contact between DG JUST and Amici dei Bambini

Interne Prüfung durch Justiz und Verbraucher wird erwartet.

Dear Justice (JUST),

Under the right of access to documents in the EU treaties, as developed in Regulation 1049/2001, I am requesting all documents, including notes of minutes, emails and other correspondence, relating to contacts between staff of DG JUST and staff of Amici dei Bambini, between January 2007 and December 2009.

Yours faithfully,

Arun Dohle

Justiz und Verbraucher

2 Attachments

 

 

Registration number :
Ares(2013)386233

 

 

Dear Mr Dolhe,

 

 

Please find attached a letter on the above mentioned subject signed by our
Head of Unit, Ms Salla Saastamoinen.

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

[1]cid:image001.gif@01CDCCBE.2776C4C0

 

European Commission

Directorate-General for Justice

Civil justice policy Unit

 

 

References

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Dear Justice (JUST),

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Justice (JUST)'s handling of my FOI request 'contact between DG JUST and Amici dei Bambini'.

The reply, which was extended until 22 April, is by now long overdue. I am especially interested in correspondence between JUST.A.1 and Amici dei Bambini.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:
http://www.asktheeu.org/request/contact_...

Yours faithfully,

Arun Dohle

Dear Justice (JUST),

I repeat my request, for which your answer is by now long overdue.

Cooperation of DG JUST with Amici dei Bambini during and after Mr. Franco Frattini's time as Vice President of the European Commission responsible for Justice, was last week confirmed:

http://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/409/r...

Yours faithfully,

Arun Dohle

Justiz und Verbraucher

10 Attachments

Dear Mr Dohle,

Please find our replies attached.

Yours sincerely,
European Commission
Directorate-General for Justice
Civil justice policy Unit

Zitate anzeigen

Dear Justice (JUST),

There seems to be some confusion.

The documents you now transmitted as reply to my request about ‘contact between DG JUST and Amici dei Bambini’ are documents which relate to another ‘Ask the EU’ request.

You transmitted these same document with your reply of 14 June 2013 to my question related to the conference organised by the European Commission and the Council of Europe, “Challenges in Adoption Procedures, in Europe: ensuring the best interests of the child”.

http://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/chall...

One of these documents confirmed that indeed there is/has been contact between DG JUST and Amici dei Bambini:

http://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/409/r...

In this email Head of Unit Salla Saastamoinen informs Director Alain Brun that Amici dei Bambini was included in the list of 10 NGO’s whose travel and hotel costs would be paid by the European Commission and that Amici dei Bambini was put on that list by the European Commission because of cooperation in time of ex-VP Frattini.

My original request dates from 28 February 2013, and is now some 3 months overdue. I handed in a request for internal review on 3 May 2013.

Hereby I once more request full transparency on the contacts/cooperation between DG JUST and Amici dei Bambini.

Yours faithfully,

Arun Dohle

Justiz und Verbraucher

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Dohle,
We are very surprised by the content and tone of your answer, having already answered to your request 2 times and send to you all the documents available to DG JUST/JLS related to the correspondence with Amici dei Bambini.
We attach for your convenience our previous replies of 21 March and 2 May 2013.

Yours sincerely,

European Commission
Directorate-General for Justice
Civil justice policy Unit

Zitate anzeigen

Dear Justice (JUST),

I refer to my previous reply. The documents you transmitted on 24 June 2013 had nothing to do with my request to have access to documents related to contacts with Amici dei Bambini.

The letter of 2 May 2013, which you transmitted on 25 June 2013, was not transmitted before.

That letter of 2 May 2013 lists a number of documents that could be (partially) disclosed. However, these documents were not attached.

The letter states that Amici dei Bambini sent a letter to the Commission on 17 April 2013, in which they objected to the disclosure of the documents they sent to the Commission and motivated their position 'with the need to previously consult its lawyers on the matter'. I would like to know what the outcome of that consultation was.

Furthermore, the letter refers only to correspondence about two projects. I do believe that there must be other correspondence, as the article published in Jurnalul National of 20 October 2009 mentions that the Civil Justice Unit works closely with Amici dei Bambini. That article "Romanian Orphans, ready for export to the EU" is available at this link: http://poundpuplegacy.org/node/40194

Yours faithfully,

Arun Dohle

Justiz und Verbraucher

12 Attachments

Dear Mr Dohle,

In reply to your e-mail of 28 June concerning your request to access to
correspondence with Amici dei Bambini, we are sending again the e-mail
with the Commission's documents mentioned in our reply of 2 May 2013.
Probably the accompanying letter of 2 May 2013 (also attached here for
clarity) was not included and we are sorry for that.

Concerning the documents originated by Amici dei Bambini, which are listed
in the same letter, we have not yet received their agreement to disclose
them.  We consider this an implicit refusal. However, as said in the same
letter, you can write to the Secretariat General of the Commission who
will take its final decision on the issue.

You may be already aware of the fact that Amici dei Bambini has been
co-financed several times by the Commission for projects relating to child
care. However, the only projects co-financed by DG JUST/JLS Programmes are
those indicated in the letter of 2 May 2013. There is no other activity
carried out by DG JUST with Amici dei Bambini. Amici dei Bambini
participated in the conference held in Strasbourg on 30 November-1
December 2009  to which you were also present.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

European Commission

Directorate-General for Justice

Civil Justice Policy Unit

 

 

Arun Dohle hat eine Nachricht hinterlassen ()

This I received related to another ASK the EU request:

We would like also to draw your attention to the fact that the wording
"cooperation" used in the e-mail of 17 November 2009 by Ms Saastamoinen
does not imply any joint initiative of the Commission with the
above-mentioned associations, but simply the circumstance that they may
have contacted the Cabinet or the Directorate -General in order to inform
about their activities/ask information/ask for Commission's action.

http://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/corre...

Arun Dohle hat eine Nachricht hinterlassen ()

From: Arun Dohle [mailto:arun.dohle@gmx.de]
Sent: Sonntag, 21. Juli 2013 18:00
To: 'sg-acc-doc@ec.europa.eu'
Subject: GESTDEM 2013/1160

To: Secretary General
Subject: GESTDEM 2013/1160
Hereby I ask the European Commission to reconsider its position that it cannot give access to correspondence received from Amici dei Bambini.

I refer to the letter addressed to me by Ms. Francoise Le Bail, dated 2 May 2013, but which I received only at 1 July 2013 via the website “Ask the EU’. According to this letter, Amici dei Bambini informed the European Commission on 17 April 2013 that they objected to disclosure, and motivated this position with the need to consult its lawyers about this.

On 1 July 2013 the Civil Justice Policy Unit informed me that they had not yet received Amici dei Bambini’s agreement to disclose this correspondence and that they consider this an implicit refusal.
I consider it important to have full disclosure of any correspondence between Amici dei Bambini and the European Commission for the following reasons:

The Italian adoption agency Amici dei Bambini is part of an informal network that advocates for the re-opening of Romanian intercountry adoption. In doing so, they use incorrect exaggerated information about the Romanian situation. They have influenced some Italian Members of the European Parliament and were, for example, given preferential treatment by the Italian chair of the EP Petition Committee.

Amici dei Bambini also has a connection to DG JUST, as they cooperated in time of former Vice-President Frattini – and for example got preferential treatment from DG JUST by being put on a list of special invites for an adoption conference organised by the Council of Europe and the European Commission.
http://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/409/r...

However, later the Civil Justice Unit downplayed that cooperation: “… the wording "cooperation" used in the e-mail of 17 November 2009 by Ms Saastamoinen does not imply any joint initiative of the Commission with the above-mentioned associations, but simply the circumstance that they may have contacted the Cabinet or the Directorate-General in order to inform about their activities/ask information/ask for Commission's action.”
http://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/corre...

I have handed in several requests for access to documents, and have the feeling that not all correspondence has been provided. For example, the mail below, was not mentioned or given by DG JUST.

Considering these circumstances, I am of the opinion that correspondence from Amici dei Bambini to the European Commission should be made public, in view of transparency and accountability

Sincerely,
Arun Dohle

From: <Patrizia.DE-LUCA@ec.europa.eu>
Date: Mon, 19 Oct 2009 11:50:11 +0200
To: <
Subject: RE: from journalist XXX Deep appreciation for the meeting we had!

Dear XXX,

please find here the study of the EP. The Commission's one will be published after the conference. I will let you know.

In meantime, may be there are good news from Romania: Amici dei Bambini has forwarded this message to me:

Inter-country adoptions might be resumed
published in issue 4539 page 1 at 2009-10-16
The Romanian Adoptions Office (ORA) has sent the Government a memorandum on resuming international adoptions only in cases where domestic adoption repeatedly fails, reads the ORA paper cited by Mediafax. The document shows that, during the four years if implementation of the Adoption Act, it has become evident that there are still a few categories of ‘children who are difficult to give for adoption’. ‘Those would be children older than six years of age, children belonging to certain ethnic minorities, children with severe health conditions or those who are more than two siblings and for whom Romanian adoptive families are hard to find. All such children stay in special state care until the age of 18’, reads the document.
by Nine oClock

See you in Strasbourg,

Patrizia De Luca
Team leader/Chef d'équipe
Commission européenne
DG JLS Justice, Liberté et Sécurité
Unité E.2 - Justice civile
MO 59 2/002
Tél.: +32-2-29 60 829

Arun Dohle hat eine Nachricht hinterlassen ()

New deadline is 28/08/2013

After initially of the opinion that the confirmatory appeal was handed in too late, I was able to proof the contrary.

Von: <Sg-Acc-Doc@ec.europa.eu>
Datum: 06.08.2013 13:41
Betreff: Acknowledgement of receipt - Request under Regulation 1049-2001 for access to documents held by the European Commission - GESTDEM 2013-1160 - DOHLE
An: arun.dohle
Cc:

Dear Mr Dohle,

After a deep analysis of all the elements of your request GestDem 2013-1160 that is quite complex, I came to the conclusion that you are entitled and in time to introduce a confirmatory application about this request.

That is why I hereby acknowledge receipt of your confirmatory application for access to documents (ref.: Ares(2013)2834584 – gestdem 2013-1160).

In accordance with Regulation 1049/2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents, you will receive a response to your request within 15 working days (28/08/2013).
Yours sincerely,

Paul SIMON
European Commission - Secretariat General
Unit SG.B.5, Transparency

Arun Dohle hat eine Nachricht hinterlassen ()

New deadline: 28/8/2013

Arun Dohle hat eine Nachricht hinterlassen ()

These replies were sent to another request, but are related to 'Contact between DG Just and Amici dei Bambini'

Dear Secretariat General (SG),

Hereby I let you know that I agree that my name will be disclosed
to Senator Bradley.

In any case, all requests done via the website Ask the EU are
public.

Yours faithfully,

Arun Dohle

Link to this

Secretariat General (SG)

September 19, 2013

Dear Mr Dohle,

Thank you very much for your quick reply!

In fact, the third party concerned is the association "Amici dei Bambini".

Does your agreement still stand in that case?

Thank you again and best regards,

Martine Fouwels

show quoted sections

Link to this

From: Arun Dohle

September 19, 2013

Dear Secretariat General (SG),

Thank you for this clarification.

Your mail got attributed to the wrong request at the Ask the EU
website.

I agree to disclosure of my identity to Amici dei Bambini.

Best regards,

Arun Dohle

Arun Dohle hat eine Nachricht hinterlassen ()

A complaint was handed with the European Ombudsman on 12 September 2013, as I did not receive a reply to the confirmatory appeal.

Arun Dohle hat eine Nachricht hinterlassen ()

This was again connected to the wrong request, but relates to 'contact between DG JUST and Amici dei Bambini'

Secretariat General (SG)

September 20, 2013

Dear Mr Dohle,

Many thanks for your quick reply! I will advise the association accordingly.

Due to internal and external consultation needs, our reply to you has unfortunately been delayed somewhat, but we expect to be able to send you our final decision within the next two to four weeks, following a renewed consultation of Amici dei Bambini, and taking into account the need to obtain the approval of the Legal Service and subsequently our Head of Unit, Director, Deputy Secretary General and Secretary General.

Thank you again for your patience.

Kind regards,

Martine

Arun Dohle hat eine Nachricht hinterlassen ()

European Ombudsman Annual Report 2014:

Case 1743/2013/TN: Commission agrees to improve its handling of requests for public access to documents provided by a third party

The Commission had not responded, within the stipulated time-limit, to a request for public access to documents, some of which came from a third party. During the course of the inquiry, the Commission gave access to the requested documents.

The Ombudsman made a number of further remarks, suggesting improvements to the Commission's procedures. She suggested that, when an EU institution has to consult a third party in order to assess whether public access can be granted to a document, the institution should give the third party a deadline for its response. If the third party does not respond within the set deadline, the institution should proceed to deciding on the access request, bearing in mind that, in principle, all documents should be accessible to the public. A decision to refuse access to third-party documents cannot be based merely on the third party's undefined reservations regarding disclosure. If the third-party asks the institution who has requested access to the document in question, the third party's request for information should not be allowed to delay the institution's handling of the request for access to the document.

In its follow-up to the Ombudsman's further remarks, the Commission accepted the above suggestions.

http://www.ombudsman.europa.eu/cases/fol...