Dear Madam, Sir,

Regulation (EU) 2021/1755 establishing the Brexit Adjustment Reserve, Article 14(1)d, states that member states should "notify[..] the Commission of the identity of the designated body or bodies and of the body to which the pre-financing shall be paid, and confirming that the descriptions of the management and control systems for the Reserve have been drawn up, by 10 December 2021".

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 notifications by member states sent to the Commission from 6 October 2021 until today, 5 January 2022.

Sincerely
Peter Teffer

postal address:
Peter Teffer
Ekko Voorkamer
Bemuurde Weerd WZ 3
3513 BH Utrecht
The Netherlands

REGIO-ACCES-DOCUMENTS@ec.europa.eu, Regional and Urban Policy

Dear Sir Teffer,

Thank you for your e-mail of 05/01/2022. We hereby acknowledge receipt of your application for access to documents, which was registered on 13/01/2022 under reference number GESTDEM 2022/249.

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 03/02/2022. In case this time-limit needs to be extended, you will be informed in due course.

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

Yours faithfully,

REGIO ACCES DOCUMENTS Team

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Dear Madam, Sir,

I refer to my request filed under reference number GESTDEM 2022/249.

As you mentioned in your e-mail, my request was sent on 5 January 2022. Yet the REGIO access documents team did not register my request until 13 January 2022, more than a full week later.

Since the 15 working days limit is tied to the moment of registration, it is important that requests are registered quickly after receipt. It is acceptable if this happens one or two working days after receipt, but six working days is an unacceptable delay.

Can you explain why you did not register my request sooner?

Sincerely
Peter Teffer

REGIO-E1-BAR@ec.europa.eu, Regional and Urban Policy

Dear Mr Teffer,
Subject:        Your application for access to documents – GESTDEM
[1]2022/0249.
We refer to your e-mail of 5 January 2022 in which you make a request for
access to documents, registered on 13 January 2022 under the above
mentioned reference number.
Your application is currently being handled. However, we will not be in a
position to complete the handling of your application within the time
limit of 15 working days, which expires on 3 February 2022.
An extended time limit is needed as (part of) the documents requested
originate from third parties, which have been consulted;
Therefore, we have to extend the time limit with 15 working days in
accordance with Article 7(3) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding
public access to documents. The new time limit expires on 24/02/2022.
We apologise for this delay and for any inconvenience this may cause.
Yours faithfully,
Secretariat
 
 

References

Visible links
1. https://www.cc.cec/gestdem/demandes/view...

Dear Madam, Sir,

I refer to my request filed under reference number GESTDEM 2022/249, and your message from 3 February 2022 on an extension of the deadline.

First, I note that I have not yet received an answer to my question sent on 28 January 2022: My request was sent on 5 January 2022. Yet the REGIO access documents team did not register my request until 13 January 2022, more than a full week later. Why?

Secondly, an extension of the deadline is only allowed by Regulation 1049/2001 in "exceptional cases", and if announced with "detailed reasons". The reasons given for the need to extend the deadline were not particularly detailed, and specified only that "(part of) the documents requested originate from third parties, which have been consulted".

The fact that third parties needed to be consulted in relation to an access to documents request is not "exceptional", and should be considered as part of the normal routine when handling an access to documents request. It should normally not be allowed to lead to an extended time limit.

If a third party is consulted, I assume that the Commission informs those third parties that it is legally required to reply within 15 working days? And I assume that the Commission tells those third parties that it needs to reply within X working days, whereby X is the number of days that will leave the Commission sufficient time to reply within the legally required 15 working days?

If a third party is unable to reply to a consultation within a certain time period, effectively forcing the Commission to be in violation of the time limits laid down in Regulation 1049/2001, the onus is on the Commission to tell that third party that the Commission will proceed with a decision without the third party's contribution if it cannot provide that within a certain time period.

Sincerely,
Peter Teffer

REGIO-E1-BAR@ec.europa.eu, Regional and Urban Policy

Dear Mr Teffer,
Firstly, we wish to clarify that your request was registered only on 13 of January due to the fact that it arrived in junk - email and was retrieved only later on.

Secondly, the reason for extension is twofold: (i) partly because of delayed handling which was caused by the junk folder (ii) partly by reason of the need to consult the third parties within applicable deadlines that apply.

Thank you for your understanding,
We will come back to you with a fully-fledged reply by 24/02.

Yours faithfully,
Secretariat

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Dear Madam, Sir,

Thanks for your message on GESTDEM 2022/249 and your attempt to clarify. I'm afraid it is not yet fully clear.

You said there were two reasons for the need to extend the time-limit.

The first reason was "because of delayed handling which was caused by the junk folder". But that is a false reason: the clock counting 15 working days started only once the application was registered, which you did on 13 January 2022. The moment you registered my application, the fact that the e-mail was temporarily in the junk folder before you registered it, became irrelevant. Once the e-mail was found in the junk folder, this can no longer cause any more delay. There were still the 15 working days available to handle the application, like with any other application. And indeed, on 13 January you informed me that the time-limit would expire on 3 February 2022 - 15 working days later. Nothing "exceptional" here.

The second reason "the need to consult the third parties within applicable deadlines that apply" is the one that my questions dated 4 February were about. I expected that Commission's access to documents teams would take into account the time needed for the consultation activities. Perhaps you can help me understand better by answering these questions:
1) Did you give third parties a deadline to reply to your consultation, and if so, what date did you tell them to reply by?
2) Did you tell third parties that if they fail to reply by that deadline, the Commission will proceed with a decision without those third parties' input?

Sincerely,
Peter Teffer

APPEL Stefan, Regional and Urban Policy

Dear Mr Treffer,

I wanted to apologise for the delays encountered in dealing with your request.

Several Member States had sent more documents including confidential information than needed and we are still waiting for some clarification by Member States. This is taking more time than expected; the holiday period and absences due to sickness do not help the process. And in all honesty, it is the first time that we have to deal with such a request and we have to get sufficient assurance that we work in compliance with the legal framework.

We are trying our best to finalise the process and are confident to get back to you still this week, hopefully in the next 2 days.

Many thanks for your understanding.

Best regards,

Stefan Appel
Head of Unit
REGIO.E.1 : Administrative Capacity Building and Solidarity Instruments
office: CSM1 04/P001
extension: 54596

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Dear Mr Appel,

Thanks for your honest and non-scripted response. It is a refreshing style of direct communication that other DG's sometimes lack, and that provides for greater understanding on my part into the suffered delays.

Sincerely,
Peter Teffer

APPEL Stefan, Regional and Urban Policy

Dear Mr Treffer,

A short update: we finally managed to get clearance from all Member States and could compile the full file. This file has to be signed by the Director General of DG REGIO; the file is on its way to him and you should receive it in the next days.

Many thanks for your understanding.

Best regards,

Stefan Appel
Head of Unit
REGIO.E.1 : Administrative Capacity Building and Solidarity Instruments
office: CSM1 04/P001
extension: 54596

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OCSKO Edit (REGIO), Regional and Urban Policy

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