Directive 2003/4/EC, public access to environmental information and repealing Council Directive 90/313/EEC

European Parliament, Council


  • (2) Council Directive 90/313/EEC of 7 June 1990 on the freedom of access to information on the environment(5) initiated a process of change in the manner in which public authorities approach the issue of openness and transparency, establishing measures for the exercise of the right of public access to environmental information which should be developed and continued. This Directive expands the existing access granted under Directive 90/313/EEC.
  • (3) Article 8 of that Directive requires Member States to report to the Commission on the experience gained, in the light of which the Commission is required to make a report to the European Parliament and to the Council together with any proposal for revision of the Directive which it may consider appropriate.
  • (4) The report produced under Article 8 of that Directive identifies concrete problems encountered in the practical application of the Directive.


The objectives of this Directive are:

  • (a) to guarantee the right of access to environmental information held by or for public authorities and to set out the basic terms and conditions of, and practical arrangements for, its exercise; and
  • (b) to ensure that, as a matter of course, environmental information is progressively made available and disseminated to the public in order to achieve the widest possible systematic availability and dissemination to the public of environmental information. To this end the use, in particular, of computer telecommunication and/or electronic technology, where available, shall be promoted.

(Article 1: Objectives)