Subject: Arrangement concerning access
by the European Parliament to classified information in the field of
security and defence policy
Please find attached a 'working document' submitted by the Council
Presidency with a view to the forthcoming discussions with the European
Parliament on the above matter.
19 October 2000
Arrangement concerning access by the European Parliament
to classified information in the field of security and defence policy
1.1 The Council and the Secretary-General/High Representative have
taken various decisions aimed at protecting information classified as
TRÈS SECRET/TOP SECRET, SECRET or CONFIDENTIEL in the field of
security and defence policy(1). The present arrangement shall govern access by the
European Parliament to such information.
1.2 The provisions of this arrangement
shall apply without prejudice to the Decision of the European Parliament,
the Council and the Commission of 19 April 1995 on the detailed provisions
governing the exercise of the European Parliament's right of inquiry(2).
2. General rules
2.1 Transmission and processing of the
information covered by this arrangement shall be subject to respect
being shown for the interests which classification is intended to protect,
including the public interest in matters relating to the security and
defence of the Union or one or more of its Member States or to military
or non-military crisis management.
2.2 Information originating from a non-Community
State, institution or international body shall be transmitted only with
3. Procedures for the provision
of information to the European Parliament
3.1 The Council Presidency or the Secretary-General/High
Representative shall, under the procedures provided for below, notify
- the President of the European Parliament,
- the chairman of the Committee on Foreign
Affairs, Human Rights, Common Security and Defence Policy and
- a third Member of the European Parliament
appointed by common accord of the President of the European Parliament
and the President of the Council
of new developments in European security
and defence policy.
3.2 In general, such information shall
be provided every three months. In the event of a crisis or at the request
of the President of the European Parliament, it shall be provided at
3.3 The information provided shall enable
the persons referred to in paragraph 3.1 above to gain as detailed an
understanding of the situation as is possible without jeopardising the
interests being protected.
4. Final provisions
4.1 The European Parliament and the Council
shall take all necessary measures to ensure the implementation of the
provisions of this arrangement, including the steps required for the
accreditation of the persons involved.
4.2 The two institutions are willing to
discuss comparable arrangements to cover classified information in other
areas of the Council's activities.
1. Council Decision of 14 August
2000 amending Decision 93/731/EC on public access to Council documents
and Council Decision 2000/23/EC on the improvement of information on
the Council's legislative activities and the public register of Council
documents (OJ L 212, 23.8.2000, p. 9), and Decision of the Secretary-General/High
Representative of 27 July 2000 on measures for the protection of classified
information applicable to the General Secretariat of the Council (OJ
C 239, 23.8.2000, p. 1).
2. OJ L 113, 19.5.1995, p.