I have previously filed an access to information request which was registered under 2019/1778. My request was denied. Instead of filing for a complaint I have opted to file an another access to information request, but this time containing specific information and additional arguments which need to be taken into consideration when conducting the proportionality and public interest test.
I request that certain parts of the Uljanik reports submitted by Jadranbrod and/or the Croatian Government are made public. Under the right of access to documents in the EU treaties, as developed in Regulation 1049/2001, I am requesting parts of the document which contain the following information: general conclusions within Uljanik reports submitted by Jadran Brod and/or the Croatian Gvoernment which in a broad sense and/or in specific numbers give an overview of the situation of the use of state aid, information which, so to speak - paint a clear picture on whether state aid is used accordingly?
It is my opinion that making public the requested scope of information would not "undermine the purpose of the State Aid investigation" in the sense that it will result in unwillingness of the "member state to cooperate" with EC. Member-state should have no objections to publication of the parts of the report which paints a broad picture on general adherence to state aid rules in a certain ongoing case. If this information is shared with the public it would not "deter the member-state to communicate sensitive information", because none such information would be shared.
The requested document is not created by the EC and would not jeopardize any "decision-making processes" and would not hinder on "EC's ability to freely explore all possible options". It is a report submitted by a member-state, not an internal document of the EC giving insight into internal proceedings.
The requested information is not commercial or market-sensitive information since it does not include any business plan information, any intellectual property rights of third parties, and similar.
Overriding public interest case - I request following circumstances be taken into account while conducting the proportionality and public interest test.
1) Blanket exemptions approach should not be adopted by the EC when reaching a decision on a specific request for information. Every request needs to be processed in a case-by-case approach and no blanket exemptions should be applied, especially since this is confirmed by competent courts and the European Ombudsman.
2) I have requested a narrow scope of information not the whole document. The requested information does not contain information that falls under any of the exemptions, as explained above.
3) There are information present in the media that the Croatian government lied to the European Commission and did not mention the findings of the budgetary oversight process which investigated how state aid funds in Uljanik were being used (in other words - where they were channeled to). If Croatian Government misinformed the Commission on actual situation it needs to be made public so the Croatian government can be held accountable.
4) In last fall, the Croatian Government informed the public that information on state aid use in Jadranbrod reports was given to the State Prosecutor which initiated criminal proceedings. It is of utmost importance all actors in this process are held accountable by the public. It is clear the Government had information and did not act upon it in a timely manner. This would be proved if it could be confirmed the Croatian Government or Jadranbrod misrepresented actual situation in Uljanik to the EC.
Dear Mr. Prkut,
Thank you for your request for access to documents from 10 April 2019.
After careful assessment, we conclude that this is a repetitive request
and would like to refer to our previous reply (please see copy of the
reply attached). There are no new circumstances which would require or
justify a review of your earlier reply.
Your answer has highly disappointed me. I have narrowed the scope of requested information information significantly and you still treat this as a repetitive request. Highly disappointing indeed - it shows complete lack of depth in understanding access to information and is at the same time representative of the negative view of EU institutions widespread among the European nations, which adds fuel to the anti-EU, populist wildfire scorching Europe.
I also turn your attention to the following sentence in your decision "In your application you have not established any arguments that would present an overriding public interest to disclose the documents". First you say I have not established any arguments for you to consider, but once I present my arguments - you simply ignore them. That is rather passive-aggressive. This feels like talking to one of my ex-girlfriends.