Mathias Schindler

Dear Regional and Urban Policy,

I am requesting a copy of each Access to Documents request from 2018 and 2019 that was refused registration because the requesting person did not provide a postal address.

Please do not transfer this request to another authority, I am specifically asking for requests that were sent to you.

I am perfectly fine with the redaction of personal information.

Since my postal address is on file and there is no legal requirement for a provision of a postal address (and since the European Commission has stopped sending out physical letters in Access to Document request procedures during the pandemic anyway) please do not bother asking me again for a postal address, which yould be especially hillarious given the topic of this request, don't you think?

Yours faithfully,

Mathias Schindler

Generaldirektion Regionalpolitik und Stadtentwicklung

Dear Sir Schindler,

Thank you for your e-mail of 05/06/2020. We hereby acknowledge receipt of your application for access to documents, which was registered on 05/06/2020 under reference number GESTDEM 2020/3400.

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 26/06/2020. In case this time limit needs to be extended, you will be informed in due course.

You have lodged your application via 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.

We understand that the third party running the AsktheEU.org website usually publishes the content of applicants’ correspondence with the Commission on that website. This includes the personal data that you may have communicated to the 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 that your correspondence with the Commission is published on a private third-party website such as AsktheEU.org, you can provide us with an alternative, private e-mail address for further correspondence. In that case, the Commission will send all future electronic correspondence addressed to you only to that private address, and it will use only that private address to reply to your request. You should still remain responsible to inform the private third-party website about this change of how you wish to communicate with, and receive a reply from, the Commission.

For information on how we process your personal data visit our page Privacy statement – access to documents.

Yours faithfully,
REGIO Access to Documents Team

Generaldirektion Regionalpolitik und Stadtentwicklung

1 Attachment

Dear Sir,

Subject:        Your application for access to documents – GESTDEM
2020/3400

We refer to your e-mail of 5 June 2020 in which you make a request for
access to documents, registered on 5 June 2020 under the above-mentioned
reference number.

You request access to a copy of each Access to Documents request from 2018
and 2019 that was refused registration because the requesting person did
not provide a postal address.

Your application concerns the following document: GESTDEM request
n°2019/6453

With regard to the requested document, a complete disclosure of the
identified documents is prevented by the exception concerning the
protection of privacy and the integrity of the individual outlined in
Article 4(1)(b) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001, because they contain the
following personal data: information relating to an identified or
identifiable natural person (email address).

Article 9(1)(b) of the Data Protection Regulation does not allow the
transmission of these personal data, except if you prove that it is
necessary to have the data transmitted to you for a specific purpose in
the public interest and where there is no reason to assume that the
legitimate interests of the data subject might be prejudiced. In your
request, you do not express any particular interest to have access to
these personal data.

Consequently, I conclude that, pursuant to Article 4(1)(b) of Regulation
(EC) No 1049/2001, access cannot be granted to the personal data contained
in the requested documents, as the need to obtain access thereto for a
purpose in the public interest has not been substantiated and there is no
reason to think that the legitimate interests of the individuals concerned
would not be prejudiced by disclosure of the personal data concerned.

 

In case you would disagree with this position, you are entitled, in
accordance with Article 7(2) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001, to submit a
confirmatory application requesting the Commission to review this
position.

Such a confirmatory application should be addressed within 15 working days
upon receipt of this letter to the Secretariat-General of the Commission
at the following address:

European Commission

Secretariat-General

Unit C.1. ‘Transparency, Document Management and Access to Documents’

BERL 7/076

B-1049 Brussels, or by email to: [1][email address]

Yours faithfully,

REGIO ACCESS TO DOCUMENT TEAM

 

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]

Mathias Schindler

Dear Regional and Urban Policy,

please be informed that the email contained an empty attachment. please resend the last email making sure that the file contains the actual document.

Yours faithfully,

Mathias Schindler

Generaldirektion Regionalpolitik und Stadtentwicklung

1 Attachment

 

With the attachment.

 

Best regards,

 

Regio acces document team

 

 

 

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Mathias Schindler

Dear Regional and Urban Policy,

thank you for sending me the file. The redacted part seems to mention an email address, so why was this request not registered?

Yours faithfully,

Mathias Schindler

Generaldirektion Regionalpolitik und Stadtentwicklung

Dear M. Schindler,

Thank you for your email. As you know, since this was the object of your request, this request was not handled because we did not receive a valid postal address from the applicant.

Since 1 April 2014, the submission of a postal address became a mandatory feature for the purpose of making an application for access to documents. We would like to explain why we need the postal address in order to register and handle the application for access to documents:

• 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 applicant;

• Secondly, to apply correctly the Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 [1]. 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 [2]. 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 [3], 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.

We therefore kindly reiterate our reply to you that a full valid postal address is necessary, so we can duly register and handle applicants’ requests.

Thank you in advance.

Kind regards,

REGIO Access to Documents Team

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