1. Every person has the right to have his or her affairs handled impartially, fairly and within a reasonable time by the institutions, bodies, offices and agencies of the Union.
2. This right includes:
(a) the right of every person to be heard, before any individual measure which would affect him or her adversely is taken;
(b) the right of every person to have access to his or her file, while respecting the legitimate interests of confidentiality and of professional and business secrecy;
(c) the obligation of the administration to give reasons for its decisions.
3. Every person has the right to have the Union make good any damage caused by its institutions or by its servants in the performance of their duties, in accordance with the general principles common to the laws of the Member States.4. Every person may write to the institutions of the Union in one of the languages of the Treaties and must have an answer in the same language.
Article 41 is based on the existence of the Union as subject to the rule of law whose characteristics were developed in the case-law which enshrined inter alia good administration as a general principle of law (see inter alia Court of Justice judgment of 31 March 1992 in Case C-255/90 P Burban  ECR I-2253, and Court of First Instance judgments of 18 September 1995 in Case T-167/94 Nölle  ECR II-2589, and 9 July 1999 in Case T-231/97 New Europe Consulting and others  ECR II-2403). The wording for that right in the first two paragraphs results from the case-law (Court of Justice judgment of 15 October 1987 in Case 222/86 Heylens  ECR 4097, paragraph 15 of the grounds, judgment of 18 October 1989 in Case 374/87 Orkem  ECR 3283, judgment of 21 November 1991 in Case C-269/90 TU München  ECR I-5469, and Court of First Instance judgments of 6 December 1994 in Case T-450/93 Lisrestal  ECR II-1177, 18 September 1995 in Case T-167/94 Nölle  ECR II-2589) and the wording regarding the obligation to give reasons comes from Article 296 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (cf. also the legal base in Article 298 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union for the adoption of legislation in the interest of an open, efficient and independent European administration).
Paragraph 3 reproduces the right now guaranteed by Article 340 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
Paragraph 4 reproduces the right now guaranteed by Article 20(2)(d) and Article 25 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. In accordance with Article 52(2) of the Charter, those rights are to be applied under the conditions and within the limits defined by the Treaties.
The right to an effective remedy, which is an important aspect of this question, is guaranteed in Article 47 of this Charter.