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Title: Freedom of information in the European Union
Author: Hsieh, Kuo-Lien
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2006
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This thesis is in three parts. The first and second parts analyse the development of the law and policy on freedom of information in the European Economic Community and European Union between 1984 and 2004. These two parts focus on how the Council, the Commission, and the Parliament enacted and implemented the rules on FOI protection, and on the role of the Community court in this field. The third part examines the roles of the European Parliament and the European Ombudsman, which have supplemented the role of the Court in securing this right. As to the objectives of this project: on the one hand, it seeks to understand the degree of legal protection offered to freedom of information in the Union over the last two decades; on the other, it seeks to identify how the current EU FOI regime could be improved. First of all, we consider the major controversies surrounding FOI law and policy between 1984 and 2004. In particular, this thesis focuses on the extent to which the 2001 FOI Regulation addresses the pre-existing obstacles to FOI protection. Secondly, the exceptions in Article 4(1) and Article 4(2) of the 2001 Regulation can be categorised as mandatory and discretionary respectively, but the distinction between the two provisions is vague. This indistinct dividing line should be removed to end the misunderstanding that the Council, the Commission, and the Parliament are entitled to refuse requests systematically when invoking the so-called mandatory exceptions. Thirdly, we take into account the principles established by the 2001 Regulation, the EC Treaty, or by the Court to guide the interpretation of the exceptions laid down in the Regulation. Fourthly, we argue that the EU legislator should expressly incorporate the principle of proportionality into the 2001 Regulation. Finally, we analyse recent initiatives to adopt a constitution for Europe.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available