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Access to documents


Providing access to documents is an essential part of the ECB's accountability and transparency policy. We aim to work as openly as possible with the people of Europe, while at the same time respecting the need to protect the confidentiality of matters specific to how the ECB performs its tasks. Have a look at the ECB Filing and Retention Plan to get an overview of ECB documents and how long they are kept. 

Access to ECB documents is governed by Decision ECB/2004/3 of 4 March 2004, as amended

In line with the ECB's commitment to openness and transparency, and to enable and facilitate research, we have created an ECB Public Register of Documents.


When documents are not available in the ECB Public Register of Documents or the ECB Archives (see below), members of the public can apply for access to documents, in any written form, in one of the official languages of the European Union by sending a letter or an email to:

Public Access Requests

European Central Bank
Compliance and Governance Office
Sonnemannstrasse 22
60314 Frankfurt am Main


Applications for access to documents are handled promptly. The ECB will acknowledge receipt of the request and, within 20 working days of registering it, will either grant access to the documents or refuse to do so and explain the reasons for this decision.

If a request concerns a very large number of documents or is otherwise complex, the deadline for processing the application may be extended by additional 20 working days.

In the event of total or partial refusal, the applicant may, within 20 working days of receiving the ECB’s reply, make a confirmatory application asking the ECB’s Executive Board to reconsider the ECB’s initial position.

If access is refused by the Executive Board, the applicant may bring proceedings before the General Court under the conditions specified in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) or submit a complaint to the European Ombudsman, under Articles 263 and 228 of the TFEU, respectively.

Click here to get an overview of the main topics of interest of the requests for public access submitted to the ECB.

Click here to get an overview of the ECB's disclosure policy over the years.

Public Register of Documents

The Public Register of Documents includes documents which have already been released by the ECB and documents released in response to public access requests.


Documents which are older than 30 years or pertaining to the ECB predecessors (the Committee for the Study of Economic and Monetary Union, the Committee of Governors of the Central Banks of the Member States of the European Economic Community, the European Monetary Cooperation Fund and the European Monetary Institute) which have been declassified to ‘ECB-Public’ in accordance with Decision ECB/2023/17 of 28 July 2023 are accessible via the Archives section.

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