This section informs about our uphill battle to improve the rights to document access for the PANA committee. In 2015, GUE/NGL has commissioned a comprehensive legal study by Professor Andreas Fischer-Lescano and Nele Austermann (both University of Bremen) into the rights of Members of the European Parliament and citizens (under the regulation for public access to documents) to access documents from the European Commission and other institutions.
The access to documents at the end of the LuxLeaks committees TAXE/TAX2 remained unsatisfactory, one reason why we could not support its final report. In an exchange of letters with Taxation Commissioner Pierre Moscovici, the new PANA committee has now obtained access to the same documents that were available to the LuxLeaks committees.
As GUE/NGL we have however requested access to a much broader range of documents.
Issues relating to the directive against money laundering do not fall in the responsibility of Commissioner Moscovici. PANA has consequently written to Justice Commissioner Vera Jourová who has signalled her willingness to cooperate with the Committee.
The rights of the Parliament are currently also constrained with respect to “who” can access confidential documents provided to the Parliament in the format of a secret reading room. In order to allow access to the reading room also for the assistants of Members of Parliament, the PANA committee – together with the committee investigating the VW emission scandal – has written to President Martin Schulz for the Parliament to update its own rules. The commitees’ joint was however been refused by the EP President for the time being.