Greta Rosén Fondahn

Dear Research and Innovation,

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 declarations of independence (DOI) submitted by Type A members of the:

- Expert Group on Venture Philanthropy and Social Investments (E03495)
- Commission expert group: Mission Board for climate-neutral and smart cities (E03667)
- Horizon 2020 Commission Expert Group to advise on specific ethical issues raised by driverless mobility (E03659)
- Horizon 2020 Expert Group for the mid-term review of the Contractual Public-Private Partnerships (cPPPs) (E03538)
- European Innovation Council (EIC) High Level Expert Group (E03465)

I am aware that the expert groups in question are closed, but according to the Data Protection Officer, the "[t]he declarations of interest are however kept by the Commission service managing the expert group for five years after the group is closed."

I have provided my address below. However, I prefer electronic communication.

Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions regarding my request.

Yours faithfully,
Greta Rosén Fondahn

Cava de San Miguel 8, 4º c.
28005 Madrid

RTD ACCESS DOCUMENTS, Research and Innovation

1 Attachment

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

Dear Ms Rosén Fondahn,

 

We hereby acknowledge receipt of your below application for access to
documents, registered on 23.3.22 under reference number GESTDEM 2022/1677.

 

In accordance with Regulation 1049/2001 regarding public access to EU
documents, your application will be handled within 15 working days. The
time limit will expire on 13.4.22. 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 EU institution. Therefore, the 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 please visit our
[5]Privacy statement – access to documents.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

RTD Access to documents

 

[6]cid:image001.gif@01D640D4.CBFA20E0

European Commission

DG Research and Innovation

Common Legal Support Service

 

ORBN 05

1049 Brussels/Belgium

[7][DG RTD request email]

 

[8]https://ec.europa.eu/research

 

 

show quoted sections

RTD ACCESS DOCUMENTS, Research and Innovation

1 Attachment

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

[5]RE: AoR: access to documents request - DOIs Members of expert groups DG
RTD - Ares(2022)2118242 - Ares(2022)2246963  (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 Ms Rosén Fondahn,

 

Please be informed that your request for access to documents below has
been split between the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation and
the European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency (EISMEA).

 

As responsible service, EISMEA will handle the part of your request
referring to the:

 

- European Innovation Council (EIC) High Level Expert Group (E03465); and
the

- Expert Group on Venture Philanthropy and Social Investments (E03495).

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

RTD Access to documents

 

[6]cid:image001.gif@01D640D4.CBFA20E0

European Commission

DG Research and Innovation

Common Legal Support Service

 

ORBN 05

1049 Brussels/Belgium

[7][DG RTD request email]

 

[8]https://ec.europa.eu/research  

   

 

From: RTD ACCESS DOCUMENTS <[9][DG RTD request email]>
Sent: Wednesday, 23 March, 2022 10:35
To: Greta Rosén Fondahn <[10][FOI #10869 email]>
Subject: AoR: access to documents request - DOIs Members of expert groups
DG RTD - Ares(2022)2118242

 

Dear Ms Rosén Fondahn,

 

We hereby acknowledge receipt of your below application for access to
documents, registered on 23.3.22 under reference number GESTDEM 2022/1677.

 

In accordance with Regulation 1049/2001 regarding public access to EU
documents, your application will be handled within 15 working days. The
time limit will expire on 13.4.22. 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 EU institution. Therefore, the 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 please visit our
[11]Privacy statement – access to documents.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

RTD Access to documents

 

[12]cid:image001.gif@01D640D4.CBFA20E0

European Commission

DG Research and Innovation

Common Legal Support Service

 

ORBN 05

1049 Brussels/Belgium

[13][DG RTD request email]

 

[14]https://ec.europa.eu/research

 

 

show quoted sections

EISMEA ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS, Research and Innovation

Link: [1]File-List
Link: [2]themeData
Link: [3]colorSchemeMapping

Dear Ms Rosén Fondahn,

 

We acknowledge receipt of your request transmitted by Directorate-General
for Research and Innovation of the European Commission to access “the
declarations of independence (DOI) submitted by Type A members of the

- European Innovation Council (EIC) High Level Expert Group (E03465); and
the

- Expert Group on Venture Philanthropy and Social Investments (E03495).”

 

In accordance with Regulation 1049/2001 regarding public access to EU
documents, your application was registered today with EISMEA and will be
handled within 15 working days.  This time limit will expire on 21 April
2022. In case this time limit needs to be extended, you will be informed
in due course.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency (EISMEA)

EISMEA Access to documents

 

References

Visible links
1. file:///tmp/cid:filelist.xml@01D842C2.1054A120
2. file:///tmp/~~themedata~~
3. file:///tmp/~~colorschememapping~~

RTD ACCESS DOCUMENTS, Research and Innovation

1 Attachment

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

Dear Ms Rosén Fondahn,

 

We refer to your request for access to documents below of 22 March 2022,
registered on 23 March under reference number GESTDEM 2022/1677.

 

Your application is currently being handled. However, we are not in a
position to complete the handling of your application within the time
limit of 15 working days, which will expire today, 13 April.

 

An extended time limit is needed as your application concerns documents
held by different units, which had to be consulted. Therefore, we have to
extend the time limit with 15 working days, in accordance with Art 7(3) of
Regulation 1049/2001 regarding public access to EU documents. The new time
limit will expire on 10 May.

 

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

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

RTD Access to documents

 

[5]cid:image001.gif@01D640D4.CBFA20E0

European Commission

DG Research and Innovation

Common Legal Support Service

 

ORBN 05

1049 Brussels/Belgium

[6][DG RTD request email]

 

[7]https://ec.europa.eu/research

 

 

From: RTD ACCESS DOCUMENTS <[DG RTD request email]>
Sent: Monday, 28 March, 2022 11:38
To: Greta Rosén Fondahn <[FOI #10869 email]>
Cc: EISMEA ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS <[email address]>
Subject: RE: AoR: access to documents request - DOIs Members of expert
groups DG RTD - Ares(2022)2118242 - Ares(2022)2246963

 

[8]RE: AoR: access to documents request - DOIs Members of expert groups DG
RTD - Ares(2022)2118242 - Ares(2022)2246963  (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 Ms Rosén Fondahn,

 

Please be informed that your request for access to documents below has
been split between the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation and
the European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency (EISMEA).

 

As responsible service, EISMEA will handle the part of your request
referring to the:

 

- European Innovation Council (EIC) High Level Expert Group (E03465); and
the

- Expert Group on Venture Philanthropy and Social Investments (E03495).

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

RTD Access to documents

 

[9]cid:image001.gif@01D640D4.CBFA20E0

European Commission

DG Research and Innovation

Common Legal Support Service

 

ORBN 05

1049 Brussels/Belgium

[10][DG RTD request email]

 

[11]https://ec.europa.eu/research 

   

 

From: RTD ACCESS DOCUMENTS <[12][DG RTD request email]>
Sent: Wednesday, 23 March, 2022 10:35
To: Greta Rosén Fondahn <[13][FOI #10869 email]>
Subject: AoR: access to documents request - DOIs Members of expert groups
DG RTD - Ares(2022)2118242

 

Dear Ms Rosén Fondahn,

 

We hereby acknowledge receipt of your below application for access to
documents, registered on 23.3.22 under reference number GESTDEM 2022/1677.

 

In accordance with Regulation 1049/2001 regarding public access to EU
documents, your application will be handled within 15 working days. The
time limit will expire on 13.4.22. 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 EU institution. Therefore, the 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 please visit our
[14]Privacy statement – access to documents.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

RTD Access to documents

 

[15]cid:image001.gif@01D640D4.CBFA20E0

European Commission

DG Research and Innovation

Common Legal Support Service

 

ORBN 05

1049 Brussels/Belgium

[16][DG RTD request email]

 

[17]https://ec.europa.eu/research

 

 

show quoted sections

RTD ACCESS DOCUMENTS, Research and Innovation

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Rosén Fondahn,

Please find attached the reply to your access to documents request in subject.

According to the standard operational procedure, the reply should also be sent by registered post. However, as you prefer electronic communication, the reply is sent to you by email only.

We would appreciate if you could confirm receipt of the present email by replying to [DG RTD request email]

Thank you very much in advance,

RTD Access to documents

European Commission
DG Research and Innovation
Common Legal Support Service

ORBN 05
1049 Brussels/Belgium
[DG RTD request email]

Greta Rosén Fondahn

Dear RTD ACCESS DOCUMENTS,

I hereby confirm receipt of your reply to my request GestDem 2022/1677.

Yours sincerely,

Greta Rosén Fondahn

Greta Rosen,

1 Attachment

Answer by post from European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency.

Greta Rosén Fondahn

Dear Research and Innovation,

Please pass this on to the person who reviews confirmatory applications, namely the Secretariat General Access to Documents Team.

Dear Secretariat General of the European Commission,

I am filing the following confirmatory application with regards to my access to documents request ‘DOIs Members of expert groups DG RTD’, GESTDEM 2022/1677.

The request was processed by DG RTD, and the decision received 29 April 2022.

On 22 March 2022 I requested, under the right of access to documents in the EU treaties, as developed in Regulation 1049/2001, the DOI forms submitted by Type A members of five high level expert groups, where DG RTD identified three as falling within their scope: Commission expert group: Mission Board for climate-neutral and smart cities (E03667), Horizon 2020 Commission Expert Group to advise on specific ethical issues raised by driverless mobility (E03659) and Horizon 2020 Expert Group for the mid-term review of the Contractual Public-Private Partnerships (cPPPs) (E03538). While the groups in question have been closed, I noted in the request that as specified by the Data Protection Officer, the ‘[t]he declarations of interest are however kept by the Commission service managing the expert group for five years after the group is closed.'

The request was denied by DG RTD on the basis that ‘their content must be protected in accordance with the exception provided by Article 4(1)(b) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001’, stating that the ‘requested documents contain only personal data (names, handwritten signatures and other relevant information) of the members appointed in a personal capacity of three closed expert groups’.

I am kindly asking you to review this decision, and grant access to the identified declarations of interest, on the following grounds:

1) The requested information is necessary for a specific public interest, and its release needs to be examined the further under Article 9(1)(b) of Regulation (EU) 2018/1725.

In the refusal DG RTD cites Article 9(1)(b) of the Data Protection Regulation, which states that ‘personal data shall only be transmitted to recipients established in the Union other than Union institutions and bodies […] if the recipient establishes that it is necessary to have the data transmitted for a specific purpose in the public interest and the controller, where there is any reason to assume that the data subject’s legitimate interests might be prejudiced, establishes that it is proportionate to transmit the personal data for that specific purpose after having demonstrably weighed the various competing interests’.

I argue that there exists a specific public interest in being able to access DOI forms of expert group members.

EU policy making is a long process. Years may pass between initial conceptual discussions in expert groups to negotiations of regulations in trilogues. In this context, an expert group may close before the outputs of the group have ceased to impact policy making. For journalists, civil society and citizens trying to scrutinise actions of the Commission and other EU institutions in their entirety, it is crucial to be able to access declarations of interest of expert groups members – even of recently closed groups.

Commission expert groups also play a significant and specific role within EU policy making. While Type A members are appointed in their own capacity, they also have unique access to shape the direction of Commission policy. It is therefore important for the public to be able to analyse composition of expert groups systematically and retroactively – not least for the public to be able to duly confide in the decisions of the Commission and its expert groups. In this context it is necessary for journalists, civil society, and citizens to be able to access declarations of interest also of recently closed groups.

In this respect, I believe the disclosure of personal data under the Data Protection Regulation is indeed necessary for a specific public interest and this should be examined further by the Commission.

2) Legitimate interests of the person will not be prejudiced.

Recital 28 of Regulation 2018/1725 specifically requires that when recipients demonstrate that the transmission is necessary for a specific purpose in the public interest, then ‘the controller should establish whether there is any reason to assume that the data subject’s legitimate interests might be prejudiced. In such cases, the controller should demonstrably weigh the various competing interests in order to assess the proportionality of the requested transmission of personal data.’

For this assessment, I would like to point your attention to the Commission decision C(2016)3301, establishing horizontal rules on the creation and operation of Commission expert groups, which states that when applying to an expert group Type A members are required to disclose their potential conflict of interests‘[i]n order to ensure the highest level of integrity of experts, as well as public confidence in the Commission's activities’. Following this, the same decision creates additional transparency provisions for appointed Type A members, stating that ‘DOI forms shall be made publicly available on the Register of expert groups, where the experts in question are Type A members of an expert group or sub-group.’

By applying to the expert group in question, and when disclosing personal data, the experts would have been aware of this additional transparency requirement following from the responsibility of the position and would also have consented to the handling of their personal information. Therefore, as there is a specific public interest in these documents, and due to the fact that they have consented to the processing of their personal data, releasing these documents to me would not prejudice their legitimate interests. It is a proportionate way to ensure transparency and accountability of expert groups and their contribution of the formation of EU policy.

I believe that I have established that there is a need for the transfer of this personal data, that processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest. I also believe that I have demonstrated that the transfer of the requested documents could not affect the legitimate interests of the person concerned.

I ask you to take these arguments into consideration when you weigh the various competing interests and assess whether it would be proportionate to send the personal data for the pursued objective.

3) Partial access could be considered.

To fulfil my watchdog role, as outlined in point 1, partial access may be sufficient. While the disclosure of CV details is crucial information for analysis of expert group composition, ‘handwritten signatures’ is less significant for the public interest and could be redacted. This would further assure that the disclosure of the documents could not affect the legitimate interests of the person concerned.

4) Documents were already in the public domain.

The documents identified by DG RTD as falling under the scope of the request were already in the public domain, as they have previously been published on the Commission website in the Register of Commission Expert Groups and Other Similar Entities.

5) Previous Commission decisions granted partial access to declarations of independence of closed expert groups.

In a reply to a confirmatory application of a similar request, GESTDEM 2021/2490, the Secretariat General granted partial access to declarations of independence for type A members of the HLEG on Artificial Intelligence, and stated that it ‘observes that more transparency is provided to certain documents related to persons who hold an expert group member function in line with Commission decision C(2016)3301 establishing horizontal rules on the creation and operation of Commission expert groups, and that the requested documents had indeed been made public by the European Commission during the existence of the former High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence (E03591) pursuant to the privacy statement. Finally, the Secretariat-General takes into account the principle recognised in the case law that disclosure of certain documents cannot be withheld if comparable documents are in the public domain.’

A full history of my request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/dois...

Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions regarding the request.

Yours faithfully,

Greta Rosén Fondahn

Greta Rosén Fondahn

Dear EISMEA ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS,

Please pass this on to the person who reviews confirmatory applications.

A PDF copy has also been sent to [email address] for your convenience.

Dear European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency,

I am filing the following confirmatory application with regards to my access to documents request ‘DOIs Members of expert groups DG RTD’, forwarded to EISMEA from DG RTD on 28 March.

The request was processed by EISMEA, and a decision posted on 20 April 2022. The request has not been assigned a reference number by EISMEA, but the letter carries Ares code (2022)2266258.

On 22 March 2022 I requested from DG RTD, under the right of access to documents in the EU treaties, as developed in Regulation 1049/2001, the DOI forms submitted by Type A members of five high level expert groups. Part of the request was forwarded to EISMEA, who consequently handled the request for groups Expert Group on Venture Philanthropy and Social Investments (E03495) and European Innovation Council (EIC) High Level Expert Group (E034659). While the groups in question have been closed, I noted in the request that as specified by the Data Protection Officer, the ‘[t]he declarations of interest are however kept by the Commission service managing the expert group for five years after the group is closed.'

The request was denied by EISMEA on the basis that ‘disclosure is prevented by the exception concerning the protection of privacy and integrity of the individual outlined in Article 4(1)(b) Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001, because they contain only personal data of the members appointed in a personal capacity of the two closed Commission Expert Groups:

- the names/initials of natural persons;
- handwritten signatures/abbreviated signatures of natural persons;
- other information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person (functions, activities, employers)’

Additionally, EISMEA added that they 'have considered the possibility of granting partial access to the documents requested. However, for the reasons explained above, no meaningful partial access is possible without undermining the interests described above.’.

I am kindly asking you to review this decision, and grant access to the identified declarations of interest, on the following grounds:

1) The requested information is necessary for a specific public interest, and its release needs to be examined the further under Article 9(1)(b) of Regulation (EU) 2018/1725.

In the refusal EISMEA cites Article 9(1)(b) of the Data Protection Regulation, which states that ‘personal data shall only be transmitted to recipients established in the Union other than Union institutions and bodies […] if the recipient establishes that it is necessary to have the data transmitted for a specific purpose in the public interest and the controller, where there is any reason to assume that the data subject’s legitimate interests might be prejudiced, establishes that it is proportionate to transmit the personal data for that specific purpose after having demonstrably weighed the various competing interests’.

I argue that there exists a specific public interest in being able to access DOI forms of expert group members.

EU policy making is a long process. Years may pass between initial conceptual discussions in expert groups to negotiations of regulations in trilogues. In this context, an expert group may close before the outputs of the group have ceased to impact policy making. For journalists, civil society and citizens trying to scrutinise actions of the Commission and other EU institutions in their entirety, it is crucial to be able to access declarations of interest of expert groups members – even of recently closed groups.

Commission expert groups also play a significant and specific role within EU policy making. While Type A members are appointed in their own capacity, they also have unique access to shape the direction of Commission policy. It is therefore important for the public to be able to analyse composition of expert groups systematically and retroactively – not least for the public to be able to duly confide in the decisions of the Commission and its expert groups. In this context it is necessary for journalists, civil society, and citizens to be able to access declarations of interest also of recently closed groups.

In this respect, I believe the disclosure of personal data under the Data Protection Regulation is indeed necessary for a specific public interest and this should be examined further by the Commission.

2) Legitimate interests of the person will not be prejudiced.

Recital 28 of Regulation 2018/1725 specifically requires that when recipients demonstrate that the transmission is necessary for a specific purpose in the public interest, then ‘the controller should establish whether there is any reason to assume that the data subject’s legitimate interests might be prejudiced. In such cases, the controller should demonstrably weigh the various competing interests in order to assess the proportionality of the requested transmission of personal data.’

For this assessment, I would like to point your attention to the Commission decision C(2016)3301, establishing horizontal rules on the creation and operation of Commission expert groups, which states that when applying to an expert group Type A members are required to disclose their potential conflict of interests‘[i]n order to ensure the highest level of integrity of experts, as well as public confidence in the Commission's activities’. Following this, the same decision creates additional transparency provisions for appointed Type A members, stating that ‘DOI forms shall be made publicly available on the Register of expert groups, where the experts in question are Type A members of an expert group or sub-group.’

By applying to the expert group in question, and when disclosing personal data, the experts would have been aware of this additional transparency requirement following from the responsibility of the position and would also have consented to the handling of their personal information. Therefore, as there is a specific public interest in these documents, and due to the fact that they have consented to the processing of their personal data, releasing these documents to me would not prejudice their legitimate interests. It is a proportionate way to ensure transparency and accountability of expert groups and their contribution of the formation of EU policy.

I believe that I have established that there is a need for the transfer of this personal data, that processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest. I also believe that I have demonstrated that the transfer of the requested documents could not affect the legitimate interests of the person concerned.

I ask you to take these arguments into consideration when you weigh the various competing interests and assess whether it would be proportionate to send the personal data for the pursued objective.

3) Partial access could be considered.

To fulfil my watchdog role, as outlined in point 1, partial access may be sufficient. While the disclosure of CV details is crucial information for analysis of expert group composition, ‘handwritten signatures’ is less significant for the public interest and could be redacted. This would further assure that the disclosure of the documents could not affect the legitimate interests of the person concerned.

4) Documents were already in the public domain.

The documents identified by EISMEA as falling under the scope of the request were already in the public domain, as they have previously been published on the Commission website in the Register of Commission Expert Groups and Other Similar Entities.

5) Previous Commission decisions granted partial access to declarations of independence of closed expert groups.

In a reply to a confirmatory application of a similar request, GESTDEM 2021/2490, the Secretariat General granted partial access to declarations of independence for type A members of the HLEG on Artificial Intelligence, and stated that it ‘observes that more transparency is provided to certain documents related to persons who hold an expert group member function in line with Commission decision C(2016)3301 establishing horizontal rules on the creation and operation of Commission expert groups, and that the requested documents had indeed been made public by the European Commission during the existence of the former High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence (E03591) pursuant to the privacy statement. Finally, the Secretariat-General takes into account the principle recognised in the case law that disclosure of certain documents cannot be withheld if comparable documents are in the public domain.’

A full history of my request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/dois...

Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions regarding the request.

Yours faithfully,
Greta Rosén Fondahn

SG ACCES DOCUMENTS, Research and Innovation

1 Attachment

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

Dear Madam,

 

Thank you for your email dated 05/05/2022 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 DG RTD
in reply to your initial application GESTDEM 2022/1677.

 

We hereby acknowledge receipt of your confirmatory application for access
to documents which was registered on 05/05/2022 ([5]Ares(2022)3471113).

 

Your application will be handled within 15 working days (31/05/2022). 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)

 

 

European Commission

Secretariat-General

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

[6][email address]

 

 

 

 

 

--Original Message-----

From: Greta Rosén Fondahn <[7][FOI #10869 email]>

Sent: Thursday, 5 May, 2022 12:58

To: RTD ACCESS DOCUMENTS <[8][email address]>

Subject: Internal review of access to documents request - DOIs Members of
expert groups DG RTD

 

Dear Research and Innovation,

 

Please pass this on to the person who reviews confirmatory applications,
namely the Secretariat General Access to Documents Team.

 

Dear Secretariat General of the European Commission,

 

I am filing the following confirmatory application with regards to my
access to documents request ‘DOIs Members of expert groups DG RTD’,
GESTDEM 2022/1677.

 

The request was processed by DG RTD, and the decision received 29 April
2022.

 

On 22 March 2022 I requested, under the right of access to documents in
the EU treaties, as developed in Regulation 1049/2001, the DOI forms
submitted by Type A members of five high level expert groups, where DG RTD
identified three as falling within their scope: Commission expert group:
Mission Board for climate-neutral and smart cities (E03667), Horizon 2020
Commission Expert Group to advise on specific ethical issues raised by
driverless mobility (E03659) and Horizon 2020 Expert Group for the
mid-term review of the Contractual Public-Private Partnerships (cPPPs)
(E03538). While the groups in question have been closed, I noted in the
request that as specified by the Data Protection Officer, the ‘[t]he
declarations of interest are however kept by the Commission service
managing the expert group for five years after the group is closed.'

 

The request was denied by DG RTD on the basis that ‘their content must be
protected in accordance with the exception provided by Article 4(1)(b) of
Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001’, stating that the ‘requested documents
contain only personal data (names, handwritten signatures and other
relevant information) of the members appointed in a personal capacity of
three closed expert groups’.

 

I am kindly asking you to review this decision, and grant access to the
identified declarations of interest, on the following grounds:

 

1)           The requested information is necessary for a specific public
interest, and its release needs to be examined the further under Article
9(1)(b) of Regulation (EU) 2018/1725.

 

In the refusal DG RTD cites Article 9(1)(b) of the Data Protection
Regulation, which states that ‘personal data shall only be transmitted to
recipients established in the Union other than Union institutions and
bodies […] if the recipient establishes that it is necessary to have the
data transmitted for a specific purpose in the public interest and the
controller, where there is any reason to assume that the data subject’s
legitimate interests might be prejudiced, establishes that it is
proportionate to transmit the personal data for that specific purpose
after having demonstrably weighed the various competing interests’.

 

I argue that there exists a specific public interest in being able to
access DOI forms of expert group members.

 

EU policy making is a long process. Years may pass between initial
conceptual discussions in expert groups to negotiations of regulations in
trilogues. In this context, an expert group may close before the outputs
of the group have ceased to impact policy making. For journalists, civil
society and citizens trying to scrutinise actions of the Commission and
other EU institutions in their entirety, it is crucial to be able to
access declarations of interest of expert groups members – even of
recently closed groups. 

 

Commission expert groups also play a significant and specific role within
EU policy making. While Type A members are appointed in their own
capacity, they also have unique access to shape the direction of
Commission policy. It is therefore important for the public to be able to
analyse composition of expert groups systematically and retroactively –
not least for the public to be able to duly confide in the decisions of
the Commission and its expert groups. In this context it is necessary for
journalists, civil society, and citizens to be able to access declarations
of interest also of recently closed groups.

 

In this respect, I believe the disclosure of personal data under the Data
Protection Regulation is indeed necessary for a specific public interest
and this should be examined further by the Commission.

 

2)           Legitimate interests of the person will not be prejudiced.

 

Recital 28 of Regulation 2018/1725 specifically requires that when
recipients demonstrate that the transmission is necessary for a specific
purpose in the public interest, then ‘the controller should establish
whether there is any reason to assume that the data subject’s legitimate
interests might be prejudiced. In such cases, the controller should
demonstrably weigh the various competing interests in order to assess the
proportionality of the requested transmission of personal data.’

 

For this assessment, I would like to point your attention to the
Commission decision C(2016)3301, establishing horizontal rules on the
creation and operation of Commission expert groups, which states that when
applying to an expert group Type A members are required to disclose their
potential conflict of interests‘[i]n order to ensure the highest level of
integrity of experts, as well as public confidence in the Commission's
activities’. Following this, the same decision creates additional
transparency provisions for appointed Type A members, stating that ‘DOI
forms shall be made publicly available on the Register of expert groups,
where the experts in question are Type A members of an expert group or
sub-group.’

 

By applying to the expert group in question, and when disclosing personal
data, the experts would have been aware of this additional transparency
requirement following from the responsibility of the position and would
also have consented to the handling of their personal information.
Therefore, as there is a specific public interest in these documents, and
due to the fact that they have consented to the processing of their
personal data, releasing these documents to me would not prejudice their
legitimate interests. It is a proportionate way to ensure transparency and
accountability of expert groups and their contribution of the formation of
EU policy.

 

I believe that I have established that there is a need for the transfer of
this personal data, that processing is necessary for the performance of a
task carried out in the public interest. I also believe that I have
demonstrated that the transfer of the requested documents could not affect
the legitimate interests of the person concerned.

 

I ask you to take these arguments into consideration when you weigh the
various competing interests and assess whether it would be proportionate
to send the personal data for the pursued objective.

 

3)           Partial access could be considered.

 

To fulfil my watchdog role, as outlined in point 1, partial access may be
sufficient. While the disclosure of CV details is crucial information for
analysis of expert group composition, ‘handwritten signatures’ is less
significant for the public interest and could be redacted. This would
further assure that the disclosure of the documents could not affect the
legitimate interests of the person concerned.

 

4)           Documents were already in the public domain.

 

The documents identified by DG RTD as falling under the scope of the
request were already in the public domain, as they have previously been
published on the Commission website in the Register of Commission Expert
Groups and Other Similar Entities.

 

5)           Previous Commission decisions granted partial access to
declarations of independence of closed expert groups.

 

In a reply to a confirmatory application of a similar request, GESTDEM
2021/2490, the Secretariat General granted partial access to declarations
of independence for type A members of the HLEG on Artificial Intelligence,
and stated that it ‘observes that more transparency is provided to certain
documents related to persons who hold an expert group member function in
line with Commission decision C(2016)3301 establishing horizontal rules on
the creation and operation of Commission expert groups, and that the
requested documents had indeed been made public by the European Commission
during the existence of the former High-Level Expert Group on Artificial
Intelligence (E03591) pursuant to the privacy statement. Finally, the
Secretariat-General takes into account the principle recognised in the
case law that disclosure of certain documents cannot be withheld if
comparable documents are in the public domain.’

 

A full history of my request and all correspondence is available on the
Internet at this address:
[9]https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://www....

 

Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions
regarding the request.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

Greta Rosén Fondahn

 

 

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Please use this email address for all replies to this request:

[10][FOI #10869 email]

 

This message and all replies from Research and Innovation will be
published on the AsktheEU.org website. For more information see our
dedicated page for EU public officials at
[11]https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://www....

 

Please note that in some cases publication of requests and responses will
be delayed.

 

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References

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5. https://webgate.ec.testa.eu/Ares/documen...
6. mailto:[email address]
7. mailto:[FOI #10869 email]
8. mailto:[email address]
9. https://urldefense.com/v3/__https:/www.a...
10. mailto:[FOI #10869 email]
11. https://urldefense.com/v3/__https:/www.a...

EISMEA ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS, Research and Innovation

Link: [1]File-List
Link: [2]themeData
Link: [3]colorSchemeMapping

Dear Ms Rosén Fondahn,

 

Thank you for your e-mail!

We hereby acknowledge the receipt of your application for access to
documents, which was registered by EISMEA today, 06/05/2022, under
reference Ares(2022)3505505.

 

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 01/06/2022.

 

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

 

 

Yours faithfully,

EISMEA’s Access to Documents Team 

 

From: Greta Rosen <[4][email address]>
Sent: Thursday, May 5, 2022 1:28 PM
To: EISMEA LEGAL ADVICE <[5][email address]>
Subject: Confirmatory Application

 

Dear European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency,

Please find attached a confirmatory application relating to my access to
documents request, to which I received a reply from EISMEA via post dated
20 April, carrying Ares code (2022)2266258.

 

I am sending this in PDF format for your convenience. As the original
request was sent via AsktheEU, may I kindly ask that future correspondence
regarding the request continues there
([6][FOI #10869 email]).

 

Please do not hesitate to reach out should you have any questions.

 

Thank you in advance.

 

Yours faithfully,

Greta

 

---

Greta Rosén Fondahn

Research Assistant

Access Info Europe

[7]www.access-info.org

Tel: +34 637 226 609

 

References

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2. file:///tmp/~~themedata~~
3. file:///tmp/~~colorschememapping~~
4. mailto:[email address]
5. mailto:[email address]
6. mailto:[FOI #10869 email]
7. https://urldefense.com/v3/__http:/www.ac...

EISMEA ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS, Research and Innovation

1 Attachment

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

Dear Ms Rosén Fondahn,

 

We refer to your email of 5 May 2022 with which you submitted to the
European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency (EISMEA) a
confirmatory application, which was registered on 6 May 2022 under the
Ref. Ares(2022)3505505.

 

Your confirmatory 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 1 June 2022.

 

An extended time limit is needed as the application concerns a very large
number of documents.

 

Therefore, we have to extend the time limit with 15 working days in
accordance with Article 8(2) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding
public access to documents. The new time limit expires on 23 June 2022.

 

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

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

EISMEA Access to documents

 

 [5]cid:image001.png@01D726F2.F6B076E0
European Innovation Council and

Small & Medium-sized Enterprises Executive Agency (EISMEA)

Established by the European Commission

References

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SG ACCES DOCUMENTS, Research and Innovation

1 Attachment

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

Dear Ms Fondahn,

 

I am writing to you in reference to your email of 8 April 2022, registered
on the same day, by which you submitted a confirmatory application in
accordance with Article 7(2) of Regulation 1049/2001 regarding public
access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents (hereafter
Regulation 1049/2001).

 

I also refer to our holding reply dated 5 May 2022, by which the time
limit for replying to your confirmatory request was extended by 15 working
days, pursuant to Article 8(2) of the Regulation. This extended time limit
expired on 30 May 2022.

 

Unfortunately, we are not yet in a position to provide you with our final
position within the above-mentioned deadline, given the ongoing internal
consultations between the Commission services concerned. Following this
consultation, the draft confirmatory decision needs to be reviewed by the
Commission's Legal Service, after which it will be formally adopted within
the Secretariat-General and sent to you. However, I can assure you that we
are doing our utmost to provide you with a final reply within the upcoming
days.

 

Finally, please note that your other four confirmatory applications for
access to documents, submitted by the emails of 22 and 29 April and 5 and
10 May 2022, are being treated jointly with the one referred above, due to
the similarity of their subject matter. Consequently, the
Secretariat-General will soon adopt a single decision encompassing all
five confirmatory applications at issue.

 

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

 

Yours sincerely,

 

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

European Commission

Secretariat General

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

 

 

References

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EISMEA ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS, Research and Innovation

Link: [1]File-List
Link: [2]themeData
Link: [3]colorSchemeMapping

Dear Ms Rosén Fondahn,

 

Following our email of 30 May 2022 with ref ARES(2022)3996098  regarding
your confirmatory request registered on 6 May 2022 under the Ref.
Ares(2022)3505505, we regret to inform you that due to the complexity of
the request which effects also other Commission services and the large
number of documents, we need to extend further the time limit to reply to
your request.

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

 

Your sincerely,

 

EISMEA Access to Documents Team

References

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EISMEA LEGAL ADVICE, Research and Innovation

2 Attachments

Link: [1]File-List
Link: [2]themeData
Link: [3]colorSchemeMapping

[4]RE: Confirmatory Application - Ares(2022)5641314  (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 Ms Rosen,

Please find enclosed the reply of the European Innovation Council and SMEs
Executive Agency to your confirmatory application including its annex.

 

Could you please confirm receipt of this message by replying to this
email.

Best regards

 

EISMEA LEGAL TEAM

 

From: Greta Rosen <[email address]>
Sent: Thursday, May 5, 2022 1:28 PM
To: EISMEA LEGAL ADVICE <[email address]>
Subject: Confirmatory Application

 

Dear European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency,

Please find attached a confirmatory application relating to my access to
documents request, to which I received a reply from EISMEA via post dated
20 April, carrying Ares code (2022)2266258.

 

I am sending this in PDF format for your convenience. As the original
request was sent via AsktheEU, may I kindly ask that future correspondence
regarding the request continues there
([5][FOI #10869 email]).

 

Please do not hesitate to reach out should you have any questions.

 

Thank you in advance.

 

Yours faithfully,

Greta

 

---

Greta Rosén Fondahn

Research Assistant

Access Info Europe

[6]www.access-info.org

Tel: +34 637 226 609

 

References

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1. file:///tmp/cid:filelist.xml@01D8AB52.7DE187F0
2. file:///tmp/~~themedata~~
3. file:///tmp/~~colorschememapping~~
4. https://webgate.ec.testa.eu/Ares/documen...
5. mailto:[FOI #10869 email]
6. https://urldefense.com/v3/__http:/www.ac...

EISMEA-LEGAL-ADVICE@ec.europa.eu, Research and Innovation

Dear Ms Rosen,

 

May we kindly ask you to confirm that you have well received EISMEA’s
reply of 8 August 2022 to your confirmatory application?

 

Thank you in advance for confirming by replying to this email.

 

Kind regards,

 

EISMEA LEGAL TEAM

 

 

From: EISMEA LEGAL ADVICE <[1][email address]>
Sent: Monday, August 8, 2022 6:15 PM
To: [2][FOI #10869 email]
Cc: EISMEA ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS
<[3][email address]>
Subject: RE: Confirmatory Application - Ares(2022)5641314

 

[4]RE: Confirmatory Application - Ares(2022)5641314  (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 Ms Rosen,

Please find enclosed the reply of the European Innovation Council and SMEs
Executive Agency to your confirmatory application including its annex.

 

Could you please confirm receipt of this message by replying to this
email.

Best regards

 

EISMEA LEGAL TEAM

 

From: Greta Rosen <[5][email address]>
Sent: Thursday, May 5, 2022 1:28 PM
To: EISMEA LEGAL ADVICE <[6][email address]>
Subject: Confirmatory Application

 

Dear European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency,

Please find attached a confirmatory application relating to my access to
documents request, to which I received a reply from EISMEA via post dated
20 April, carrying Ares code (2022)2266258.

 

I am sending this in PDF format for your convenience. As the original
request was sent via AsktheEU, may I kindly ask that future correspondence
regarding the request continues there
([7][FOI #10869 email]).

 

Please do not hesitate to reach out should you have any questions.

 

Thank you in advance.

 

Yours faithfully,

Greta

 

---

Greta Rosén Fondahn

Research Assistant

Access Info Europe

[8]www.access-info.org

Tel: +34 637 226 609

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. mailto:[FOI #10869 email]
3. mailto:[email address]
4. https://webgate.ec.testa.eu/Ares/documen...
5. mailto:[email address]
6. mailto:[email address]
7. mailto:[FOI #10869 email]
8. https://urldefense.com/v3/__http:/www.ac...

Greta Rosén Fondahn

Dear EISMEA LEGAL TEAM,

I confirm reciept of the decision in my confirmatory application.

Yours sincerely,

Greta Rosén Fondahn