Under EU law, archives more than 30 years old are open to public access. They can be consulted in the Historical Archives Service and are usually on microfiche.
Documents less than 30 years old can be open to public access (under EU regulation No 1049/2001 - public access to documents). For more information, go to the European Commission openess and access to documents page or email the Commission's Secretariat-General.
Some documents transferred to the Historical Archives Service remain unaccessible to the public: classified documents (restricted, confidential, secret, top secret) which can only be disclosed once they have been declassified and documents containing sensitive information (personal data, business data, etc.). These documents remain unaccessible as long as the exceptions to their disclosure last (articles 2 and 3 of EU Regulation 1700/2003).