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Lifting the Veil of Maya: Access to Documents Held by Public Authorities and Commercial Information in the US and EU

Francesco Planchenstainer

With a comparative view, this article casts the light on the right to access to documents both in the US and in the EU. While this right is afforded to citizens on both sides of the Atlantic with the US Freedom of Information Act and by and Regulation (EC) no 1049/200, significant differences exist as how the EU and the US afford protection to the requester of access to documents and the third-party owning data shared with public authorities. By analysing case law involving the FDA in the US and EMA and EFSA in the EU, the article highlights the tension between the citizens’ interest to a transparent administration in the field of public health and IP and confidentiality rights.

Francesco Planchenstainer is lecturer at the University of Trento. This work was submitted as part of the requirements for the LLM in US Law at Fordham Law School. For correspondence: <>


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