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Meetings between DG Connect and lobbyists

Nicola Freeman made this Freedom of Information request to Communications Networks, Content and Technology

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From: Nicola Freeman

Dear Sir/Madam,

under the right of access to documents in the EU treaties, as developed in Regulation 1049/2001, we are requesting the following documents:

- a list of meetings of DG Connect officials/representatives (excluding the European Commissioner, his Cabinet and the Director-General) and interest representatives (including companies, consultancies and law firms, trade/business/professional associations, think tanks and NGOs) between December 1st 2014 and today.

We would like the list to include the following information:
the date of the meeting,
which companies/organisations were present at the meeting,
names of the lobbyist(s) that were present,
the sector they represented (business, NGOs, academia, think tanks),
the name and job title of the European Commission officials that were present (e.g. head of unit, etc.),
the issues discussed, if possible in sufficient detail so as to identify the dossiers or policy initiatives covered.

We are requesting a list in order to avoid submitting a much broader request for minutes and other reports of meetings with interest representatives, which could require a large amount of effort from the Commission's side. In our view there is clearly a high public interest in transparency over the Commission's interactions with outside interest groups.

Thank you in advance.

Yours sincerely,

Nicola Freeman, on behalf of the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU)
Helen Darbishire (Access Info Europe)

ALTER-EU, Mundo B, Rue d'Edimbourg 26, B-1050 Brussels

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Communications Networks, Content and Technology

Dear Madam,

Thank you for your e-mail dated 16/07/2015. We hereby acknowledge receipt of your application for access to documents, which was registered on 16/07/2015 under reference number GestDem 2015/3785.

In accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents, your application will be handled within 15 working days. The time limit will expire on 07/08/2015.

In case this time limit needs to be extended, you will be informed in due course.

Yours faithfully,

Carlos Remis
SG.B.4
Transparence
Berl. 05/332

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Communications Networks, Content and Technology


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Attachment GesDem 2015 3785 initial response ARES 3228075.pdf
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Dear Ms Freeman,
Please find attached a letter from my Head of Unit regarding your recent
application for access to documents.
Yours sincerely
 
 
Edward BRAY

 
European Commission
Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology
Unit D4: Stakeholders
BU25 05/73
B-1049 Brussels/Belgium
 
 
 
 

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From: Nicola Freeman

Dear Communications Networks, Content and Technology,

Thank you for your message on 31 July 2015.

In order to facilitate access, I will reduce the scope of my request to only include meetings with Commission officials employed at grades AD 9 - AD 16 (including Deputy Directors-General, Principal Advisers, Directors, Heads of Unit and Deputy Heads of Unit, excluding translators and interpreters).

I would still like to have a list of all the meetings since 1 December 2014, with such officials regardless of the topic area or legislative file covered, that contains the following information: which companies/organisations were present at the meeting, names of the lobbyist(s) that were present, the sector they represented (business, NGOs, academia, think tanks), the name and job title of the European Commission officials that were present (e.g. head of unit, etc.), the issues discussed, if possible in sufficient detail so as to identify the dossiers or policy initiatives covered.

The reason I ask this is because the European Commission already publishes lists including all meetings regardless of the topic area or legislative file for certain public officials, according to "Commission Decision C(2014) 9048 on the publication of information on meetings held between Directors-General of the Commission and organisations or self-employed individuals". I am asking in the spirit of this Decision for a list of meetings with officials grade AD 9 - AD 16.

Yours faithfully,

Nicola Freeman

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Communications Networks, Content and Technology


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Dear Ms Freeman,
Please find attached a letter from my Head of Unit.
A copy has also been sent to you by post.
Yours sincerely
 
 
 
Edward BRAY

 
European Commission
Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology
Unit D4: Stakeholders
 
 
 

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From: Nicola Freeman

Dear Communications Networks, Content and Technology,

This is a confirmatory application to challenge the response to my request (GestDem 2015/3785), on a list of meetings since 1 December 2014 between organisations/self-employed individuals and DG CNECT officials employed at grades AD 9 - AD 16 (including Deputy Directors-General, Principal Advisers, Directors, Heads of Unit and Deputy Heads of Unit, excluding translators and interpreters).

I would like to appeal your decision that DG CNECT does not hold a document or documents containing this information.

Public access to the document(s) requested should be made possible following the provisions within the EU Treaties and particularly Article 15 of TFEU stating that “EU institutions, bodies, offices and agencies shall conduct their work as openly as possible”, in order to promote good governance and ensure participation of civil society.

This is further developed by Regulation 1049/2001 in order to “bring about greater openness in the work of the institutions” as well as “promote good administrative practice on access to documents.”

To the extent therefore, that a narrow interpretation of the request does not uncover a specific document containing the information requested, the institution should apply a wider interpretation in order to find out if the information is available through disclosure of multiple documents, in order to satisfy its obligations to conduct its work as openly as possible. This appears not to have been done by DG CNECT.

It is noted also as part of this confirmatory application, that a request for the same information was sent to DG FISMA, which has disclosed a document containing a list of meetings (with in fact, a wider scope than that requested to DG CNECT), available here:
http://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/meeti...
It therefore appears unlikely that DG CNECT would not be able to process the same request and provide access to a document or documents containing the information requested, in particular as the request has a narrower scope than the one sent to DG FISMA.

DG CNECT should reverse its decision, and the Directorate General should look into providing the information requested, if not contained in one document, then by whatever means possible in order to ensure the widest possible access.

I look forward to your decision following this confirmatory application.

Nicola Freeman

Yours faithfully,

Nicola Freeman

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Communications Networks, Content and Technology



Thank you for your message. I will be out of the office until 28
September and will not have access to my emails. For urgent enquiries
please contact CNECT-D4 

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Sent a follow up to Communications Networks, Content and Technology again.

Communications Networks, Content and Technology


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Dear Ms. Freeman,

 

You have recently sent us a confirmatory application with regard to our
reply to your access to document request Gestdem 2015/3785. As it is not
DG CONNECT, but the Tranparency Unit of the Secretariat-general of the EC
is responsible for the handling of such applications I have forwarded you
application to them. You may inquire about the state of play of your
confirmatory application at the e-mail address: [1][email address]

 

Yours faithfully

 

 

Sándor Szalai
Policy Officer
 
[2]cid:image001.png@01CF12DD.F1782910
European Commission

Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology

Unit D4: Stakeholders
BU25 05/85
B-1049 Brussels/Belgium
+32 2 299 76 71
[3][email address]

 

References

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3. mailto:[email address]

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Attachment Gesdem 2015 3785 proof of receipt.pdf
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Dear Ms Freeman,

 

Thank you for your email.

 

Please note that the initial reply was sent to you by registered post on
31 August 2015 by DG CNECT. According to the enclosed receipt, you
confirmed by signature that you received this letter on 02 September
2015.  Your confirmatory application lodged on 24 September 2015 was
submitted outside the legal deadline set out by the Regulation 1049/2001.
Therefore, your review application on Gestdem 2015/3785 will not been
handled as it is inadmissible.

 

Best regards,

 

 

ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS TEAM

[1]ec logo
European Commission
Secretariat General
Unit SG.B4 – Transparency

 

 

 

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