Dear Madam, Sir

Under the right of access to documents in the EU treaties, as developed in Regulation 1049/2001, I am requesting documents which contain the following information:

The documents related to the trilogue negotiations on the Proposal for a REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL amending Regulation (EC) No 715/2007 on type approval of motor vehicles with respect to emissions from light passenger and commercial vehicles (Euro 5 and Euro 6) and on access to vehicle repair and maintenance information

These should include at least:
ST 12384 2020 INIT (30-10-2020)
ST 12384 2020 REV 1 (03-11-2020)

Sincerely,
Peter Teffer

postal address:
Peter Teffer
Ekko Voorkamer
Bemuurde Weerd WZ 3
3513 BH Utrecht
The Netherlands

Postmaster Consilium, Rat der Europäischen Union

Your message has been received by the Transparency and Access to Documents Unit of the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union. All requests for access to documents are treated on the basis of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 of 30 May 2001 regarding public access to
European Parliament, Council and Commission documents. The General Secretariat will reply to your request within 15 working days upon registration of your request. Requests received before 5 PM on a working day are registered on the same day. Requests received after 5 PM are registered on the first following working day.

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L'unité "Transparence et accès aux documents" du Secrétariat général du Conseil de l'Union européenne a bien reçu votre message. Toutes les demandes d'accès à des documents sont traitées conformément au règlement (CE) n° 1049/2001 du 30 mai 2001 relatif à l'accès du public aux documents du Parlement européen, du Conseil et de la Commission. Le Secrétariat général répondra à votre demande dans un délai de 15 jours ouvrables à compter de l'enregistrement de celle-ci. Les demandes reçues les jours ouvrables avant 17 heures sont enregistrées le jour même. Les demandes reçues après 17 heures sont enregistrées le premier jour ouvrable suivant.

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Ihre Nachricht ist bei der Dienststelle "Transparenz und Zugang zu Dokumenten" des General-sekretariats des Rates der Europäischen Union eingegangen. Alle Anträge auf Zugang zu Dokumenten werden gemäß der Verordnung (EG) Nr. 1049/2001 vom 30. Mai 2001 über den Zugang der Öffentlichkeit zu Dokumenten des Europäischen Parlaments, des Rates und der Kommission bearbeitet. Das Generalsekretariat wird Ihnen binnen fünfzehn Arbeitstagen nach Registrierung Ihres Antrags eine Antwort übermitteln. Anträge, die an einem Arbeitstag vor 17.00 Uhr eingehen, werden noch am selben Tages registriert. Nach 17.00 Uhr eingehende Anträge werden am erstfolgenden Arbeitstag registriert.

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TRANSPARENCY Access to documents (COMM), Rat der Europäischen Union

2 Attachments

Please find attached a letter from the General Secretariat of the Council
concerning your request for access to documents.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

 

Transparency

 

[1]cid:image001.jpg@01D59F80.749EEBA0

 

General Secretariat of the Council

Directorate-General Communication and Information - COMM
Directorate Information and Outreach
Information Services Unit / Transparency

Rue de la Loi/Wetstraat, 175 - B-1048 Bruxelles/Brussel - Belgique/België

[2]www.consilium.europa.eu  |  [3][email address]

 

Disclaimer: The views expressed are solely those of the writer and may not
be regarded as stating an official position of the Council of the EU

Clause de non-responsabilité: Les avis exprimés n'engagent que leur auteur
et ne peuvent être considérés comme une position officielle du Conseil de
l'UE

 

References

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2. http://www.consilium.europa.eu/
3. mailto:[email address]

TRANSPARENCY Access to documents (COMM), Rat der Europäischen Union

2 Attachments

Please find attached a letter from the General Secretariat of the Council
concerning your request for access to documents.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

 

Transparency

 

[1]cid:image001.jpg@01D59F80.749EEBA0

 

General Secretariat of the Council

Directorate-General Communication and Information - COMM
Directorate Information and Outreach
Information Services Unit / Transparency

Rue de la Loi/Wetstraat, 175 - B-1048 Bruxelles/Brussel - Belgique/België

[2]www.consilium.europa.eu  |  [3][email address]

 

Disclaimer: The views expressed are solely those of the writer and may not
be regarded as stating an official position of the Council of the EU

Clause de non-responsabilité: Les avis exprimés n'engagent que leur auteur
et ne peuvent être considérés comme une position officielle du Conseil de
l'UE

 

References

Visible links
2. http://www.consilium.europa.eu/
3. mailto:[email address]

Dear Madam, Sir,

Please pass this on to the person who reviews confirmatory applications. I am filing the following confirmatory application with regards to my access to documents request related to the trilogue negotiations on the Proposal for a REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL amending Regulation (EC) No 715/2007 on type approval of motor vehicles with respect to emissions from light passenger and commercial vehicles (Euro 5 and Euro 6) and on access to vehicle repair and maintenance information.

I filed this request on 23 November 2020. It was registered as Ref. 20/2175.

The General Secretariat has fully refused access to the documents. The reason for refusal is that negotiations with the European Parliament on this file "have been difficult" and that disclosure "would affect the negotiating process and diminish the chances of reaching an agreement with the European Parliament". Therefore, the General Secretariat concludes that publication of the documents would undermine the decision making-process.

I'm surprised and frustrated to see this outdated argument being presented in January 2021, almost three years after the Court of Justice of the EU ruled in case T‑540/15, known as the case De Capitani v European Parliament.

As the Court said in March 2018, trilogue documents "are related to legislative procedures and cannot, in principle, be treated differently from other legislative documents". The Court concluded that the trilogue tables form part of the legislative process.

The Court explicitly said that "as regards the assertion that access, during a trilogue, to the fourth column of the documents at issue would increase public pressure on the rapporteur, shadow rapporteurs and political groups, that, in a system based on the principle of democratic legitimacy, co-legislators must be held accountable for their actions to the public. If citizens are to be able to exercise their democratic rights they must be in a position to follow in detail the decision-making process within the institutions taking part in the legislative procedures and to have access to all relevant information (judgment of 22 March 2011, Access Info Europe v Council, T‑233/09, EU:T:2011:105, paragraph 69). Furthermore, Article 10(3) TEU states that every citizen is to have the right to participate in the democratic life of the Union and that decisions are to be taken as openly and as closely as possible to the citizen. Thus, the expression of public opinion in relation to a particular provisional legislative proposal or agreement agreed in the course of a trilogue and reflected in the fourth column of a trilogue table forms an integral part of the exercise of EU citizens’ democratic rights, particularly since, as noted in paragraph 72 above, such agreements are generally subsequently adopted without substantial amendment by the co-legislators."

Summarising: trilogue documents are part of the legislative process, and citizens have a right to access them. The fact that talks are ongoing or "difficult" is irrelevant.

I was under the impression that the Council had embraced this position, and had decided to take the Court's ruling into consideration in relation to an access to trilogue documents.

After all, the Council has previously released 4-column tables related to ongoing trilogues. For example, on 14 December 2018 (Ref. 18/2101-em/nb) the Council released trilogue documents related to the Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Councilon copyright in the Digital Single Market. A political agreement between Council and Parliament was not yet reached at the time, this was only announced on 13 February 2019.

If trilogue documents on that copyright file can be released without undermining the decision-making process, so can the documents I have requested on 23 November 2020.

Finally, please note that my request was to receive all documents related to the trilogue negotiations. This should include, as mentioned in my original request, "at least" ST 12384 2020 INIT and ST 12384 2020 REV 1, but also other documents I had not identified by number.

Let me conclude by including one more quote from the Court of Justice. The Court said "it is precisely openness in the legislative process that contributes to conferring greater legitimacy on the institutions in the eyes of EU citizens and increasing their confidence in them by allowing divergences between various points of view to be openly debated. It is in fact rather a lack of information and debate which is capable of giving rise to doubts in the minds of citizens, not only as regards the lawfulness of an isolated act, but also as regards the legitimacy of the decision-making process as a whole".

I cannot speak for the confidence of all EU citizens, but if the Council wants to increase *my* confidence - in the EU in general, and in the Council in particular - it should swiftly revert the General Secretariat's decision and provide wide access to the requested documents. It would also help if my confirmatory application is handled within the deadline of 15 working days, instead of extending the deadline with no good reason other than apparent stalling tactics ("conducting consultations" is not a valid reason that could constitute an "exceptional case" as defined in articles 7.3 and 8.3).

Sincerely,
Peter Teffer

Postmaster Consilium, Rat der Europäischen Union

Your message has been received by the Transparency and Access to Documents Unit of the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union. All requests for access to documents are treated on the basis of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 of 30 May 2001 regarding public access to
European Parliament, Council and Commission documents. The General Secretariat will reply to your request within 15 working days upon registration of your request. Requests received before 5 PM on a working day are registered on the same day. Requests received after 5 PM are registered on the first following working day.

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L'unité "Transparence et accès aux documents" du Secrétariat général du Conseil de l'Union européenne a bien reçu votre message. Toutes les demandes d'accès à des documents sont traitées conformément au règlement (CE) n° 1049/2001 du 30 mai 2001 relatif à l'accès du public aux documents du Parlement européen, du Conseil et de la Commission. Le Secrétariat général répondra à votre demande dans un délai de 15 jours ouvrables à compter de l'enregistrement de celle-ci. Les demandes reçues les jours ouvrables avant 17 heures sont enregistrées le jour même. Les demandes reçues après 17 heures sont enregistrées le premier jour ouvrable suivant.

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Ihre Nachricht ist bei der Dienststelle "Transparenz und Zugang zu Dokumenten" des General-sekretariats des Rates der Europäischen Union eingegangen. Alle Anträge auf Zugang zu Dokumenten werden gemäß der Verordnung (EG) Nr. 1049/2001 vom 30. Mai 2001 über den Zugang der Öffentlichkeit zu Dokumenten des Europäischen Parlaments, des Rates und der Kommission bearbeitet. Das Generalsekretariat wird Ihnen binnen fünfzehn Arbeitstagen nach Registrierung Ihres Antrags eine Antwort übermitteln. Anträge, die an einem Arbeitstag vor 17.00 Uhr eingehen, werden noch am selben Tages registriert. Nach 17.00 Uhr eingehende Anträge werden am erstfolgenden Arbeitstag registriert.

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TRANSPARENCY Access to documents (COMM), Rat der Europäischen Union

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Teffer,

 

Please find attached a letter from the General Secretariat of the Council
extending the time limit for the Council to reply to your confirmatory
application for public access under Regulation 1049/2001.

Yours sincerely,

 

Transparency

 

[1]cid:image001.jpg@01D59F80.749EEBA0

 

General Secretariat of the Council

Directorate-General Communication and Information - COMM
Directorate Information and Outreach
Information Services Unit / Transparency

Rue de la Loi/Wetstraat, 175 - B-1048 Bruxelles/Brussel - Belgique/België

[2]www.consilium.europa.eu  |  [3][email address]

 

Disclaimer: The views expressed are solely those of the writer and may not
be regarded as stating an official position of the Council of the EU

Clause de non-responsabilité: Les avis exprimés n'engagent que leur auteur
et ne peuvent être considérés comme une position officielle du Conseil de
l'UE

 

References

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Dear Mr Florindo,

I refer to my confirmatory application ref. 01/c/01/2021 -PRO-ns, and your letter dated 27 January 2021.

You wrote that the time limit to reply to my application has been extended by 15 working days because a reply within the deadline does not fit the timetable for meetings of the Council, claiming that this is “in accordance with Article 8(2) of the Regulation”.

Article 8(2) Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 reads: “In exceptional cases, for example in the event of an application relating to a very long document or to a very large number of documents, the time limit provided for in paragraph 1 may be extended by 15 working days, provided that the applicant is notified in advance and that detailed reasons are given.”

How is the fact that “various Council bodies involved in the examination of [my] application” are meeting according to a certain timetable in accordance with Article 8(2) of the Regulation?

Article 8(2) can only be used in “exceptional cases”. How is this an exceptional case?

Just because the deadlines laid down in the Regulation are incompatible with the scheduling of Council meetings, does not give the Council the right to dismiss these deadlines.

Moreover, do not forget that the Regulation is a Regulation approved by the Council. If the deadlines of the Regulation were not feasible to fit in the Council's meeting schedule, the Council should not have agreed. But the Council has agreed, so the mere fact that the deadlines are inconvenient to your meetings timetable is irrelevant.

I expect a reply to my confirmatory application within the original 15 working days, so by today.

Sincerely,
Peter Teffer

Postmaster Consilium, Rat der Europäischen Union

Your message has been received by the Transparency and Access to Documents Unit of the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union. All requests for access to documents are treated on the basis of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 of 30 May 2001 regarding public access to
European Parliament, Council and Commission documents. The General Secretariat will reply to your request within 15 working days upon registration of your request. Requests received before 5 PM on a working day are registered on the same day. Requests received after 5 PM are registered on the first following working day.

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L'unité "Transparence et accès aux documents" du Secrétariat général du Conseil de l'Union européenne a bien reçu votre message. Toutes les demandes d'accès à des documents sont traitées conformément au règlement (CE) n° 1049/2001 du 30 mai 2001 relatif à l'accès du public aux documents du Parlement européen, du Conseil et de la Commission. Le Secrétariat général répondra à votre demande dans un délai de 15 jours ouvrables à compter de l'enregistrement de celle-ci. Les demandes reçues les jours ouvrables avant 17 heures sont enregistrées le jour même. Les demandes reçues après 17 heures sont enregistrées le premier jour ouvrable suivant.

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Ihre Nachricht ist bei der Dienststelle "Transparenz und Zugang zu Dokumenten" des General-sekretariats des Rates der Europäischen Union eingegangen. Alle Anträge auf Zugang zu Dokumenten werden gemäß der Verordnung (EG) Nr. 1049/2001 vom 30. Mai 2001 über den Zugang der Öffentlichkeit zu Dokumenten des Europäischen Parlaments, des Rates und der Kommission bearbeitet. Das Generalsekretariat wird Ihnen binnen fünfzehn Arbeitstagen nach Registrierung Ihres Antrags eine Antwort übermitteln. Anträge, die an einem Arbeitstag vor 17.00 Uhr eingehen, werden noch am selben Tages registriert. Nach 17.00 Uhr eingehende Anträge werden am erstfolgenden Arbeitstag registriert.

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TRANSPARENCY Access to documents (COMM), Rat der Europäischen Union

2 Attachments

Please find attached a letter from the General Secretariat of the Council
concerning the extension of your confirmatory application N° 01/c/01/21.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

 

Transparency

 

[1]cid:image001.jpg@01D59F80.749EEBA0

 

General Secretariat of the Council

Directorate-General Communication and Information - COMM
Directorate Information and Outreach
Information Services Unit / Transparency

Rue de la Loi/Wetstraat, 175 - B-1048 Bruxelles/Brussel - Belgique/België

[2]www.consilium.europa.eu  |  [3][email address]

 

Disclaimer: The views expressed are solely those of the writer and may not
be regarded as stating an official position of the Council of the EU

Clause de non-responsabilité: Les avis exprimés n'engagent que leur auteur
et ne peuvent être considérés comme une position officielle du Conseil de
l'UE

 

References

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TRANSPARENCY Access to documents (COMM), Rat der Europäischen Union

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Teffer,

 

Please find attached a letter from the General Secretariat of the Council
in reply to your confirmatory application for public access under
Regulation 1049/2001.

 

Owing to the publicly known exceptional circumstances the Council (and all
the EU Institutions) is currently facing, the present reply can only be
sent via email.

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

 

Transparency

 

 

General Secretariat of the Council

Directorate-General Communication and Information - COMM
Directorate Information and Outreach
Information Services Unit / Transparency

Rue de la Loi/Wetstraat, 175 - B-1048 Bruxelles/Brussel - Belgique/België

[1]www.consilium.europa.eu  |  [2][email address]

 

Disclaimer: The views expressed are solely those of the writer and may not
be regarded as stating an official position of the Council of the EU

Clause de non-responsabilité: Les avis exprimés n'engagent que leur auteur
et ne peuvent être considérés comme une position officielle du Conseil de
l'UE

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.consilium.europa.eu/
2. mailto:[email address]

TRANSPARENCY Access to documents (COMM), Rat der Europäischen Union

2 Attachments

Please find attached a letter from the General Secretariat of the Council
concerning your request for access to documents.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

 

Transparency

 

[1]cid:image001.jpg@01D59F80.749EEBA0

 

General Secretariat of the Council

Directorate-General Communication and Information - COMM
Directorate Information and Outreach
Information Services Unit / Transparency

Rue de la Loi/Wetstraat, 175 - B-1048 Bruxelles/Brussel - Belgique/België

[2]www.consilium.europa.eu  |  [3][email address]

 

Disclaimer: The views expressed are solely those of the writer and may not
be regarded as stating an official position of the Council of the EU

Clause de non-responsabilité: Les avis exprimés n'engagent que leur auteur
et ne peuvent être considérés comme une position officielle du Conseil de
l'UE

 

References

Visible links
2. http://www.consilium.europa.eu/
3. mailto:[email address]