Dear European Political Strategy Centre,

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:

For the period between 26 April 2018 to date:

- a list of all lobby meetings held by this centre with Facebook or its intermediaries. The list should include: date, individuals attending and organisational affiliation, as well as the issues discussed;
- all minutes and other reports of these meetings;
- all correspondence, including attachements (i.e. any emails, correspondence or telephone call notes) between this centre (including the Director and the Cabinet) and Facebook or any intermediaries representing its interests; and
- all documents prepared for the purpose of the meeting and/or exchanged during the course of the meeting.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any doubts or question in regards to this confirmatory application.

Thank you in advance.

Yours faithfully,

Luisa Izuzquiza
Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO)
Rue d’Édimbourg 26
1050 Bruxelles

ve_sg.accessdoc (SG), European Political Strategy Centre

1 Attachment

Link: [1]File-List
Link: [2]Edit-Time-Data
Link: [3]themeData
Link: [4]colorSchemeMapping

[5]Ares(2019)1572279 - RE: access to documents request - Facebook
interactions - Gestdem 2019/1338

Sent by ve_sg.accessdoc (SG) <[email address]>. All responses have
to be sent to this email address.
Envoyé par ve_sg.accessdoc (SG) <[email address]>. Toutes les
réponses doivent être effectuées à cette adresse électronique.

Dear Madam,

 

Thank you for your e-mail dated 07/03/2019. We hereby acknowledge receipt
of your application for access to documents, which was registered on
08/03/2019 under reference number GestDem 2019/1338.

 

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 29/03/2019. In case this time limit needs to
be extended, you will be informed in due course.

 

You have lodged your application via the AsktheEU.org website. Please note
that this is a private third-party website which has no link with any
institution of the European Union. Therefore, the European Commission
cannot be held accountable for any technical issues or problems linked to
the use of this system.

 

Please note that the private third party running the AsktheEU.org website
is responsible and accountable for the processing of your personal data
via that website, and not the European Commission. For further information
on your rights, please refer to the third party’s privacy policy.

 

We understand that the third party running that website usually publishes
the content of applicants’ correspondence with the European Commission on
that website. This includes the personal data that you may have
communicated to the European Commission (e.g. your private postal
address).

 

Similarly, the third party publishes on that website any reply that the
Commission will send to the email address of the applicants generated by
the AsktheEU.org website.

 

If you do not wish your correspondence with the European Commission to be
published on the AsktheEU.org website, you can provide us with an
alternative, private e-mail address for further correspondence.

 

In that case, the European Commission will send all future electronic
correspondence addressed to you only to that private address.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS TEAM (GD)

 

[6]cid:image001.png@01D45409.F767C980

European Commission

Secretariat-General

SG C.1

[7][EPSC request email]

 

 

 

Zitate anzeigen

European Political Strategy Centre

6 Attachments

Dear Madams,

 

Please find attached a letter concerning your requests for access to
documents registered under Gestdem references 2019/1315, 2019/1319,
2019/1320, 2019/1322, 2019/1324, 2019/1331, 2019/1337, 2019/1338,
2019/1339, 2019/1344, 2019/1358, 2019/1359, 2019/1362, 2019/1363,
2019/1364, 2019/1365, 2019/1366, 2019/1367, 2019/1368, 2019/1369,
2019/1379, 2019/1380, 2019/1382, 2019/1384, 2019/1398, 2019/1399,
2019/1400, 2019/1412, 2019/1414, 2019/1417, 2019/1421, 2019/1422,
2019/1434, 2019/1462, 2019/1476, 2019/1478, 2019/1483, 2019/1484,
2019/1510, 2019/1513, 2019/1514, 2019/1516, 2019/1537, 2019/1540 and
2019/1805.

This letter will also be sent to you by delivery service.
Yours faithfully,

ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS TEAM (GD)

 

[1]cid:image001.png@01D45409.F767C980

European Commission

Secretariat-General

SG C.1

[2][EPSC request email]

 

 

References

Visible links
2. mailto:[EPSC request email]

European Political Strategy Centre

2 Attachments

Dear Ms. Izuzquiza,
 
Please find attached a note regarding the above-mentioned request.
 
Yours sincerely,
 
 
Aurélie Therace
 
European Political Strategy Centre (EPSC)
Unit Resources and Management
European Commission
BERL 11/108
+32 2 2964925
 
 
 
 

Dear European Political Strategy Centre,

Thank you for your e-mail and your proposal for a solution.

However, I’m afraid I am not in the position to accept any of the solutions proposed by the Commission, which I consider unfair in nature.

I would like to justify my position by responding to several aspects highlighted in your response letter.

First, I would like to state that my decision to file a series of separate requests to various Directorates-General was not a covert attempt to circumvent the rules set in Regulation 1049/2001, but a deliberate choice that responds to rather basic knowledge of how EU policy and decision making works.

As you have noted, all of my requests concern interactions (including documents exchanged and generated for the purpose of these interactions) between a number of DGs and one stakeholder: Facebook, in my case.

Filing these requests separately was a deliberate choice as:
- each DG holds meetings with stakeholders independently and at differentiated times. This could mean that some of the DGs I sent a request to might have held numerous encounters with the stakeholders I’m interested in, and some might have never encountered them.
- it is also safe to assume that each DG has access to their own set of documents, including those that would fall under the scope of my request.

Due to these two rather uncontroversial assertions, it would - and does - makes sense for me to file not “seemingly”, but effectively separate requests to each of the Commission DGs.

I would also assume that my two points, stated above, about differentiated approaches to stakeholder meetings among DGs also entail differentiated ways of handling my requests.

This means that it is not reasonable to expect each and every DG will need to undergo the same process - the 13 points listed by the Commission - in order to respond to my requests. Some DGs will identify more documents than others, some of these documents will be more sensitive than others, and some might not hold documents at all. At the same time, some DGs might have more staff dedicated to access to documents purposes than others, which would result in differentiated levels of effort time-wise and human resource-wise.

Second, I would like to argue that whether my and other requests were or were not filed as a result of a “coordinated action” is not incumbent in this case.

The case law cited by the Commission applies to one single actor - one requester - splitting various requests. As I have explained above, my own individual decision to split requests is entirely justified and reasonable.

In regards to possible “coordinated action” between me and other requesters, I would like to underline that it would not, in any case, fall under the scope of the cited General Court jurisprudence. It would, however, fall under the scope of Article 12 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, which grants EU civil society the right to assemble and associate in order to work together, in a coordinated manner, for instance, to advance a political and civil matter such as transparency of EU institutions.

I would also like to note that as a result of the Commission’s conviction that my requests and other requests are “coordinated”, the Commission has taken into account in its calculations documents that do not fall under the scope of my request.

If I filed requests regarding Facebook solely it is because I am interested in the interactions between EU institutions and this stakeholder. If I didn’t include other stakeholders, such as Google, Amazon or Microsoft it is because I am not interested in documents related to these other stakeholders.

In its proposed solutions, the Commission is adding to its calculation of the workload my own requests will require an additional workload that I never requested, and using this as an argument to impose further restrictions to my own requests. I find this treatment unfair, and completely out of line with the principle of good administration.

Third, I would like to remind the Commission that its handling of my requests is out of line with the Commission’s own - and other EU bodies’ - good practice when it comes to handling wide-scoped requests.

It is indeed common practice within Commission departments, such as its Legal Service, to accept solutions such as, instead of reducing the scope of the initial request, splitting the request into various individual requests to be processed separately and consecutively.

Examples of such solutions having been reached can be found here, in the case of the Commission’s Legal Service: https://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/docu... and here, in the case of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency: https://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/sirs

I believe such a solution would be much more reasonable and adequate than the ones proposed by the Commission, which all:
- treat my separate requests to separate DGs in a unified manner, which I do not consider in line with the principle of good administration as per my first set of arguments;
- treat my requests as a group including other people’s requests, which I do not consider in line with the principle of good administration as per my second set of arguments; and
- would not be consistent with the Commission’s own good practice which to date has indeed been in line with the principle of good administration, as per my third set of arguments.

Fourth, in regards to the Commission’s request that I “specify the objective” of my requests and I “specify the interest in the documents requested”, I would like to state that the content and the wording of my initial requests are self-explanatory: I am interested in knowing about the interactions between Commission branches and Facebook, for the sake of knowing about the interactions between Commission branches and Facebook, as I believe this matter is in the public interest.

Finally, I would like to point to the fact that the solutions proposed by the Commission are based on the meetings that have already been published in the Transparency Register. This would considerably limit the scope of my request, given that - as it is public knowledge - many stakeholder interactions take place with middle and low-level Commission officials who are not covered by the Transparency Register.

Therefore, and in light of the arguments stated above, I reiterate that I am not in the position to accept the solutions put forward by the Commission, as I consider them unfair in nature.

Instead, I believe that a fair solution - which I am willing to debate and reach - would require an agreement from the Commission on these two basis:

1. that my requests be processed individually by each of the DGs I initially filed the requests to, with which I would be willing to find individual fair solutions depending on the number of documents identified by each DG, and the workload that my request would require from each DG individually.

2. that my requests be treated separately from any other requests, as similar as they might be, filed previously or simultaneously. I am only interested in documents related to Facebook, and the way my requests are handled should reflect that limitation.

Would the European Commission - and its DGs - agree on these two basis, I would of course be willing to reduce and/or limit the scope of my request per individual DG, if the situation within a DG would require to do so.

On the other hand, I can already agree to limit the intermediaries I am interested in to law firms and/or consultants directly representing Facebook in meetings.

Thank you in advance.

All the best,

Luisa Izuzquiza
Corporate Europe Observatory

European Political Strategy Centre

Your message has been received by the Transparency Unit of the
Secretariat-General of the European Commission.
Requests for public access to documents are treated on the basis of
[1]Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 of 30 May 2001 regarding public access to
European Parliament, Council and Commission documents.
The Secretariat-General will reply to your request within 15 working days
upon registration of your request and will duly inform you of the
registration of the request (or of any additional information to be
provided in view of its registration and/or treatment).
 
 
L’unité «Transparence» du secrétariat général de la Commission européenne
a bien reçu votre message.
Les demandes d’accès du public aux documents sont traitées sur la base du
[2]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 la date d’enregistrement de votre demande, et vous
informera de cet enregistrement (ou vous indiquera toute information
supplémentaire à fournir en vue de l'enregistrement et/ou du traitement de
votre demande).
 
 
Ihre Nachricht ist beim Referat „Transparenz“ des Generalsekretariats der
Europäischen Kommission eingegangen.
Anträge auf Zugang zu Dokumenten werden auf der Grundlage der
[3]Verordnung (EG) Nr. 1049/2001 vom 30. Mai 2001 über den Zugang der
Öffentlichkeit zu Dokumenten des Europäischen Parlaments, des Rates und
der Kommission behandelt.
Das Generalsekretariat beantwortet Ihre Anfrage innerhalb von
15 Arbeitstagen nach deren Registrierung und wird Sie über die
Registrierung Ihres Antrags (oder die Notwendigkeit weiterer Informationen
im Hinblick auf dessen Registrierung und/oder Bearbeitung) unterrichten.
 
 

References

Visible links
1. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/...
2. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/...
3. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/...

ve_sg.accessdoc (SG), European Political Strategy Centre

1 Attachment

Link: [1]File-List
Link: [2]Edit-Time-Data
Link: [3]themeData
Link: [4]colorSchemeMapping

[5]Ares(2019)2387761 - RE: Your request to access Commission documents

Sent by ve_sg.accessdoc (SG) <[email address]>. All responses have
to be sent to this email address.
Envoyé par ve_sg.accessdoc (SG) <[email address]>. Toutes les
réponses doivent être effectuées à cette adresse électronique.

Dear Ms Izuzquiza,

 

Thank you very much for your reply of 1 April 2019 to the fair solution
proposal of the Secretariat General of 26 March 2019, your willingness to
reduce and/or limit the scope of your requests and reach an agreement on a
fair solution with the European Commission.

 

We take note that the scope of your requests is limited to Facebook and
that you agree to limit the “intermediaries” to law firms and/or
consultants directly representing Facebook in the meetings.

 

If needed, Directorates-General concerned by your separate requests might
contact you with the view of agreeing fair solutions with you depending on
the number of documents identified and the workload that your request
would require.

 

We trust in your constructive collaboration.

 

Best regards,

 

 

ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS TEAM (GD)

 

[6]cid:image001.png@01D45409.F767C980

European Commission

Secretariat-General

SG C.1

[7][EPSC request email]

 

 

 

Zitate anzeigen

Dear European Political Strategy Centre,

Thank you for your message and for your understanding. I look forward to the Commission DG's responses to my requests, as well as to the EPSC's own response.

Yours sincerely,

Luisa Izuzquiza
Corporate Europe Observatory

European Political Strategy Centre

Your message has been received by the Transparency Unit of the
Secretariat-General of the European Commission.
Requests for public access to documents are treated on the basis of
[1]Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 of 30 May 2001 regarding public access to
European Parliament, Council and Commission documents.
The Secretariat-General will reply to your request within 15 working days
upon registration of your request and will duly inform you of the
registration of the request (or of any additional information to be
provided in view of its registration and/or treatment).
 
 
L’unité «Transparence» du secrétariat général de la Commission européenne
a bien reçu votre message.
Les demandes d’accès du public aux documents sont traitées sur la base du
[2]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 la date d’enregistrement de votre demande, et vous
informera de cet enregistrement (ou vous indiquera toute information
supplémentaire à fournir en vue de l'enregistrement et/ou du traitement de
votre demande).
 
 
Ihre Nachricht ist beim Referat „Transparenz“ des Generalsekretariats der
Europäischen Kommission eingegangen.
Anträge auf Zugang zu Dokumenten werden auf der Grundlage der
[3]Verordnung (EG) Nr. 1049/2001 vom 30. Mai 2001 über den Zugang der
Öffentlichkeit zu Dokumenten des Europäischen Parlaments, des Rates und
der Kommission behandelt.
Das Generalsekretariat beantwortet Ihre Anfrage innerhalb von
15 Arbeitstagen nach deren Registrierung und wird Sie über die
Registrierung Ihres Antrags (oder die Notwendigkeit weiterer Informationen
im Hinblick auf dessen Registrierung und/oder Bearbeitung) unterrichten.
 
 

References

Visible links
1. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/...
2. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/...
3. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/...

European Political Strategy Centre

2 Attachments

Dear Ms. Izuzquiza,
 
Please find attached a reply regarding the above-mentioned request.
 
Best regards,
 
 
Aurélie Therace
 
European Political Strategy Centre (EPSC)
Unit Resources and Management
European Commission
BERL 11/108
+32 2 2964925
 
 
 
 

Luisa Izuzquiza

Dear European Political Strategy Centre,

Thank you! I hereby confirm receipt of your response.

Yours faithfully,

Luisa Izuzquiza
Corporate Europe Observatory

European Political Strategy Centre

Your message has been received by the Transparency Unit of the
Secretariat-General of the European Commission.
Requests for public access to documents are treated on the basis of
[1]Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 of 30 May 2001 regarding public access to
European Parliament, Council and Commission documents.
The Secretariat-General will reply to your request within 15 working days
upon registration of your request and will duly inform you of the
registration of the request (or of any additional information to be
provided in view of its registration and/or treatment).
 
 
L’unité «Transparence» du secrétariat général de la Commission européenne
a bien reçu votre message.
Les demandes d’accès du public aux documents sont traitées sur la base du
[2]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 la date d’enregistrement de votre demande, et vous
informera de cet enregistrement (ou vous indiquera toute information
supplémentaire à fournir en vue de l'enregistrement et/ou du traitement de
votre demande).
 
 
Ihre Nachricht ist beim Referat „Transparenz“ des Generalsekretariats der
Europäischen Kommission eingegangen.
Anträge auf Zugang zu Dokumenten werden auf der Grundlage der
[3]Verordnung (EG) Nr. 1049/2001 vom 30. Mai 2001 über den Zugang der
Öffentlichkeit zu Dokumenten des Europäischen Parlaments, des Rates und
der Kommission behandelt.
Das Generalsekretariat beantwortet Ihre Anfrage innerhalb von
15 Arbeitstagen nach deren Registrierung und wird Sie über die
Registrierung Ihres Antrags (oder die Notwendigkeit weiterer Informationen
im Hinblick auf dessen Registrierung und/oder Bearbeitung) unterrichten.
 
 

References

Visible links
1. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/...
2. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/...
3. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/...