Discussions on RRF plan Netherlands

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Secretariat General of the European Commission should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Dear Madam, Sir,

Under the right of access to documents in the EU treaties, as developed in Regulation 1049/2001, and Regulation 1367/2006, I am requesting documents which contain the following information:

All documents held by the Commission on the preparation of a recovery and resilience plan of the Netherlands as part of the European Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), from 28 May 2020 until 19 November 2021.

This includes exchanges via e-mail, including attachments, letter, text messages, phone call notes, or meeting notes, between the Commission and the Dutch national government about possible investments and potential projects.

Since the information might at least partly concern also "activities affecting or likely to affect" the "state of the elements of the environment", I believe Regulation 1367/2006 applies.

Should you encounter any difficulties in interpreting or processing my request, I am ready to discuss ways to clarify or amend it to keep the effort required on your part to the necessary minimum.

Please send me an acknowledgement of receipt for this request, as foreseen by Article 7 (1) of Regulation 1049/2001.

Peter Teffer

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

SG ACCES DOCUMENTS, Secretariat General of the European Commission

1 Attachment

Link: [1]File-List
Link: [2]Edit-Time-Data
Link: [3]themeData
Link: [4]colorSchemeMapping

Dear Sir,

 

Thank you for your e-mail of 19 November 2021. We hereby acknowledge
receipt of your application for access to documents, which was registered
on 19 November 2021 under reference number GESTDEM 2021/7168.

 

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 10 December 2021. 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.

 

Please note that the private third party running the AsktheEU.org website
is responsible and accountable for the processing of your personal data
via that website, and not the Commission.

For further information on your rights, please refer to the third party’s
privacy policy.

 

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
[5]Privacy statement – access to documents.

Yours faithfully,

 

ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS TEAM (GD)

 

[6]cid:image001.png@01D45409.F767C980

European Commission

Secretariat-General

SG C.1

[7][email address]

 

 

 

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SG RECOVER ATD, Secretariat General of the European Commission

1 Attachment

Link: [1]File-List
Link: [2]Edit-Time-Data
Link: [3]themeData
Link: [4]colorSchemeMapping

Dear Mr Teffer,

 

We refer to your e-mail of 19 November 2021 in which you make a request
for access to documents, registered on the same date 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 today, 10 December 2021.

 

An extended time limit is needed as in order to retrieve the documents
requested, very large files have to be examined.

 

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 11 January 2021.

 

We apologise for this delay and for any inconvenience this may cause.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

SG RECOVER ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS TEAM

 

[5]cid:image001.png@01D31AA3.9A26C5A0
European Commission

References

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4. file:///tmp/~~colorschememapping~~

SG-RECOVER-ATD@ec.europa.eu, Secretariat General of the European Commission

5 Attachments

Dear Mr Teffer,

 

Please find attached a reply to your request for access to documents of 19
November 2021, registered on the same date under the above mentioned
reference number.

 

Please acknowledge receipt by replying to this e-mail and confirming that
you could open the transmitted zip file.

 

Kind regards,

 

SG RECOVER ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS TEAM

[1]cid:image001.png@01D31AA3.9A26C5A0
European Commission

References

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Dear Madam, Sir,

I write to you regarding my access to documents request registered on 19 November 2021 under reference number GESTDEM 2021/7168.

I confirm I received your e-mail on 11 January 2022, and that I was able to open the ZIP file with the disclosed documents.

Nevertheless, I would like to file a confirmatory application. In particular I object to the decision not to release the documents the European Commission has listed in Annex 1.

The Commission argued disclosure of those documents was “prevented by exceptions to the right of access laid down in the 4th indent of Article 4(1)(a) and in the first subparagraph of Article 4(3)” of Regulation 1049/2001.

The Commission is thus arguing that disclosing these documents would undermine:
– the financial, monetary or economic policy of the Community or a Member State;
– the institution's decision-making process

However, the Commission does not provide any arguments why the financial, monetary or economic policy of the Community or a Member State would be undermined by disclosure of the documents.

Article 7 of the Regulation states that the institution “shall either grant access [..] or, in a written reply, state the reasons for the total or partial refusal”. Simply referring to “the 4th indent of Article 4(1)(a)” cannot be sufficient to fulfill the requirement of stating the reasons of refusal. This argument should thus be dismissed.

The argument provided to substantiate the other exception, the perceived undermining of the institution's decision-making process, is as follows: “The documents included in Annex 1 are mostly correspondence between the Commission and the Dutch Government on the preparation of the Dutch Recovery and Resilience Plan. They also include minutes that are internal documents of the Commission. The disclosure of the internal considerations laid down in the requested documents would undermine the independence and objectivity of the Commission’s decision-making process on the Dutch Recovery and Resilience Plan, which has not been completed.”

There are no other arguments the Commission provides.

The above-cited argument is flawed on several levels.

The most obvious fallacy is that there is currently no Dutch Recovery and Resilience Plan. As of 12 January 2022, the Netherlands has not submitted one. That means that as of this date, the decision-making process in relation to the Dutch Recovery and Resilience Plan has not started in the European Commission.

Article 19 of Regulation (EU) 2021/241 (of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 February 2021 establishing the Recovery and Resilience Facility) states that the European Commission "shall assess the recovery and resilience plan". It does not state that the Commission shall assess correspondence between the Commission and a member state on the preparation of the Recovery and Resilience Plan. Such correspondence, as well as any minutes by the Commission, should be out of the scope of the Commission’s assessment of the Recovery and Resilience Plan. These documents cannot be refused based on the argument that they can affect the Commission’s decision-making process on the Dutch Recovery and Resilience Plan.

Additionally, the Commission argued specifically that disclosure of “the internal considerations laid down in the requested documents would undermine the independence and objectivity of the Commission’s decision-making process on the Dutch Recovery and Resilience Plan”.

The documents which constitute "correspondence between the Commission and the Dutch Government" can in no way qualify as internal considerations. By definition, correspondence occurs between two parties. If the Commission is able to share information with the Dutch government without undermining the Commission's decision-making process, disclosure of that information to a wider public equally cannot undermine the Commission's decision-making process.

I’m unconvinced that specifically “the independence and objectivity” of the Commission’s decision-making process could be affected by the decision to disclose the documents. The independence and objectivity of the decision-making processes in the European Commission should be guaranteed regardless of the release of whichever documents.

Article 17 (3) of the Treaty on European Union determines that:
"[..]The members of the Commission shall be chosen on the ground of their general competence and European commitment from persons whose independence is beyond doubt. In carrying out its responsibilities, the Commission shall be completely independent. Without prejudice to Article 18(2), the members of the Commission shall neither seek nor take instructions from any Government or other institution, body, office or entity. They shall refrain from any action incompatible with their duties or the performance of their tasks."

The independence and objectivity of Commission’s decision-making process is a function of many factors, but one factor which cannot influence the independence or objectivity of the Commission’s decision-making process, is whether specific documents are released or not.

Independence and objectivity are binary attributes of that decision-making process. The decision-making process is either independent, or it is not. It is objective or it is subjective.

But even if we view independence and objectivity on a scale, the argument lacks any logic. As a thought experiment, let’s assume that the independence and objectivity of the Commission’s decision-making process each can be determined by a number from 1 to 10, whereby 10 would mean the decision-making process is fully independent/objective.

How on Earth could the release of documents negatively affect the independence or objectivity of the decision-making process? Is the Commission seriously arguing that the mere existence of the documents in the outside world would reduce the score in this thought experiment?

It would truly be worrying if “the independence and objectivity” of a decision-making process in the Commission could be undermined by transparency.

Regardless of the above, since the documents listed in Annex 1 “also include minutes that are internal documents of the Commission”, this means there is also a category of documents that are not “minutes that are internal documents of the Commission”. Those documents cannot be refused based on the argument that “disclosure of the internal considerations laid down in the requested documents would undermine the independence and objectivity of the Commission’s decision-making process on the Dutch Recovery and Resilience Plan, which has not been completed”. Any document which is not produced by the Commission cannot in any way be part of internal considerations. The content of correspondence between the Commission and a member state cannot influence the Commission’s independence and/or objectivity.

Finally in relation to the documents listed in Annex 2, the Commission has provided partial access, with personal data redacted. I have no objection to the names of Commission staff below senior management positions being redacted. However, it appears that more than just personal data is redacted. For example, pages 2 and 3 Ares(2020)7430735 have been fully redacted. This does not relate to personal data.

Sincerely
Peter Teffer

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

Sg-Acc-Doc@ec.europa.eu, Secretariat General of the European Commission

Your message has been received by the Transparency Unit of the
Secretariat-General of the European Commission.
Requests for public access to documents are treated on the basis of
[1]Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 of 30 May 2001 regarding public access to
European Parliament, Council and Commission documents.
The Secretariat-General will reply to your request within 15 working days
upon registration of your request and will duly inform you of the
registration of the request (or of any additional information to be
provided in view of its registration and/or treatment).
 
 
L’unité «Transparence» du secrétariat général de la Commission européenne
a bien reçu votre message.
Les demandes d’accès du public aux documents sont traitées sur la base du
[2]règlement (CE) n° 1049/2001 du 30 mai 2001 relatif à l’accès du public
aux documents du Parlement européen, du Conseil et de la Commission.
Le secrétariat général répondra à votre demande dans un délai de 15 jours
ouvrables à compter de la date d’enregistrement de votre demande, et vous
informera de cet enregistrement (ou vous indiquera toute information
supplémentaire à fournir en vue de l'enregistrement et/ou du traitement de
votre demande).
 
 
Ihre Nachricht ist beim Referat „Transparenz“ des Generalsekretariats der
Europäischen Kommission eingegangen.
Anträge auf Zugang zu Dokumenten werden auf der Grundlage der
[3]Verordnung (EG) Nr. 1049/2001 vom 30. Mai 2001 über den Zugang der
Öffentlichkeit zu Dokumenten des Europäischen Parlaments, des Rates und
der Kommission behandelt.
Das Generalsekretariat beantwortet Ihre Anfrage innerhalb von
15 Arbeitstagen nach deren Registrierung und wird Sie über die
Registrierung Ihres Antrags (oder die Notwendigkeit weiterer Informationen
im Hinblick auf dessen Registrierung und/oder Bearbeitung) unterrichten.
 
 

References

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3. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/...

SG ACCES DOCUMENTS, Secretariat General of the European Commission

1 Attachment

Link: [1]File-List
Link: [2]Edit-Time-Data
Link: [3]themeData
Link: [4]colorSchemeMapping

Dear Sir,

 

Thank you for your email dated 12/01/2022 by which you request, pursuant
to Regulation No 1049/2001 regarding public access to European Parliament,
Council and Commission documents, a review of the position taken by SG in
reply to your initial application GESTDEM 2021/7168.

 

We hereby acknowledge receipt of your confirmatory application for access
to documents which was registered on 14/01/2022 (Ares(2022)271752).

 

Your application will be handled within 15 working days (04/02/2022). In
case this time limit needs to be extended, you will be informed in due
course.

 

Please be informed that the answer to your confirmatory application is a
formal Commission decision that will be notified to you by express
delivery. Thank you for providing your contact phone number, so that the
external delivery service can contact you in case of absence.

 

Please note that the Commission will not use your phone number for any
other purpose than for informing the delivery service, and that it will
delete it immediately thereafter.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

 

 

ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS TEAM (IC)

 

[5]cid:image001.gif@01D46531.06A8B6B0

 

European Commission

Secretariat-General

SG.C1 (Transparency, Document Management and Access to Documents)

[6][email address]

 

 

 

show quoted sections

SG ACCES DOCUMENTS, Secretariat General of the European Commission

1 Attachment

Link: [1]File-List
Link: [2]Edit-Time-Data
Link: [3]themeData
Link: [4]colorSchemeMapping

[5]Your confirmatory application for access to documents under Regulation
(EC) No 1049/2001 - GESTDEM 2021/7168 - 1st holding letter -
Ares(2022)839023  (Please use this link only if you are an Ares user –
Svp, utilisez ce lien exclusivement si vous êtes un(e) utilisateur d’Ares)

Dear Mr Teffer,

 

I refer to your email of 12 January 2022, registered on 14 January 2022,
by which you submit a confirmatory application in accordance with Article
7(2) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding public access to European
Parliament, Council and Commission documents ("Regulation (EC) No
1049/2001"), registered under reference number above.

 

Your confirmatory application is currently being handled. Unfortunately,
we have not yet been able to gather all the elements needed to carry out a
full analysis of your request and to take a final decision. Therefore, we
are not in a position to reply to your confirmatory request within the
prescribed time limit which expires on 4 February 2022. Consequently, we
have to extend this period by another 15 working days in accordance with
Article 8(2) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001. The new deadline expires on
25 February 2022. However, I can assure you that we are doing our utmost
to provide you with a final reply within the next 15 working days.

 

I regret this additional delay and sincerely apologise for any
inconvenience this may cause.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

 

Mariusz Daca, Ph.D.
Deputy Head of Unit
[6]cid:image001.gif@01D13362.41D673C0

European Commission

Secretariat General

Unit C.1 (Transparency, Document Management and Access to Documents)

 

References

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1. file:///tmp/cid:filelist.xml@01D819E6.A0644D10
2. file:///tmp/cid:editdata.mso
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4. file:///tmp/~~colorschememapping~~
5. https://webgate.ec.testa.eu/Ares/documen...

Dear Mr Daca,

I write to you regarding my access to documents request registered on 19 November 2021 under reference number GESTDEM 2021/7168, and my subsequent confirmatory application for access to documents registered on 14/01/2022 (Ares(2022)271752).

Article 8 of Regulation 1049/2001 clearly states that such confirmatory application should be handled within 15 working days. An extended time-limit is possible only in "exceptional cases [..] provided [..] that detailed reasons are given".

In your message from 4 February 2022, the given reason for a required extension is that the SG has "not yet been able to gather all the elements needed to carry out a full analysis of your request and to take a final decision".

You will agree with me that the simple inability to carry out a requirement from EU law is not sufficient reason to renege on that requirement.

I thus ask that you provide concrete and detailed reasons why my confirmatory application specifically is so exceptional that an extended time-limit is needed - or to take a final decision without delay.

Sincerely
Peter Teffer

Sg-Acc-Doc@ec.europa.eu, Secretariat General of the European Commission

Your message has been received by the Transparency Unit of the
Secretariat-General of the European Commission.
Requests for public access to documents are treated on the basis of
[1]Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 of 30 May 2001 regarding public access to
European Parliament, Council and Commission documents.
The Secretariat-General will reply to your request within 15 working days
upon registration of your request and will duly inform you of the
registration of the request (or of any additional information to be
provided in view of its registration and/or treatment).
 
 
L’unité «Transparence» du secrétariat général de la Commission européenne
a bien reçu votre message.
Les demandes d’accès du public aux documents sont traitées sur la base du
[2]règlement (CE) n° 1049/2001 du 30 mai 2001 relatif à l’accès du public
aux documents du Parlement européen, du Conseil et de la Commission.
Le secrétariat général répondra à votre demande dans un délai de 15 jours
ouvrables à compter de la date d’enregistrement de votre demande, et vous
informera de cet enregistrement (ou vous indiquera toute information
supplémentaire à fournir en vue de l'enregistrement et/ou du traitement de
votre demande).
 
 
Ihre Nachricht ist beim Referat „Transparenz“ des Generalsekretariats der
Europäischen Kommission eingegangen.
Anträge auf Zugang zu Dokumenten werden auf der Grundlage der
[3]Verordnung (EG) Nr. 1049/2001 vom 30. Mai 2001 über den Zugang der
Öffentlichkeit zu Dokumenten des Europäischen Parlaments, des Rates und
der Kommission behandelt.
Das Generalsekretariat beantwortet Ihre Anfrage innerhalb von
15 Arbeitstagen nach deren Registrierung und wird Sie über die
Registrierung Ihres Antrags (oder die Notwendigkeit weiterer Informationen
im Hinblick auf dessen Registrierung und/oder Bearbeitung) unterrichten.
 
 

References

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1. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/...
2. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/...
3. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/...

SG ACCES DOCUMENTS, Secretariat General of the European Commission

1 Attachment

Link: [1]File-List
Link: [2]Edit-Time-Data
Link: [3]themeData
Link: [4]colorSchemeMapping

[5]Your confirmatory application for access to documents under Regulation
(EC) No 1049/2001 - GESTDEM 2021/7168 - 1st holding letter -
Ares(2022)839023 - Ares(2022)857258  (Please use this link only if you are
an Ares user – Svp, utilisez ce lien exclusivement si vous êtes un(e)
utilisateur d’Ares)

Dear Mr Teffer,

 

Thank you for your e-mail.

 

We would like to clarify that in order to carry out a full analysis of
your request and to take a final decision, the elements needed have to be
gatherer within internal consultations. Please note that these
consultations are necessary in order to explore feasible options on how to
handle the voluminous scope of your request in light of the sensitivity of
the documents requested and taking into account that some originate from a
third party.

 

Given the very large number of documents that fall under the scope of your
request and are subject to ongoing assessment and internal consultations,
we consider that the criteria for an extension under Article 8(2) of
Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 are met.

 

Therefore, we still cannot commit to a specific time frame within when the
decision will be adopted. However, we would like to assure you that we are
doing our utmost to provide you with a reply as soon as possible.

 

Please accept our sincere apologies for the inconvenience this delay may
cause to you and thank you for your understanding.

 

Kind regards,

 

ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS TEAM

[6]cid:image001.gif@01D13362.41D673C0

European Commission

Secretariat-General

SG C.1 – Transparency, Document Management & Access to Documents

[7][email address]

 

 

show quoted sections

Dear Madam, Sir,

I write to you in relation to my confirmatory application registered on 14 January 2022 registered on 14/01/2022 (Ares(2022)271752) (initial application: GESTDEM 2021/7168). The extended deadline for a reply will expire at the end of this week, on 25 February 2022.

In my confirmatory application, I argued that the Commission was unable to use the first subparagraph of Article 4(3) of Regulation 1049/2001 to argue against disclosure, because the decision-making process in relation to the Dutch Recovery and Resilience Plan has not started in the European Commission. After all, the Netherlands has not yet submitted a plan.

I would like to inform you that my position is now reinforced by a letter from the Dutch minister of Finance, Mrs Sigrid Kaag. On 17 February, she answered questions from Dutch parliament members about the informal discussions held between the Commission and the Netherlands. The letter can be found here:

https://www.tweedekamer.nl/kamerstukken/...

In answers 11 and 13, Kaag confirms what I argued in my confirmatory application:

"Het is gebruikelijk dat Europese lidstaten conceptplannen informeel toetsen bij de Europese Commissie. De HVF-verordening is voor alle Europese lidstaten een nieuw proces, vandaar dat informeel en ambtelijk bij de experts van de Europese Commissie getoetst is of bepaalde zaken voldoen aan de eisen van de verordening. Er is hiermee geen officiële procedure omzeild. De officiële procedure met de Europese Commissie gaat van start op het moment dat wij het plan indienen bij de Commissie, cf. preambule lid 38 van de HVF-verordening."

and

"De gesprekken vormen echter geen onderdeel van het beoordelingsproces, maar worden ingezet ter voorziening van benodigde informatie ten aanzien van de HVF-verordening. De Commissie velt in deze gesprekken dan ook geen oordeel over de samenhang van het plan, maar geeft slechts toelichting bij de technische vereisten. Dit blijkt ook uit de openbaargemaakte stukken d.d. 1 november 2021."

The minister stated that the official procedure of the assessment of the RRF plan will only start "the moment we submit the plan", and the discussions held before that "are not part of the assessment process".

I would like to ask that in your assessment of my confirmatory application, you accept this letter from the Dutch finance minister as part of the relevant context.

Sincerely
Peter Teffer

Sg-Acc-Doc@ec.europa.eu, Secretariat General of the European Commission

Your message has been received by the Transparency Unit of the
Secretariat-General of the European Commission.
Requests for public access to documents are treated on the basis of
[1]Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 of 30 May 2001 regarding public access to
European Parliament, Council and Commission documents.
The Secretariat-General will reply to your request within 15 working days
upon registration of your request and will duly inform you of the
registration of the request (or of any additional information to be
provided in view of its registration and/or treatment).
 
 
L’unité «Transparence» du secrétariat général de la Commission européenne
a bien reçu votre message.
Les demandes d’accès du public aux documents sont traitées sur la base du
[2]règlement (CE) n° 1049/2001 du 30 mai 2001 relatif à l’accès du public
aux documents du Parlement européen, du Conseil et de la Commission.
Le secrétariat général répondra à votre demande dans un délai de 15 jours
ouvrables à compter de la date d’enregistrement de votre demande, et vous
informera de cet enregistrement (ou vous indiquera toute information
supplémentaire à fournir en vue de l'enregistrement et/ou du traitement de
votre demande).
 
 
Ihre Nachricht ist beim Referat „Transparenz“ des Generalsekretariats der
Europäischen Kommission eingegangen.
Anträge auf Zugang zu Dokumenten werden auf der Grundlage der
[3]Verordnung (EG) Nr. 1049/2001 vom 30. Mai 2001 über den Zugang der
Öffentlichkeit zu Dokumenten des Europäischen Parlaments, des Rates und
der Kommission behandelt.
Das Generalsekretariat beantwortet Ihre Anfrage innerhalb von
15 Arbeitstagen nach deren Registrierung und wird Sie über die
Registrierung Ihres Antrags (oder die Notwendigkeit weiterer Informationen
im Hinblick auf dessen Registrierung und/oder Bearbeitung) unterrichten.
 
 

References

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1. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/...
2. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/...
3. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/...

SG ACCES DOCUMENTS, Secretariat General of the European Commission

1 Attachment

Link: [1]File-List
Link: [2]Edit-Time-Data
Link: [3]themeData
Link: [4]colorSchemeMapping

[5]Your confirmatory application for access to documents under Regulation
(EC) No 1049/2001 - GESTDEM 2021/7168 - 2st holding letter -
Ares(2022)1431041  (Please use this link only if you are an Ares user –
Svp, utilisez ce lien exclusivement si vous êtes un(e) utilisateur d’Ares)

Dear Mr Teffer,

 

I refer to your email of 12 January 2022, registered on 14 January 2022,
by which you submit a confirmatory application in accordance with Article
7(2) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding public access to European
Parliament, Council and Commission documents ("Regulation (EC) No
1049/2001"), registered under reference number above.

 

I also refer to our holding reply of 4 February 2022, by which the time
limit for replying to your confirmatory application was extended by 15
working days, pursuant to Article 8(2) of Regulation 1049/2001. This
extended time limit expires on 25 February 2022.

 

I regret to have to inform you that we are not able to respond within the
extended time limit, as we have not yet finalised internal and external
consultations. Please note that these consultations are necessary in order
to explore feasible options on how to handle the voluminous scope of your
request in light of the sensitivity of the documents requested and taking
into account that some originate from a third party.

 

However, I can assure you that we are doing our utmost to provide you with
a final reply as soon as possible.

 

I regret this additional delay and sincerely apologise for any
inconvenience this may cause.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

 

Mariusz Daca, Ph.D.
Deputy Head of Unit
[6]cid:image001.gif@01D13362.41D673C0

European Commission

Secretariat General

Unit C.1 (Transparency, Document Management and Access to Documents)

 

 

References

Visible links
1. file:///tmp/cid:filelist.xml@01D82A36.7BCAF9D0
2. file:///tmp/cid:editdata.mso
3. file:///tmp/~~themedata~~
4. file:///tmp/~~colorschememapping~~
5. https://webgate.ec.testa.eu/Ares/documen...

Dear Madam, Sir,

I write to you in relation to my confirmatory application registered on 14 January 2022 registered on 14/01/2022 (Ares(2022)271752) (initial application: GESTDEM 2021/7168). The extended deadline for a reply expired on 25 February 2022.

Your letter from that day, in which you expressed regret that you were not able to respond within the extended time limit, is now 12 working days old.

The reason you gave for failing to reply within the legal deadline, is that "we have not yet finalised internal and external consultations".

The fact that consultations are ongoing however does not justify going beyond the 1049/2001 time limit. Even the one extension of the time limit is only possible in "exceptional cases" - let alone a second.

Consultations within the Commission and with third parties are a standard part of handling a confirmatory application. Hence, there is no exceptional case, and thus no legal basis for an extended time limit. The fact that the Commission is *unable* to finalise what should be a routine element of a confirmatory application (inter-service consultations and consultations with third parties) within the prescribed time limit, does not change the fact that it is violating Regulation 1049/2001.

I expect a reply within the next 48 hours. Without one, I will file a complaint to the European Ombudsman.

Sincerely
Peter Teffer

Sg-Acc-Doc@ec.europa.eu, Secretariat General of the European Commission

Your message has been received by the Transparency Unit of the
Secretariat-General of the European Commission.
Requests for public access to documents are treated on the basis of
[1]Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 of 30 May 2001 regarding public access to
European Parliament, Council and Commission documents.
The Secretariat-General will reply to your request within 15 working days
upon registration of your request and will duly inform you of the
registration of the request (or of any additional information to be
provided in view of its registration and/or treatment).
 
 
L’unité «Transparence» du secrétariat général de la Commission européenne
a bien reçu votre message.
Les demandes d’accès du public aux documents sont traitées sur la base du
[2]règlement (CE) n° 1049/2001 du 30 mai 2001 relatif à l’accès du public
aux documents du Parlement européen, du Conseil et de la Commission.
Le secrétariat général répondra à votre demande dans un délai de 15 jours
ouvrables à compter de la date d’enregistrement de votre demande, et vous
informera de cet enregistrement (ou vous indiquera toute information
supplémentaire à fournir en vue de l'enregistrement et/ou du traitement de
votre demande).
 
 
Ihre Nachricht ist beim Referat „Transparenz“ des Generalsekretariats der
Europäischen Kommission eingegangen.
Anträge auf Zugang zu Dokumenten werden auf der Grundlage der
[3]Verordnung (EG) Nr. 1049/2001 vom 30. Mai 2001 über den Zugang der
Öffentlichkeit zu Dokumenten des Europäischen Parlaments, des Rates und
der Kommission behandelt.
Das Generalsekretariat beantwortet Ihre Anfrage innerhalb von
15 Arbeitstagen nach deren Registrierung und wird Sie über die
Registrierung Ihres Antrags (oder die Notwendigkeit weiterer Informationen
im Hinblick auf dessen Registrierung und/oder Bearbeitung) unterrichten.
 
 

References

Visible links
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2. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/...
3. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/...

SG ACCES DOCUMENTS, Secretariat General of the European Commission

[1]Your confirmatory application for access to documents under Regulation
(EC) No 1049/2001 - GESTDEM 2021/7168 - 2st holding letter -
Ares(2022)1431041 - Ares(2022)1928649  (Please use this link only if you
are an Ares user – Svp, utilisez ce lien exclusivement si vous êtes un(e)
utilisateur d’Ares)

Dear Mr Teffer,

Thank you for your e-mail.

We understand your frustration and we would like to assure you that we are
working on the final decision in relation to your request. In light of the
voluminous scope of your request and the potential exceptions applicable,
the consultations in relation to your application have not yet been
finalized. Therefore, we cannot unfortunately commit to a specific time
frame within when the final decision will be adopted.

However, we would like to assure you that we are doing our utmost to
provide you with a reply as soon as possible.

Please accept our sincere apologies for the inconvenience this delay may
cause to you and thank you for your understanding.

Kind regards,

ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS TEAM (cr)
European Commission
Secretariat-General
SG C.1 – Transparency, Document Management & Access to Documents
[email address]

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