Meeting with the Data Protection Commission Ireland
Chris Harris made this Informationsfreiheit request to Justiz und Verbraucher
Dear Justice and Consumers,
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:
all records relating to the meeting between the Data Protection Commission Ireland and the EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders on November 25th. This request includes but is not limited too correspondence about, minutes of and documents prepared for this meeting.
Scope of request
Article 3(a) of Regulation 1049/2001 defines documents as:
“any content whatever its medium (written on paper or stored in electronic form or as a sound, visual or audiovisual recording) concerning a matter relating to the policies, activities and decisions falling within the institution's sphere of responsibility”.
This request includes all documents in the meaning of Article 3(1) of Regulation 1049/2001, whether long term records or short term notes, irrespective of whether they are included in the eDomec or ARES systems. This also includes all relevant papers, reports, presentations, speeches, minutes, notes, communications, correspondence, agendas, minutes, and comments, whether hand written or typed or otherwise recorded. This also includes but is not limited to all communications and meetings with or concerning the Irish Data Protection Commission itself, and relevant communications and meetings with the Irish Government and other Commission DGs and European institutions and agencies.
This is a matter of utmost public interest. The Data Protection Commission of Ireland is central to the enforcement of GDPR and privacy rights across the union.
Dear Sir or Madam,
We are writing to you concerning your request for access to documents sent
on 27/11/2022 and registered on 28/11/2022 under case number 2022/6878.
Since you have not indicated your postal address, we are not able to start
handling your request. The 15 working days to reply to your request will
start running only when you send us your postal address.
You can send your postal address by replying to this e-mail. If we do not
receive your reply we may close this case.
Please note that you can submit a request for access to Commission
documents via the portal 'Request a Commission document', which does
not require you to indicate your postal address.
Why do we need your personal postal address?
Since 1 April 2014, the submission of a postal address became a mandatory
feature when submitting an application for access to Commission documents
via an e-mail. We would like to explain why we need your postal address in
order to register and handle your application for access to documents when
submitted via e-mail:
• Firstly, to obtain legal certainty as regards the date you received
the European Commission reply to your application for public access to
documents. Article 297 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the
European Union (TFEU) states that 'decisions which specify to whom
they are addressed, shall be notified to those to whom they are
addressed and shall take effect upon such notification.' In line with
this provision, if the Commission does not grant full access to the
requested documents, it notifies the reply to the applicant via
registered mail with acknowledgement of receipt or via delivery
service. This requires an indication of a valid postal address by the
• Secondly, to apply correctly the Data Protection Regulation (EU)
2018/1725. Knowing whether the applicant is an EU resident (or not) is
necessary for deciding which conditions shall apply for the
transmissions of personal data to applicants for access to documents.
These conditions are not the same for recipients established in the
Union and for recipients in third countries. As the vast majority of
the documents requested contain personal data, the Commission cannot
ensure the correct application of the data protection rules in the
absence of a postal address;
• Thirdly, to apply correctly Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001. Article
4(1)(b) of that Regulation refers to the protection of the privacy and
integrity of the individual and has to be applied in line with the
Data Protection Regulation;
• Fourthly, to protect the interest of other citizens and safeguard the
principle of good administration. The Commission has to treat all
citizens equally by ensuring that the legal framework for public
access to documents is respected. For example, it has to verify
whether Article 6(3) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 is being evaded
by introducing several requests under different identities. Indeed, in
its Ryanair judgment (EU:T:2010:511), the General Court confirmed
that Article 6(3) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 cannot be evaded by
splitting an application into several, seemingly separate, parts. In
addition, the Commission has to make sure that the legal framework is
respected and the right of access to documents is not abused by making
requests under an invented identity.
The considerations above show that the request for and the consequent
processing of the applicant's postal address is not only appropriate, but
also strictly necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the
public interest within the meaning of Article 5(1)(a) of Data Protection
Regulation, namely providing a smooth and effective access to documents.
Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers - Access to Documents
Dear Mr HARRIS,
We are writing concerning your request for access to Commission documents
registered on 28/11/2022 under case number 2022/6878.
On 28/11/2022 we asked you to send us your postal address and explained
the reasons why we need it.
Since we have not received your postal address, we have closed this case.
JUST ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS team