When is a paper a non-paper? When is a paper a non-paper (e.g. 20120326 Non paper_OTF SI.doc)? Does the Commission understand that, in English at least, this is a linguistic absurdity? (We could perhaps call it an ‘antimoron’ if that is the opposite of an oxymoron.) What is the status of such ‘non-papers’ in law, especially if cited in court?And the answer is err... revealing,
Answer given by Mr Barroso on behalf of the Commission
Within the Commission, there is no specific rule governing the use of the term ‘non-paper’ in the title of a document. In practice, a document named in this way is generally a technical contribution submitted as a basis for discussion within the institutions of the Union, in international organisations or in negotiations with third countries. It is not an official document of the institution. The use of ‘non-papers’ is a common practice in other institutions and states. Such documents have no legal value.So a non-paper provides plausible deniability.