ISA² - Interoperability solutions for public administrations, businesses and citizens

Improving public access to European Commission documents

access to EC documents

2018.05 Electronic access to the European Commission documents – Study

When is this action of interest to you? 

1. You are a citizen or a stakeholder interested in obtaining access to a document, held by the European Commission;
2. You are a public administration considering ways to improve your system for the management of requests for public access to documents.

What is this action about?

This action will deliver a feasibility study for a fully electronic solution enabling public access to the Commission documents (as established by Regulation 1049/2001 and Commission Decision C(2001)3714), from the first request of the applicant to the final answer of the Commission. The proposed solution will cover the supporting flows within the Commission, and with other EU Institutions, EU Member States and third parties.

What are the objectives?

The objective is to propose a solution that allows to automate and streamline the process of obtaining access to the Commission documents and its supporting flows. The proposed solution will ensure the formal traceability of the communication with the applicants and will give EU Member States, other EU institutions and third parties an overview of all consultations they are involved in, and an easy way to respond to these consultations. The ultimate goal is to bring the EU decision-making process closer to its citizens, by allowing an increased transparency and making it more cost-effective.

The study will investigate an effective solution that integrates and takes advantage of ISA² platforms for secure and reliable exchange of data and documents, and other open-source platforms for access to information requests.

What are the benefits?

The study will propose a solution which will:

  • Make it easier for citizens and other stakeholders to submit requests for access to documents, held by the Europan Commission;
  • Facilitate the communication between the applicants and the Commission;
  • Decrease the delays in providing replies to the requests;
  • Facilitate the consultations of the Commission with EU Member States, other EU institutions or third parties in cases where the documents requested originate from them;
  • Allow for the publication of documents to which access has been granted following a request.

What has been achieved?

Electronic Access to Commission Documents (EASE)

  • The Business Case and Project Charter documents for the EASE project were finalised and meetings with the suppliers of existing IT frameworks and components were organised to decide on the main architectural features of the EASE citizen’s portal and back-office system
  • The procurement procedures for the business analysis and development of the EASE project were launched
  • The business analysis and technical architecture of the future access to Commission documents requests management system was started

New Register of Commission Documents (New RegDoc)

  • The New RegDoc project was initiated as an extension of action 2018.05 to follow-up on a study on the registers of the Secretariat-General of the European Commission
  • The business case and Project Charter documents for the project have been approved by the appropriate governance bodies
  • Work has started on the business analysis and technical architecture of the new Register

What are the next steps?

In 2020, the action will focus on:

  • The analysis of the access to documents public portal 
  • The first releases of the EASE workflow management system 
  • The development of the EASE public portal
  • The development of the new Register 
  • The first release in Production of the full Register