Access to documents requests in 2011 and 2012
In line with the right of access to EU documents, and further to Art. 39 of the Eurojust Decision, and the Eurojust College decision on rules regarding public access to Eurojust documents, we (Transparency International EU Office & Access Info Europe) are hereby writing to request access to all documents/records providing a detailed list of all the access to documents requests received by Eurojust in the calendar years 2011 and 2012, which should indicate in particular:
a) The subject of the request made (i.e. the specific document(s)/record(s) requested);
b) The (type of) requestor;
c) How the request was submitted/received (online form, direct email, via www.AsktheEU.org, phone, mail or other);
d) The initial decision on the request, including the basis upon which any refusals to grant access were made (prior to any confirmatory applications);
e) Whether the institution consulted with third parties (including other institutions and outside parties) prior to responding to the request;
f) Whether or not the initial refusal or partial refusal resulted in a confirmatory application;
g) Whether the confirmatory application was successful or partially successful (ie. it resulted in a partial revision of the initial response), or whether the confirmatory application resulted in a confirmation of the initial denial;
h) Whether or not partial access was granted to the documents;
i) Whether or not access to the entirety of the document requested was denied;
j) The time taken to deal with each request (i.e. including confirmatory applications, where applicable);
k) The number of times the deadline was extended, the amount of time it was extended for, and the reasons for the extension;
l) Whether the requester was asked to clarify or narrow their request, or to provide more information about themselves or about the reasons for their request.
Should an overview record listing the above-mentioned information for each individual request not be held by your institution, we would like to request the individual files related to all access to documents requests received in the calendar years 2011 and 2012 (i.e. the administrative correspondence providing insights to (a)-(l) above).
May we kindly request that the documents be provided in electronic format; where database records are provided, please provide these in an open, accessible format.
Thank you for your cooperation.
Access Info Europe and Transparency International EU Office
We herewith acknowledge receipt of your below request of 11 July 2013 (as
registered by the Legal Service of Eurojust on the same date). We would
like to inform you that this request will be processed as quickly as
possible and in compliance with the applicable rules on access to
documents of our organisation.
The Legal Service
Further to your below request, please see attached our annual reports for
2011 (pages 60-61) and 2012 (pages 51-52) respectively, each of which
summarises the access to documents requests received for each year
including the types of requests received, the number of requests accepted
and refused and grounds upon which such refusals were based.
Also attached is a redacted register (only available for 2012) of the
requests received for your information. This has been redacted in order to
eliminate all personal data which could not be disclosed as well as any
references to the operational work of Eurojust. It is thus partially
accessible on the grounds of Article 4(1)(a)(1^st, 5^th and 6^th indents)
and 4(1)(b) of the Eurojust Decision to Adopt Rules Regarding Public
Access to Eurojust Documents adopted on 13 July 2004 (the “Eurojust Access
to Documents Rules”), a copy of which is attached for ease of reference.
Please note that Article 7(4) of the Eurojust Access to Documents Rules
gives you the right to make a confirmatory application within 30 working
days of receiving this reply to the Administrative Director asking
Eurojust to reconsider its position.
Chef du Service Juridique
Head of Legal Service
Dear Ms Deboyser,
Thank you for your response to our access to documents request and the documents provided.
With regard to the redacted register for requests received in 2012, we would like to submit a confirmatory application for release of the full document without any redaction.
We do not believe that release of this particular information in and of itself would specifically and actually undermine the protected interests enumerated in Art. 4.1(a) and (b) of the Eurojust decision on public access to documents, and feel that there is a public interest in knowing how access to documents requests are handled by Eurojust, how quickly they are processed, and the bases upon which public access is denied to particular requested documents.
Amongst the redacted information, we would therefore particularly ask for release of the dates of the requests made (‘date registered in LS’) and of the date of the reply sent, which correspond to point (j) of our original request (‘the time taken to deal with the request’). Similarly, we would like to request release of the deadline to reply, the subject of each request and applicant (both subject to redaction of any personal data) and of the final result of the requests. Release of this information will help to improve the public’s ability to exercise its right of access, as provided for in Art. 14 of the TFEU and Art. 42 of the European Charter of Fundamental Rights. Furthermore, public reporting on access to documents requests is indeed recognised by Art. 15 of the Eurojust decision on public access to documents. Though aggregated information is provided in the annual reports, our original request pertains to individual requests, and thus wider access to the redacted register is being sought through this confirmatory application.
Where you believe that release of the specific redacted information would undermine protected interests, we would kindly request explanation of how the harm that could be posed is foreseeable and more than purely hypothetical (e.g. where this pertains to the release of dates).
Should you require clarification, please do not hesitate to contact us. We thank you for your cooperation and hope for a positive consideration of this application.
With best regards,
on behalf of
Access Info Europe and the Transparency International EU Office
On behalf of Klaus Rackwitz, Administrative Director at Eurojust:
Dear Mr Perera,
I refer to your e-mail dated 28 August 2013, as registered by Eurojust on
29 August 2013 submitting the below confirmatory application.
I would like to inform you that your confirmatory application is being
processed as quickly as possible and in compliance with the applicable
rules on access to documents of our organisation.
Dear Mr. Perera,
I refer to your confirmatory application of 28 August 2013 (as registered
by Eurojust on 29 August 2013) further to your initial application of 11
July 2013 and in respect of which you received a formal reply on 14 August
Your confirmatory application includes a request for release of the full
register of requests for 2012 without any redaction [emphasis added]
including the results of such requests. After careful consideration, it
has been decided that the register indeed must remain partially redacted
for the following reasons: It is necessary to eliminate all personal data
which could not be disclosed; as well as any references to the operational
work of Eurojust including the subject matter and results of case-related
requests due to the judicial nature of the work of Eurojust.
The requested document is thus partially accessible on the grounds of
Article 4(1)(a) (1st, 5th and 6th indents) and 4(1)(b) and of the Eurojust
Decision to Adopt Rules Regarding Public Access to Eurojust Documents,
adopted on 13 July 2004 (the “Eurojust Access to Documents Rules”) a copy
of which is attached for ease of reference.
You also particularly ask for release of the relevant dates of the
respective requests i.e. (1) the date upon which the request is
registered; (2) the date of the deadline to reply and the (3) date upon
which the reply is sent. Notwithstanding the above decision that the
register cannot be released in full for the reasons set out above, it is
considered that access to these dates may be provided. Accordingly, you
will find attached a modified (and consequently, less redacted version
than that previously provided in response to your initial application) of
the requested document with all such dates now included.
Article 4(1)(a) of the Eurojust Access to Documents Rules provides that
Eurojust shall refuse access to a document where disclosure would
undermine the protection of the public interest as regards – (1st indent)
public security; (5th indent) fulfilment of Eurojust’s tasks in
reinforcing the fight against serious crime; and (6th indent); national
investigations and prosecutions in which Eurojust assists.
Article 4(1)(b) of those rules provides that Eurojust shall refuse access
to a document where disclosure would undermine the protection of the
privacy and integrity of individuals, in particular in accordance with the
relevant international and European legislation regarding the protection
of personal data and the Eurojust rules on data protection.
Please note that you may lodge a complaint before the European Ombudsman
and the Court of Justice of the European Union against this decision.
Klaus U. Rackwitz
P.O. Box 16183
2500 BD The Hague
Phone: +31 (0) 70 412 5500
Fax: +31 (0) 70 412 5505