consult certain classified documents.
Parliament, via a negotiating team nominated by the Conference of Group Presidents, already reached an inter-institutional agreement on this question with the Commission, but has not yet done this with the Council.
This vote by Parliament aimed to confirm the results of negotiations with the Council.
What was the Greens' position?
The Greens believe that MEPs need improved access to EU documents. Too often, Parliament is not granted the access it requires to procedures in which it is involved, by being consulted or asked to give its consent.
Even though the Lisbon Treaty, for example, provides for Parliament to be informed immediately and fully at all stages of procedures relating to international agreements, the Council and Commission do not always respect this provision, the negotiations on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) being a case in point.
This also shows that whilst an inter-institutional agreement constitutes a useful working basis it cannot replace a formal legal framework.
Did other MEPs accept the Greens' position?
As a member of the negotiating team, the Greens succeeded in ensuring access to classified information by MEPs and staff on the premises of the European Parliament.
Procedures vary depending on the classification of given documents, and access is only granted to certain categories of persons, not to others.
Thanks to the insistence of the negotiating team, documents classified as 'top secret' are now covered by the agreement concluded with the Council, as in the agreement previously reached with the Commission.
The new agreement remains without prejudice to other agreements on data protection or public access to documents.
Which points did the Greens lose?
Procedure:Interinstitutional agreement procedure
Lead MEP:Gerald Häfner (GREENS/EFA)
Green MEP responsible:Gerald Häfner
Staff contact:Guillaume Sellier (Email)
Outcome of the vote
Below you find the results of the final vote in plenary. How did the political groups vote? What about national delegations? And what was the position of your MEP?