Public access to documents

Obtain information about the work of the European Research Council and gain access to documents held by it. 

How to access documents?

You can start by having a look at the documents already publicly available, among other sources, in the links provided below.

EU institutions, including the ERCEA, proactively publish many documents, among which you may find the one you are looking for, or which may contain the information you are seeking.

Search for ERCEA documents

Search for European Commission documents

  • Public access to Commission documents
    Registers of Commission documents, publications, link to historical archives, etc.
  • European Commission EASE application
    You can search for documents fully or partially disclosed following previous requests for access to Commission documents

Interinstitutional registers

  • EUR-Lex Electronic Access to Commission Documents (EASE)
    Official and most comprehensive access to EU legal documents such as Treaties, EU legal acts, EU case-law, international agreements, or preparatory documents related to EU legislation
  • EU Publications
    Access to EU law, publications, open data, research results, procurement notices and other official information

You cannot find the document you are looking for?

Learn more about your right of access to documents and how to submit a request for ERCEA documents

Who can request an ERCEA document?

Both EU and non-EU citizens and legal persons have the right to request documents in the possession of the ERCEA.

What document can you request?


You can request any document, which falls into the scope of the ERCEA policies, decisions, and activities, in whatever format (paper, electronic, audio, video). That includes both documents created by the ERCEA, and documents received by the ERCEA from third parties.

Your right of access concerns ‘documents’, rather than ‘information’. That means that the ERCEA cannot create a new document by compiling requested information from various documents/sources in response to your request. The content you are looking for needs to be already contained in existing document as such, or we should be able to extract it from a database via a routine search.

If your query concerns information and not documents, your request will be handled differently, under the Code of Good Administrative Behaviour, and not under Regulation 1049/2001 which applies to documents.

How long does it take?

We will reply to your request for access to documents within 15 working days from receiving a complete request. For complicated or large requests, we may extend the deadline by 15 days. If your request is not sufficiently clear, we will ask you for clarifications. The time limit of 15 working days will only start running once you have sufficiently clarified the scope of your request.


Submit a request for access to ERCEA documents


Submit your request by sending a message through the ‘Contact us’ form on the ERCEA web site. You should describe the documents you would like to access as precisely as possible, to enable us to identify them. While there is no limit to the number of documents you may request, according to Regulation 1049/2001, we may refuse to deal with a request for very large documents or a very large number of documents, where a fair solution cannot be found. Your name and postal address are required at the moment of submission, otherwise we cannot start assessing your request. 


You can also submit your request by email to Your name and postal address are also required in that case.


By post

European Research Council Executive Agency COV2
Place Rogier 16,
BE-1049 Brussels Belgium

For information on how we process your personal data, visit the Data Protection Notice published on the ERCEA web site.


We will carefully examine your request and either grant access or (partially) refuse it. Article 4 of Regulation 1049/2001 sets out certain exceptions under which we may (partially) refuse access to documents. If that is the case, we will explain which document, or which part of the document, is covered by which of those exceptions and why. We will not always be able to find the document you are looking for. That is either because the document simply never existed or the document exists, but did not qualify for official registration or was eliminated in line with the Commission document management rules. Documents are disclosed in the language(s) in which they exist, we do not translate them.


How you can appeal


If you disagree with the arguments put forward by the ERCEA for the partial or full refusal of access, and you still wish to obtain access to the document, you can request us to review our decision (by making what is known as a ’confirmatory application’ in line with Article 7 (2) of Regulation 1049/2001). Your confirmatory application must be made within 15 working days of receiving our initial reply and should be address to the ERCEA Director:

European Research Council Executive Agency
COV2 - Place Rogier 16,
BE-1049 Brussels


to the following e-mail address:

If you are not satisfied with our reply to your confirmatory request, you may have two further remedies: filing a complaint to the European Ombudsman (within two years of our refusal/lack of reply, provided you comply with the conditions of Article 228 TFEU) or lodging an action, through a lawyer, before the EU Court of Justice (within two months of the refusal/lack of reply, under the conditions of Article 263 of the TFEU).

Please note that the European Ombudsman can only deal with your complaint if you are a citizen of the European Union or a natural or legal person residing or having your registered office in a Member State of the Union. To check the complaint requirements or to lodge a complaint to the European Ombudsman, you can go to: Make a complaint | European Ombudsman (

Further information


Legal basis

The right to ask for copies of documents in the possession of EU institutions, bodies, offices and agencies stems for the EU Treaties (Article 15) and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU (Article 42).

Access to documents is one of the core rules of the general principle of transparency and good governance. The general rules giving effect to this right are set out in Regulation 1049/2001 on public access to EU documents.

Decision of 18 February 2009 of the Steering Committee of the European Research Council Executive Agency sets out how the ERCEA applies Regulation 1049/2001.

The EU Court of Justice has developed extensive case-law on access to documents, which we also rely on when assessing your request.

If you request a document that contains personal data, we will assess your request both under Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 and Regulation (EU) No 2018/1725.

When can a request be refused?

The ERCEA has the right to exceptionally refuse access to documents where it is reasonably foreseeable that, if disclosed, the documents would undermine one or several of the public or private interests listed in Article 4 of Regulation 1049/2001. These exceptions are cases where disclosure would undermine the public interest in certain sensitive areas or would undermine the privacy of individuals (consistent with EU data protection law). The exceptions also cover the protection of ongoing decision-making procedures, legal procedures, or commercial interests.

Please note that some ERCEA documents may be covered in whole, or in part, by the exceptions to public access defined in the Regulation.

In addition, according to the Courts, a general presumption of non-disclosure applies for documents relating to, for example, fraud investigations, court cases, bids submitted by other tenderers in a procurement procedure, grant proposals submitted by other candidates or written questions asked in staff selection procedures.

Do you still have a question?

Please send us an e-mail to: