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The Six Faces of Transparency


Anoeska Buijze

Utrecht University School of Law
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The principle of transparency is something of an oddity in EU law. Indeed, some doubt that there is one general principle of transparency. The importance of transparency within the EU can be established beyond a doubt, and it is prevalent in numerous fields of EU law, but the obligations that are derived therefrom vary wildly. This makes it hard to get a good grasp of what the principle requires. It is possible to bring some system into this chaos, though. The author identifies two mechanisms by which transparency brings about the many positive consequences that have been attributed to it and combines them with the normative frameworks that guide the relation between public authorities and EU citizens into six categories of transparency obligations. Each of these categories has a distinct goal, and suggests a different answer to the questions one is faced with when confronted with a demand to be ‘transparent.’

How to Cite: Buijze, A., 2013. The Six Faces of Transparency. Utrecht Law Review, 9(3), pp.3–25. DOI:
Published on 12 Jul 2013.
Peer Reviewed


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