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CJEU Case C-57/16 P / Judgment

ClientEarth v European Commission

Deciding Body type:
Court of Justice of the European Union
Deciding Body:
Court (Grand Chamber)
Type:
Decision
Decision date:
04/09/2018

Key facts of the case:

Appeal — Access to documents of the EU institutions — Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 — Regulation (EC) No 1367/2006 — Impact assessment report, draft impact assessment report and opinion of the Impact Assessment Board — Legislative initiatives in respect of environmental matters — Refusal to grant access — Disclosure of the documents requested in the course of the proceedings — Continuing interest in bringing proceedings — Exception relating to the protection of the ongoing decision-making process of an EU institution — General presumption.

Outcome of the case:

On those grounds, the Court (Grand Chamber) hereby:

  1. Sets aside the judgment of the General Court of the European Union of 13 November 2015, ClientEarth v Commission (T‑424/14 and T‑425/14, EU:T:2015:848); 
  2. Annuls the decision of the European Commission of 1 April 2014 refusing to grant access to an impact assessment report for a proposed binding instrument setting a strategic framework for risk-based inspection and surveillance in relation to EU environmental legislation and an opinion of the Impact Assessment Board;
  3. Annuls the decision of the European Commission of 3 April 2014 refusing to grant access to a draft impact assessment report relating to access to justice in environmental matters at Member State level in the field of EU environmental policy and an opinion of the Impact Assessment Board;
  4. Orders the European Commission to bear its own costs and to pay those incurred by ClientEarth at first instance and on appeal;
  5. Orders the Republic of Finland and the Kingdom of Sweden to bear their own costs in relation to the appeal proceedings.