EU delegation to Lebanon: IBM project in Lebanon

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, European External Action Service should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Dear European External Action Service,

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:

- minutes from meetings conducted as part of the Integrated Border Management project in Lebanon, from October 2012 until today (October 18th 2022), with representatives of Lebanon's security forces (i.e. Lebanese Armed Forces, Internal Security Forces, General Security, Lebanese Civil Defense)
- correspondence with representatives of Lebanon's security forces (i.e. Lebanese Armed Forces, Internal Security Forces, General Security, Lebanese Civil Defense) regarding the Integrated Border Management project in Lebanon, from October 2012 until today (October 18th 2022)
- minutes from meetings conducted as part of the Integrated Border Management project in Lebanon, from October 2012 until today (October 18th 2022), with representatives from ICMPD or Frontex

Yours faithfully,

Anas Ambri

sg-acc-doc@ec.europa.eu,

Dear Sir or Madam,

We are writing to you concerning your request for access to documents sent
on 18/10/2022 and registered on 27/10/2022 under case number 2022/6090.

Since you have not indicated your postal address, we are not able to start
handling your request. The 15 working days to reply to your request will
start running only when you send us your postal address.

You can send your postal address by replying to this e-mail. If we do not
receive your reply we may close this case.

Please note that you can submit a request for access to Commission
documents via the portal [1]'Request a Commission document', which does
not require you to indicate your postal address.

Why do we need your personal postal address?

Since 1 April 2014, the submission of a postal address became a mandatory
feature when submitting an application for access to Commission documents
via an e-mail. We would like to explain why we need your postal address in
order to register and handle your application for access to documents when
submitted via e-mail:

• Firstly, to obtain legal certainty as regards the date you received
the European Commission reply to your application for public access to
documents. Article 297 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the
European Union (TFEU) states that 'decisions which specify to whom
they are addressed, shall be notified to those to whom they are
addressed and shall take effect upon such notification.' In line with
this provision, if the Commission does not grant full access to the
requested documents, it notifies the reply to the applicant via
registered mail with acknowledgement of receipt or via delivery
service. This requires an indication of a valid postal address by the
applicant;
• Secondly, to apply correctly the [2]Data Protection Regulation (EU)
2018/1725. Knowing whether the applicant is an EU resident (or not) is
necessary for deciding which conditions shall apply for the
transmissions of personal data to applicants for access to documents.
These conditions are not the same for recipients established in the
Union and for recipients in third countries. As the vast majority of
the documents requested contain personal data, the Commission cannot
ensure the correct application of the data protection rules in the
absence of a postal address;
• Thirdly, to apply correctly [3]Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001. Article
4(1)(b) of that Regulation refers to the protection of the privacy and
integrity of the individual and has to be applied in line with the
Data Protection Regulation;
• Fourthly, to protect the interest of other citizens and safeguard the
principle of good administration. The Commission has to treat all
citizens equally by ensuring that the legal framework for public
access to documents is respected. For example, it has to verify
whether Article 6(3) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 is being evaded
by introducing several requests under different identities. Indeed, in
its Ryanair judgment ([4]EU:T:2010:511), the General Court confirmed
that Article 6(3) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 cannot be evaded by
splitting an application into several, seemingly separate, parts. In
addition, the Commission has to make sure that the legal framework is
respected and the right of access to documents is not abused by making
requests under an invented identity.

The considerations above show that the request for and the consequent
processing of the applicant's postal address is not only appropriate, but
also strictly necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the
public interest within the meaning of Article 5(1)(a) of Data Protection
Regulation, namely providing a smooth and effective access to documents.

Yours faithfully,

Secretariat-General - Access to Documents
European Commission

References

Visible links
1. https://www.ec.europa.eu/transparency/do...
2. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/...
3. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/...
4. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/...

EEAS ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS, European External Action Service

Dear Mr Ambri,

 

Thank you for your request. Please note that your request falls under the
competence of the European Commission and was sent to them.

 

Your request will be closed in our database. You will receive the reply
from the European Commission.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

ACCES TO DOCUMENTS (AD)

[1][email address]

SG.2 – Parliamentary Affairs

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]

sg-acc-doc@ec.europa.eu,

Dear Sir or Madam,

We are writing to you concerning your request for access to documents sent
on 09/11/2022 and registered on 09/11/2022 under case number 2022/6374.

Since you have not indicated your postal address, we are not able to start
handling your request. The 15 working days to reply to your request will
start running only when you send us your postal address.

You can send your postal address by replying to this e-mail. If we do not
receive your reply we may close this case.

Please note that you can submit a request for access to Commission
documents via the portal [1]'Request a Commission document', which does
not require you to indicate your postal address.

Why do we need your personal postal address?

Since 1 April 2014, the submission of a postal address became a mandatory
feature when submitting an application for access to Commission documents
via an e-mail. We would like to explain why we need your postal address in
order to register and handle your application for access to documents when
submitted via e-mail:

• Firstly, to obtain legal certainty as regards the date you received
the European Commission reply to your application for public access to
documents. Article 297 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the
European Union (TFEU) states that 'decisions which specify to whom
they are addressed, shall be notified to those to whom they are
addressed and shall take effect upon such notification.' In line with
this provision, if the Commission does not grant full access to the
requested documents, it notifies the reply to the applicant via
registered mail with acknowledgement of receipt or via delivery
service. This requires an indication of a valid postal address by the
applicant;
• Secondly, to apply correctly the [2]Data Protection Regulation (EU)
2018/1725. Knowing whether the applicant is an EU resident (or not) is
necessary for deciding which conditions shall apply for the
transmissions of personal data to applicants for access to documents.
These conditions are not the same for recipients established in the
Union and for recipients in third countries. As the vast majority of
the documents requested contain personal data, the Commission cannot
ensure the correct application of the data protection rules in the
absence of a postal address;
• Thirdly, to apply correctly [3]Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001. Article
4(1)(b) of that Regulation refers to the protection of the privacy and
integrity of the individual and has to be applied in line with the
Data Protection Regulation;
• Fourthly, to protect the interest of other citizens and safeguard the
principle of good administration. The Commission has to treat all
citizens equally by ensuring that the legal framework for public
access to documents is respected. For example, it has to verify
whether Article 6(3) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 is being evaded
by introducing several requests under different identities. Indeed, in
its Ryanair judgment ([4]EU:T:2010:511), the General Court confirmed
that Article 6(3) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 cannot be evaded by
splitting an application into several, seemingly separate, parts. In
addition, the Commission has to make sure that the legal framework is
respected and the right of access to documents is not abused by making
requests under an invented identity.

The considerations above show that the request for and the consequent
processing of the applicant's postal address is not only appropriate, but
also strictly necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the
public interest within the meaning of Article 5(1)(a) of Data Protection
Regulation, namely providing a smooth and effective access to documents.

Yours faithfully,

Secretariat-General - Access to Documents
European Commission

References

Visible links
1. https://www.ec.europa.eu/transparency/do...
2. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/...
3. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/...
4. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/...

Dear [email address],

My address is:
Andrea Zaimi 5
2113 Nicosia

Yours sincerely,

Anas Ambri

Mail Delivery System,

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[email address]

Dear European External Action Service,

My address is:
Andrea Zaimi 5
2113 Nicosia

Yours faithfully,

Anas Ambri

sg-acc-doc@ec.europa.eu,

Dear Sir or Madam,

We hereby acknowledge the receipt of your request for access to documents
sent on 09/11/2022 and registered on 09/11/2022 under the case number
2022/6374.

We will handle your request within 15 working days as of the date of
registration. The time-limit expires on 30/11/2022. We will let you know
if we need to extend this time limit for additional 15 working days.

To find more information on how we process your personal data, please see
[1]the privacy statement.

Yours faithfully,

Secretariat-General - Access to Documents
European Commission

References

Visible links
1. https://ec.europa.eu/info/principles-and...

NEAR-ACCDOC@ec.europa.eu,

1 Attachment

Hello,

Please find attached a message concerning your request for access to
Commission documents registered under the above case number 2022/6374.

Kind regards,

Dear Secretariat-General,

Thank you very much for your reply.

I am happy to reduce the timeframe to the period from January 2020 until today, thus covering phase 3 of the IBM project in Lebanon.
With regards to my second question, I would like to confirm that I am interested in correspondence between “representatives of Lebanon's security forces (i.e. Lebanese Armed Forces, Internal Security Forces, General Security, Lebanese Civil Defense) regarding the Integrated Border Management project in Lebanon” and DG NEAR. By correspondence, I mean any emails (including attachment), correspondence or telephone call notes between your DG (including the Commissioner and the Cabinet) and the aforementioned representatives, including intermediaries representing their interests. This also includes documents prepared for the meetings and exchanged in the course of the meetings between said the aforementioned parties.

If you have any other question, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Yours faithfully,

Anas Ambri

NEAR-ACCDOC@ec.europa.eu,

Dear Sir,

We acknowledge receipt of your reply to the clarification request.

As per your reply, your request was narrowed down to documents from
January 2020 until today (November 2022) related only with the Phase IIII
of the IBM project in Lebanon.    

We would like to inform you that your request, initially addressed to
EEAS, was transferred to DG NEAR, therefore for any future correspondence,
you can contact us by email to [1][email address].

Yours sincerely,

NEAR ACCDOC TEAM

European Commission

DG Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations

NEAR Access to Documents

[2][email address]

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. mailto:[email address]

NEAR-ACCDOC@ec.europa.eu,

Hello,

We are writing concerning your request for access to Commission documents
registered on 9 November 2022 under case number 2022/6374.

We are currently working on your request. However, we have not yet been
able to gather all the elements necessary to carry out a full analysis of
your request. We will not be able to send you the reply within the
prescribed time limit expiring on 9 December 2022.

Therefore, in line with Article 7(3) of [1]Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001,
we need to extend this time limit by 15 additional working days. The new
time limit expires on 10 January 2023.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Kind regards,

NEAR ACCDOC TEAM

References

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

NEAR-ACCDOC@ec.europa.eu,

Dear Sir,

 

We are afraid that the reply to your request for access to documents has
required longer than usual due to internal consultations.

 

We are confident that you will receive a reply shortly. 

 

Again, we apologise for the delay and for the inconvenience it may have
caused. 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

NEAR ACCDOC TEAM

 

 

 

European Commission

DG Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations

NEAR Access to Documents

[email address]

Dear NEAR ACCDOC TEAM,

It has now been more than 2 weeks since your last correspondence. Any update on my request, please?

Yours faithfully,

Anas Ambri

NEAR-ACCDOC@ec.europa.eu,

Dear Mr Ambri,

As regards your access to documents request with reference 2022/6374, we
would like to apologise for the additional delay. As there was an
identified document in Arabic, we had additional internal consultations.

We can assure you that we continue working hard on coming back to you as
soon as possible.

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

Yours sincerely,

NEAR ACCDOC TEAM

European Commission

DG Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations

NEAR Access to Documents

[1][email address]

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]