Dear European Parliament,

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:

- Proposal from the ad hoc Working Group on the revision of the list of expenses which may be defrayed from the General Expenditure Allowance, including the different options known as 'alpha 1', 'beta 1', 'alpha 2', 'beta 2', etc.
- Letter from Mr WIELAND; Vice-President related to this issue (as referred to in the draft agenda of the Bureau meeting of 2 July 2018 PE-8/BUR/OJ/2018-08)
- Any other documents relating to the General Expenditure Allowance discussion of the Bureau meeting of 2 July 2018

All the best,

Peter Teffer
EUobserver
Rue Montoyer 18B
1000 Brussels
Belgium

AccesDocs, Europäisches Parlament

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Teffer,

 

The European Parliament hereby acknowledges receipt of your application
for access to documents, which was registered on 4/07/2018 under the
reference A(2018)8178.

 

All requests for public access to documents are treated in compliance with
Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 of 30 May 2001 regarding public access to
European Parliament, Council and Commission documents.

 

In accordance with the above-mentioned Regulation, your application should
be handled within 15 working days upon registration of your request.

 

The European Parliament reserves the right to ask for additional
information regarding your identity in order to verify compliance with
Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 and the European Parliament’s implementing
measures.

 

Your attention is drawn to the fact that you have lodged your application
via the AsktheEU.org website, which is a private website not officially
related to the European Parliament. Therefore, the European Parliament
cannot be held accountable for any technical issues or problems linked to
the use of this system.

 

Kind regards,

 

 

[1]LOGO_EP TRANSPARENCY UNIT
European Parliament
Directorate General
for the Presidency
Directorate for
Inter-Institutional
Affairs
and Legislative
Coordination

 

[2]Public Register webpage
[3][email address]

 

 

 

References

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

Dear Madam, Sir,

I refer to my access to documents request, registered on 4/07/2018 under the reference A(2018)8178. More than fifteen working days have passed since then, meaning that the legal deadline as laid down in Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 has not been complied with.

I hope to hear from you without delay.

All the best,
Peter

AccesDocs, Europäisches Parlament

OUR REF A(2018)8178

Dear Mr Teffer,

In reply to your message, please be informed that Parliament's decision, dated 25.07.2018, was sent to your address by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt (post reference 010541288500452621 220 175 678 733).

If not arrived, probably will arrive today

Best regards,

TRANSPARENCY – ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS
PRES | Directorate General for the Presidency
Directorate for Interinstitutional Affairs and Legislative Coordination

[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 on the General Expenditure Allowance, registered on 4/07/2018 under the reference A(2018)8178.

I refer to the Parliament's reply of 25 July 2018, reference number A (2018)8178.

The parliament has denied access to the letter from Mr Wieland and the Bureau decision proposal including several options.

In essence, the parliament is arguing that these are preparatory documents which should not be made public, because if they are made public it could in future lead to self-censorship.

Coming from the European Union's only institution with directly elected members, the arguments given are quite baffling. It is basically arguing that MEPs are afraid of public scrutiny over what they have proposed.

I highlight some sentences:

- “If working groups in a controversial area such as the one at hand had to expect that their working results were published, their ability to perform their tasks would be at stake, and the Bureau would become unable to obtain the advice and support it may need from such ad hoc bodies.”

- “If options included in the proposal, or views discussed in the letter were disclosed to the public, the risk of them being used to challenge the actual decision or to extract concessions from the services applying it would become very high.”

- “If the letter and the decision proposal were to be published, the debate and the preliminary deliberations within parliament would also be inevitably undermined.”

- “They [MEPs] would be pressured into avoiding to express some contrasted views or novel proposals for fear that those views or proposals could become publicly available.”

This is a surreal argument coming from the European Parliament. Members of the European parliament debate legislation all the time, including legislation covering controversial areas. MEPs express contrasted views and novel proposals all the time.

They hold speeches and write amendments, many of which do not end up in the final legislation, but all of which are made public. In essence, amendments are draft versions of parts of final legislation. The fact that MEPs' amendments are made public, does not undermine the ability to carry out their tasks as MEPs. Do MEPs feel pressured to avoid expressing contrasting views or novel proposals when they are expressing their views on EU legislation? I would hope not. It is difficult to see why they should have that fear when it comes to decisions relating to the organisation of the European Parliament.

Moreover, the very fact that MEPs decide about the General Expenditure Allowance themselves is all the more reason to provide the public insight into the various options considered, because it would allow the public an option to scrutinise the decision-making process themselves. In the end, the issue of GEA revolves around how taxpayer money is spent. There is an overriding public interest that citizens know how the Bureau came to its decision.

All the best,
Peter Teffer

A full history of my request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/gene...

AccesDocs, Europäisches Parlament

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Teffer,

 

The European Parliament hereby acknowledges receipt of your confirmatory
application for access to documents, which was registered on 31 July 2018
under reference A(2018)8178 R.

 

All requests for public access to documents are treated in compliance with
Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 of 30 May 2001 regarding public access to
European Parliament, Council and Commission documents.

 

In accordance with the above-mentioned Regulation, your application will
be handled within 15 working days upon registration of your request.

 

The European Parliament reserves the right to ask for additional
information regarding your identity in order to verify compliance with
Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 and the European Parliament’s implementing
measures.

 

Your attention is drawn to the fact that you have lodged your application
via the AsktheEU.org website, which is a private website not officially
related to the European Parliament. Therefore, the European Parliament
cannot be held accountable for any technical issues or problems linked to
the use of this system.

 

Sincerely, 

 

 

 

TU

 

[1]LOGO_EP TRANSPARENCY UNIT
European Parliament
Directorate General
for the Presidency
Directorate for
Inter-Institutional
Affairs
and Legislative
Coordination

 

[2]Public Register webpage
[3][email address]

 

 

 

References

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

AccesDocs, Europäisches Parlament

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Teffer,

 

On 31 July 2018, Parliament received from you a confirmatory application
for access to documents from the ad hoc Working group set up by the Bureau
to revise the list of expenses which may be defrayed from the GEA.

 

The deadline to reply to the application expires at the end of this day,
22 August 2018.

 

However, exceptionally, due to more extensive inter-service consultations,
Parliament needs to extend the time-limit for replying to your application
provided for by Article 8(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 by a further
15 working days, in accordance with Article 8(2) of the same regulation.

 

We thank you for your understanding.

 

Kind regards,

 

 

 

[1]LOGO_EP TRANSPARENCY UNIT
European Parliament
Directorate General
for the Presidency
Directorate for
Inter-Institutional
Affairs
and Legislative
Coordination

 

[2]Public Register webpage
[3][email address]

 

 

 

References

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