Members of the European Parliament are not obliged to disclose how they spend their allowances, the General Court of the European Union ruled on Tuesday.
The case began in 2015 when journalists demanded documents detailing lawmakers’ expenses.
The case was brought before the General Court when parliament refused to disclose the information.
According to the parliament’s website, the general expenditures allowance currently comes to a monthly sum of 4,416 Euros (5,211 dollars).
The court ruled that even though lawmakers are in public service, such a disclosure could reveal personal data, thereby potentially contravening EU privacy law.
“One solution could be to redact personal data from public disclosure, but this would amount to an excessive administrative burden,’’ the judges wrote.
According to the European Court of Justice, the case can still be appealed.
Critics have long expressed concern over how EU taxpayers’ money is spent.
In March, the parliament’s budget committee reported that far-right lawmakers spent over 400,000 Euros on champagne, lavish meals and generous gifts in 2016.