Esta es la versión HTML de un fichero adjunto a una solicitud de acceso a la información 'Memos, guidance and guidelines on record creation DG COMM'.




 
Ref. Ares(2013)1404872 - 27/05/2013
Ref. Ares(2016)5476324 - 21/09/2016
EUROPEAN COMMISSION 
DIRECTORATE-GENERAL COMMUNICATION 
 
 
  Director-General 
 
Brussels 
COMM
 
NOTE FOR THE ATTENTION OF HEADS OF REPRESENTATION AND HEADS OF UNIT 
Subject: 
Access to documents 
I am writing to you by way of reminder of the procedures to be followed when we 
receive a request for access to documents. 
According to the provisions laid down in Article 15(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning 
of the European Union, any citizen has a right of access to documents of the EU’s 
institutions, bodies, offices and agencies. These provisions are further detailed in 
Regulation (EC) No 1049/20011 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council 
and Commission documents. 
Against this legal background, any request for information involving access to a 
Commission or a third-party document should be dealt with according to the following 
procedure: 
•  The above Regulation applies only to requests for access to existing documents
i.e. “any content whatever its medium (written on paper or stored in electronic 
form or as a sound, visual or audio-visual recording) concerning a matter relating 
to the policies, activities and decisions falling within the institution's sphere of 
responsibility” (Article 3 of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001). 
If the request relates to information which is not contained in documents, it 
should be considered as a mere request for information to be processed in 
accordance with the provisions laid down in the Code of Good Administrative 
Behaviour.2 
Please note that a request for information may also contain a demand for access to 
a specific document related to the information in question, to be treated 
separately. 
Should a parliamentary question contain a request for access to documents the 
procedure is twofold: the parliamentary question should be processed by the 
competent service in DG COMM, which should inform C.1 of the request for 
documents. This request should be registered in GESTDEM and answered 
separately. 
                                                 
1 http://eurlex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2001:145:0043:0048:EN:PDF 
2 https://myintracomm.ec.europa.eu/hr admin/en/code/Pages/conduct.aspx 
 
Commission européenne, B-1000 Bruxelles / Europese Commissie, B-1000 Brussel - Belgium. Telephone: +32 2 299 11 11 
Office: LOI 56 06/007. Telephone: direct line +32 2 299 94 34 
 
http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/communication 

•  A copy of the request for access to documents should be sent, as soon as possible, 
to the team in charge of access to documents in DG COMM, which will register 
the request in GESTDEM (shared database for applications for access to 
documents) and will send an acknowledgement of receipt to the applicant  
(COMM ACCESS DOCUMENTS mailbox). 
Unit C.1 is the service in DG COMM responsible for managing all the requests 
for access to documents (contact person: 
). They will 
see with you how best to proceed with each specific request. In fact it may well 
be the case that in view of the technical nature of the issue at stake, a 
Representation itself would be best placed to provide a reply, but always in full 
coordination with C1. 
•  Under the principle of transparency, citizens are entitled to the widest possible 
access to Commission documents (Article 1 of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001) 

A reply must be sent to the applicant, in writing and in the language in which 
the application was submitted, within 15 working days from the date on 
which the application was registered by the access to documents team. 

Should additional time be needed to deal with the request, you should send 
the applicant a message, before the expiry of the 15-day deadline, notifying 
them of the extension and giving reasons for the new deadline. Failure to 
reply within the prescribed time limit constitutes a tacit refusal and entitles 
the applicant to make a confirmatory application. 

If you are unable to identify the document(s) asked for you should ask the 
applicant to provide you with additional information which will enable you to 
identify the document or to narrow the request. In that case, the 15-working 
day deadline for reply will apply only from the date by which you receive 
this new information. 

If you think the request is disproportionate: inform the applicant in writing, 
referring to Article 6(3) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001, and confer with a 
view to finding a fair solution. 
•  In principle, no document is spared the detailed examination of its contents, even 
if it is ‘classified’. 

If this examination indicates that a classified document must be disclosed, it 
will first have to be declassified.3  

The disclosure to third parties of personal data is covered by Regulation 
45/2001. The consent of the person in question or a need to disclose such 
data is required. 
•  In the event of total or partial refusal the answer must: 

clearly indicate the grounds for the refusal based on one of the exceptions 
listed in Article 4 of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 and set out specific and 
detailed arguments justifying the refusal; 

inform the applicant of his/her right to appeal to the Secretary-General of the 
Commission (article 7 of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001:  confirmatory 
application), who will then take a final decision on behalf of the Commission. 
                                                 
3 https://myintracomm.ec.europa.eu/corp/security/EN/Pages/index.aspx 
 


The applicant can then challenge this decision either by filling a complaint to 
the Ombudsman or by appeal to the Tribunal. 
If only part of the document requested is covered by one or more of the 
exceptions listed in the Regulation, you must release the remaining parts (partial 
access) and give reasons for the partial refusal as above.  
•  When documents from third parties or Member States are involved they should 
be consulted to obtain their opinion (or their agreement in the case of a MS) on 
whether the document may be disclosed. Third party objection to disclosure is 
tantamount to refusal for access to the document or the parts of the document 
concerned. The Commission can decide to disregard the opposition of a third 
party only at the stage of the confirmatory application. 
•  Positive replies can be signed by any official to whom the Director-General has 
delegated this power. Negative replies (total or partial) must be signed by the 
Director-General
 
 

https://myintracomm.ec.europa.eu/corp/sg/fr/docinter/Pages/links.aspx. 
In view of the above, I would appreciate that you appoint an official in each 
Representation and Unit who would act as the contact point for any request for access to 
documents and who could, in turn, liaise with Unit C.1 at the headquarters. Please 
provide the name of your contact person to 
 
 
(e-signed) 
Gregory Paulger 
Copy:  J.-P. Vandersteen, S. Bouygues, Y. Tiveus G. Zupko,