28 Jun
14:00 - 16:15
Globalization & Law event

The Day after Public.Resource.Org v Commission: A New Era for the Openness and Copyright of Standards Referenced in EU Law?

On the 5th of March 2024, the CJEU issued its judgment in case C-588/21P Public.Resource.Org and Right to Know v Commission and others. The case centred on the right of two NGOs to access documents, specifically four harmonised standards developed by CEN in support of the Toy Safety Directive and REACH Regulation.

In 2018, the two NGOs submitted an access request under Regulation 1049/2001, which the Commission rejected, citing the protection of CEN’s copyrights. This Commission’s decision was upheld by the General Court (case T-185/19). Subsequently, the two NGOs appealed, contending that these standards, being "part of EU law," should not be subject to copyright protection and, regardless, should be accessible due to an overriding public interest.

The CJEU, in its judgment, sided with the NGOs' right to access the four harmonised standards. It held that the Commission and the General Court erred in not recognising a public interest overriding CEN’s copyrights. Specifically, the Court stressed that standards referenced in EU law inherently constitute "part of EU law," thus warranting disclosure in line with the rule of law and principles of legal certainty, openness, and transparency. Consequently, the CJEU overturned the General Court’s ruling and annulled the original Commission decision.

This event aims to convene various stakeholders to discuss and dissect the legal and practical ramifications of this judgment. The discussion will explore its impact on the accessibility of standards referenced in EU law, as well as its effect on the copyright landscape of standardisation organisations. Furthermore, it will ponder the practical implications for the European Standardisation System and its stakeholders.


This is a hybrid event. You can participate online via Zoom.

Introductory Remarks (14h00-14h15) - Alexandru Soroiu (Maastricht University)
A Peek behind the Judgement (14h15-14h30) - Carl Malamud (Public.Resource.Org)
Roundtable discussion (14h30-15h30):

  • Chiara Giovannini (ANEC)
  • Martin Chatel (formerly CEN/CENELEC)
  • Olia Kanevskaia (Universiteit Utrecht)

Chair: Mariolina Eliantonio (Maastricht University)

Q&A (15h30 – 16h00)
Concluding remarks (16h00 – 16h15) - Mariolina Eliantonio (Maastricht University)