The European Parliament acted lawfully when it refused to make public information on MEPs’ allowances and expenses, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) said in a Tuesday ruling.
A journalist of Hungarian news site atlatszo.hu turned to the EP, asking information on the ways MEPs’ allowances and expense monies were spent. Similar queries of journalists from several countries were all rejected, prompting them to turn to the ECJ together.
The court rejected the claim, saying that the requested information included personal data. This would not exclude disclosure if the applicant proves that it is necessary, the court noted, adding that this did not happen.
Green MEPs in parliament have called for the relevant legislation to be amended, arguing that the “secrecy” around allowances only stokes Euroscepticism. “Journalists had to turn to the court for information that should have been made public long ago,” MEP Heidi Hautala said.