Dear Permanent Representation of Finland to the EU,
With reference to the Act on the Openness of Government Activities, I would like to request the following information:
How many meetings have employees of the Finnish Permanent Representation to the EU had with representatives of companies, organisations and other stakeholders, during the last 12 months?
I would like to request a list of these meetings: who was present at the meeting, including the names of organisations/ lobbyists presents, as well as the date of the meeting, and the subject matter discussed.
Thank you in advance.
Dear Ms Vicky Cann,
Thank you for your e-mail from 2nd October 2018 with reference to the Act on the Openness of Government Activities.
Our Permanent Representation keeps a list of all visitors visiting the Finnish Permanent Representation in Brussels. From this register we are able to pick up the date of the visit or meeting and the name of the visitor or visitors. The vast majority of these names are members of different groups which visit our Permanent Representation in order to learn about EU and our work in Brussels. Unfortunately we do not register the names of organizations or the subject matter discussed or the host of the visit.
Please do not hesitate to tell us if you find this kind list of visitors and dates of their visits in our Perm Rep during 1.10.2017-30.9.2018 useful for you. As collecting this information requests quite a lot of time, we will start this work only once you have confirmed us that this information is useful for you.
We do apologize that we are unable to provide you more exact information for the moment. But please note that from October 2018 we will publish on our website the information of all the lobbyists and companies who have visited Permanent Representative/Ambassador or Deputy Permanent Representative of the Finnish Permanent Representation.
Counsellor, Head of Administration
Tel. +32 2 28 78 411 mobile: +32 473 949 584
Joint Administrative Services of the Finnish Missions in Brussels
Finland's Permanent Representation to the EU
Embassy of Finland
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Dear Vuori-Kiikeri Anu,
Thank you for the message. There is no need to send the visitors' list.
But I would be grateful if you could send me a link when the lobby meeting data starts to be uploaded. This sounds like a very good initiative! Will it also be in English and will it be uploaded regularly or even in real time? Additionally, will it include the date and the topics of the meetings?
Dear Vicky Cann,
Thank you for your message.
As I mentioned in my previous e-mail, from October 2018 will provide information on the lobbyists and companies who will visit the Permanent Representative (Ambassador) or the Deputy Permanent Representative of the Finnish Permanent Representation. We will upload the above mentioned information on our web-pages (http://www.finland.eu). We are planning to add a new navigation link "Openness Registration" to the left of our front page.
We will include the date of the meeting, the name of the visitor and the company/lobbying organization and if possible, also the subject of the visit.
Please note that in fact we only rarely have this kind of visitors in our Permanent Representation. This autumn there haven't yet been any, and there are no such requests presented for the future. So if there is no such information on our web pages, it means there haven't been such visits either. But we are planning to provide the information at the latest one month after the visit has taken place.
Please do not hesitate to ask for any further questions.
Dear Vuori-Kiikeri Anu,
Thank you for the reply.
We know from several other permanent representations that overall their staff have hundreds of meetings with lobbyists each year. Does this also apply to the staff of the Finnish Representation? If so, I do hope that in time the Finnish Representation will extend its proactive transparency to include information about all lobby meetings held, by all staff.
Dear Vicky Cann,
Thank you again for your e-mail. In the case of Finish Permanent Representation, there are certainly not hundreds of meetings with lobbyists each year. Our resources are very limited so we don't have much time for this kind of activities. Normally lobbyists contact the authorities and Ministries in Helsinki, where Finland's position in different EU affairs is decided, not the staff of our Permanent Representation.
I wish you very pleasant autumn,