Key facts of the case:
Access to documents — Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 — Commission documents relating to the interpretation of a provision of EU law — Documents originating from a third party — Documents originating from a Member State — Regulation (EC) No 1370/2007 — Partial refusal to grant access — Total refusal to grant access — Obligation to state reasons — Exception relating to the protection of court proceedings — Overriding public interest.
Outcome of the case:
On those grounds, THE GENERAL COURT (Third Chamber) hereby:
19) In that regard, it must be recalled that the obligation to state reasons is a general principle of EU law, enshrined in the second paragraph of Article 296 TFEU and in Article 41(1) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, under which any legal act adopted by the EU institutions must state the reasons on which it is based. That obligation means that the EU institutions must disclose clearly and unequivocally the reasoning of the author of the measure in such a way as to enable, on the one hand, interested parties to ascertain the reasons for the measure adopted in order to enable them to protect their rights, and, on the other hand, the court having jurisdiction to exercise its power of review (judgments of 2 April 1998, Commission v Sytraval and Brink’s France,C‑367/95 P, EU:C:1998:154, paragraph 63, and of 4 June 2013, ZZ, C‑300/11, EU:C:2013:363, paragraph 53; see also judgment of 5 December 2013, Commission v Edison, C‑446/11 P, not published, EU:C:2013:798, paragraph 21 and the case-law cited).