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EDITORIAL: EFTA COURT - TRANSPARENCY - CASE-LAW

Opticks: The refractive index of transparency in EEA law

Transparency has only a brief history in the EFTA pillar of the European Economic Area. Nevertheless, this principle transplanted from the Nordic legal traditions is having an increasing impact for the public good. This article considers the development of the rules enacting transparency and openness and examines the EFTA Court’s jurisprudence on access to documents and transparency more widely.

1. Transparency, the principle of granting the public a greater level of scrutiny of institutions' activities and matériel, has only a brief history in the EFTA pillar of the European Economic Area. Historically, it is the brainchild of enlightenment thinker and politician Anders Chydenius, a Finnish priest and an ecclesiastical member of the Riksdag of Sweden. In the recent past, this transplant from the Nordic legal traditions has had an increasing impact for the public good. 2. Transparency was introduced into the EU legal order by Declaration 17 to the Treaty of Maastricht in 1991. That Declaration “on the Right of Access to Information” noted that “transparency of the decision-making process strengthens the democratic nature of the institutions and the public's confidence in the

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Carl Baudenbacher, Michael-James Clifton, Opticks: The refractive index of transparency in EEA law, May 2014, Concurrences Review N° 2-2014, Art. N° 65201, pp. 5-6

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