On 15 November the European Commission announced the conclusions of its investigation into the excessive checks at the border between Spain and Gibraltar
and sent two letters with a series of recommendations for next steps: one letter to the United Kingdom and one letter to Spain.
Gibraltar, in cooperation with the UK Government, published the letter they received almost immediately (read here, PDF
Spain however refused to do so. Repeated requests for the letter to be made public to both the Government of Spain and the European Commission were declined.
However on 27 November the Liberal Democrat MEP for Gibraltar Sir Graham Watson
made an official 'access for documents' request under Regulation 1049/2001
regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents.
The European Commission were duly forced to make the letter public, and Sir Graham has published it in full on his website (click here to read, PDF).
"The letter states that the intensity of the border checks were unjustifiable. Perhaps that is why Madrid and the European Commission did not want us to see the letter,
" Sir Graham said in a statement
. "Thanks to EU freedom of information law we now know word-for-word what the Commission has asked Spain to do about the border - let us use it to hold Madrid to account.
If you, like me, do not read Spanish, the Gibraltar Chronicle has produced a useful summary and analysis of the letter.
Labels: Graham Watson