Meetings with Facebook

Margarida da Silva made this access to documents request to Communications Networks, Content and Technology

The request was partially successful.

From: Margarida da Silva

Delivered

Dear Communications Networks, Content and Technology,

Under the right of access to documents in the EU treaties, as developed in Regulation 1049/2001, I am requesting:

- a list of lobby meetings held by DG Cnect with Facebook or its intermediaries. The list should include: date, individuals attending + organisational affiliation, the issues discussed.
- minutes and other reports of these meetings;
- all correspondence (i.e. any emails, correspondence or telephone call notes) between DG CNECT (including the Commissioner and the Cabinet) and Facebook or any intermediaries representing its interests.

Yours faithfully,
Margarida da Silva
CEO
Rue d'edimbourg 26
Bruxelles

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From: EC ARES NOREPLY


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[5]Ares(2018)2203875 - Your request for access to documents - DA SILVA -
Gestdem 2018/2284 - Meetings with Facebook

Sent by ve_sg.accessdoc (SG) <[DG CNECT request email]>. All responses have
to be sent to this email address.
Envoyé par ve_sg.accessdoc (SG) <[DG CNECT request email]>. Toutes les
réponses doivent être effectuées à cette adresse électronique.

Dear Madam,

 

Thank you for your e-mail dated 25/04/2018.  We hereby acknowledge receipt
of your application for access to documents, which was registered on
25/04/2018 under reference number GestDem 2018/2284.

 

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
23/05/2018. In case this time limit needs to be extended, you will be
informed in due course.

 

You have lodged your application via the AsktheEU.org website. Please note
that this is a private 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 also that the European Commission is not responsible for any
possible processing of personal data by the private organisation running
the AsktheEU.org website, through which you have channelled your request.
Please refer to their privacy policy.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

 

ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS TEAM (GD)

 

[6]cid:image001.png@01D3BD42.20769590

European Commission

Secretariat-General

SG B.4 – Transparency

[7][email address]

 

show quoted sections

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Communications Networks, Content and Technology


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Dear Ms. Da Silva,

 

We refer to your email dated 25/04/2018 and registered on the same date
under the above mentioned reference number, in which you request access
to:

“- a list of lobby meetings held by DG CNECT with Facebook or its
intermediaries. The list should include: date, individuals attending +
organisational affiliation, the issues discussed.

 - minutes and other reports of these meetings;

 - all correspondence (i.e. any emails, correspondence or telephone call
notes) between DG CNECT (including the Commissioner and the Cabinet) and
Facebook or any intermediaries representing its interests.”

 

The description given in your application does not enable us to identify
concrete documents which would correspond to your request. We therefore
invite you, pursuant to Article 6(2) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001
regarding public access to documents, to provide us with more detailed
information on the following aspects of your request:

·         the timeframe (dates or periods during which documents would
have been produced)

·         the subject matter(s) of the meetings and correspondence

·         the type of people or legal entities which you consider covered
by the term “intermediaries”

We kindly ask you to reply by email to:
[1][email address]

The 15 working days time limit for handling your application will start
running when we receive the requested clarifications.

Thank you in advance for your understanding.

Yours faithfully,

 

 

Access to Documents Team

 

[2]cid:image001.png@01D3C045.AF82FCF0
European Commission
DG Connect – ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS
BU25 – Avenue de Beaulieu 25
B-1160 Brussels/Belgium

 

References

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1. mailto:[email address]

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From: Margarida da Silva

Delivered

Dear Communications Networks, Content and Technology,

Thank you for your reply. As to the clarifications requested:
- I am interested in documents from the 1st of November of 2014 onward,
- I am not able to specify the subject matters covered as the information on these meetings and interactions is not public,
- By intermediaries I refer to anyone explicitly representing or speaking on behalf of Facebook: that would include, for instance, lobby consultancies, law firms, public affairs and communication companies, trade associations or membership associations.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Yours faithfully,

Margarida da Silva

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From: EC ARES NOREPLY


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[5]Ares(2018)2723535 - Your application for access to documents – Ref
GestDem No 2018/2284 - Extension of the deadline and proposal for a fair
solution

Sent by ve_cnect.public_access_to_documents (CNECT)
<[email address]>. All responses have to be
sent to this email address.
Envoyé par ve_cnect.public_access_to_documents (CNECT)
<[email address]>. Toutes les réponses
doivent être effectuées à cette adresse électronique.

Dear Mrs. Da Silva,

We refer to your request for access to documents dated 25/04/2018 and
registered on the same date under the above-mentioned reference number. We
also refer to your reply to our request for clarification registered on
22/05/2018.

In your reply of 22/05/2018 you limited your request to documents drawn up
as from 1 November 2014 but you did not limit the scope of your request
any further.

 

Since your application still concerns a very large number of documents, we
will not be in a position to complete the handling of your application
within the time limit of 15 working days expiring on 11/06/2018.
Therefore, we have to extend the time limit by another 15 working days in
accordance with Article 7(3) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 (the
'Regulation') regarding public access to documents. The new time limit
expires on 02/07/2018.

 

Furthermore, the requested documents need to be identified, assessed
individually and some of these documents originate from third parties. The
analysis of all these documents, together with the need to consult the
third parties concerned in accordance with Regulation 1049/2001, cannot be
expected to be completed until 02/07/2018.

We will not be able to complete the request in its current scope since, at
this stage of the handling, we have already identified a large number of
documents. According to our first estimate, 48 documents concern meetings
held directly with Facebook. In addition, there have been many meetings
with associations of which Facebook is a member and there might be
numerous other meetings with associations of which Facebook could possibly
be a member without this being known by DG CONNECT. There is indeed no
list of associations or other bodies of which Facebook is a member or by
which they might have been represented. Due to this, we will not be able
to deal with all of the documents within the statutory time limits.

For such situations, Article 6(3) of the Regulation provides for a
possibility to confer with an applicant in order to find a fair solution.
In accordance with the case law of the EU Courts, such a solution should
reduce the scope of documents to enable its treatment within the extended
deadline of 15 + 15 working days.

We therefore kindly ask you to specify the objective of your request and
your specific interest in the documents requested, so as to reduce it to a
manageable amount of documents.

In order to assist you in narrowing down your request, we would like to
inform you about the categories of documents which we have identified so
far. It concerns the following main topics:

 

-          Artificial intelligence

-          Electronic communications policy

-          E-commerce

-          Cybersecurity and Digital privacy

-          Fake news and illegal content

We kindly ask you to specify which ones of the above-mentioned topics you
are interested in. Please also inform us in case there is any other topic
which may be relevant but could not yet be identified. In addition, in
case you are interested in meetings with a particular body representing
Facebook, we invite you to specify the name of that body.

 

In case you are not able to specify the topics and to name the bodies
representing Facebook, we propose as a fair solution limiting your request
to the documents on lobby meetings held directly with Facebook, as well as
to documents concerning meetings with law firms or consultants directly
representing this company.

 

In order to enable us to respect the time-limits of Regulation 1049/2001,
we would ask you for a swift reply to our invitation to propose a fair
solution, within five working days at the latest. Please send your
response by email to the following address:

[6][email address

 

In the absence of a reply within five working days, we will consider
unilaterally restricting the scope of your application to those parts that
can be dealt with within the extended deadline of 30 working days,
counting from the registration of your reply to our request for
clarification (22/05/2018).

Thank you in advance for your understanding.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Access to Documents Team

[7]cid:image001.png@01D3C045.AF82FCF0
European Commission
DG Connect – ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS
BU25 – Avenue de Beaulieu 25
B-1160 Brussels/Belgium

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6. mailto:[email address]

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From: Margarida da Silva

Delivered

Dear Communications Networks, Content and Technology,

Thank you for your reply. My request is aimed at analysing the full interest representation of Facebook so unfortunately I am unable to limit the request by topic.

However, I understand that the request should be made more manageable and I accept the proposal to limit the number of actors involved. Would it be possible to limit the request to documents relating to Facebook plus law firms or consultants directly representing Facebook.

Further, if possible, I would ask documents relating to meetings with the following actors where Facebook has been mentioned:

- Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA)
- European Internet Services Providers Associations (EuroISPA)
- European Digital Media Association (EDIMA)
- IAB Europe
- ICT Coalition
- Information Technology Industry Council (ITI)

Please let me know if this is possible.

Yours faithfully,

Margarida da Silva

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From: EC ARES NOREPLY


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[5]Ares(2018)2871221 - Your application for access to documents – Ref
GestDem No 2018/2284 - Extension of the deadline and proposal for a fair
solution

Sent by ve_cnect.public_access_to_documents (CNECT)
<[email address]>. All responses have to be
sent to this email address.
Envoyé par ve_cnect.public_access_to_documents (CNECT)
<[email address]>. Toutes les réponses
doivent être effectuées à cette adresse électronique.

Dear Ms. Da Silva,

 

Thank you very much for your reply and for your general acceptance to
narrow down the scope of your request for access to documents (Gestdem n°
2018/2284). What you indicated as remaining within the scope of your
application is however still too broad.

 

We have already identified approximately 48 documents relating to meetings
held directly with Facebook. You also sent several other applications for
access to documents relating to meetings with Facebook to other Commission
services. The handling of these requests as well as the coordination among
the different services and the necessity to consult third parties pursuant
to Regulation 1049/2001 represents a high administrative workload.

 

According to recent Jurisprudence of the European Courts, an institution
may, in exceptional circumstances, refuse access to certain documents on
the ground that the workload relating to their disclosure would be
disproportionate as compared to the objectives set by the application for
access to those documents (Strack, C-127/13, para.26).

 

In order to safeguard the interests of good administration, it is not
possible for the Commission, within the statutory time-limits, to handle
the further documents concerning “meetings with the following actors,
where Facebook has been mentioned:

- Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA)

- European Internet Services Providers Associations (EuroISPA)

- European Digital Media Association (EDIMA)

- IAB Europe

- ICT Coalition

- Information Technology Industry Council (ITI)”

 

Including all documents relating to meetings with these actors would
increase the number of documents to handle, which is already very high.
The time needed to identify and assess all documents, together with the
obligation to consult all third party authors of these documents would not
allow us to meet the statutory time-limits (02/07/2018) considering the
available resources and overall workload: DG Connect is indeed currently
dealing with a substantial number of legislative and policy files which
triggered an important workload for all DG Connect staff.

 

In light of the above, we therefore consider that the fair solution
regarding the scope of your request consists in handling reports and
minutes, as well as correspondence on lobby meetings with Facebook (or
with law firms and consulting companies directly representing this
company) as from 01/11/2014.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

 

Access to Documents Team
[6]cid:image003.jpg@01D3B554.6BC06E90
European Commission
DG CONNECT – ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS
BU25 05/035
B-1049 Brussels/Belgium

References

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From: Margarida da Silva

Delivered

Dear Communications Networks, Content and Technology,

Thank you for your reply. I understand and agree to limiting the scope to handling reports and
minutes, as well as correspondence on lobby meetings with Facebook (or with law firms and consulting companies directly representing this company) as from 01/11/2014.

Yours faithfully,
Margarida da Silva

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From: EC ARES NOREPLY


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Attachment Reply GestDem 2018 2027 4.pdf
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Attachment Document 1 Call for applications.pdf
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Attachment Document 4 Standard classification form.pdf
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Advance copy by e-mail and registered mail with acknowledgement of receipt

Dear Mr. Flanagan,

Please find attached document Ares(2018)3060865 on "Your application for access to documents – Ref GestDem No 2018/2027", sent by Mr Roberto Viola on 11/06/2018.

Best regards,

European Commission
DG CONNECT — ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS
Avenue de Beaulieu, 25
B-1160 Brussels/Belgium

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: This e-mail was automatically generated by the European Commission's central mail registration system.
Replies by e-mail must be addressed to the original sender VIOLA Roberto (mailto:[email address]).
Remarque : Cet e-mail a été généré automatiquement par le système d'enregistrement central du courrier de la Commission européenne.
Toute réponse éventuelle par e-mail doit être adressée à l'expéditeur en personne, à savoir VIOLA Roberto (mailto:[email address]).

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From: Margarida da Silva

Delivered

Dear Communications Networks, Content and Technology,

I believe you have accidentally sent me the reply to another request by it seems Mr Luke Ming Flanagan MEP.

Just to warn you in case you hadn't noticed it.

Yours faithfully,

Margarida da Silva

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[4]Ares(2018)3208121 - “Your application for access to documents – Ref
GestDem No 2018/2027” - error in the email address

Sent by ve_cnect.public_access_to_documents (CNECT)
<[email address]>. All responses have to be
sent to this email address.
Envoyé par ve_cnect.public_access_to_documents (CNECT)
<[email address]>. Toutes les réponses
doivent être effectuées à cette adresse électronique.

Dear Mrs Da Silva,

Thank you very much for your email.

Please disregard our previous email (titled “Your application for access
to documents – Ref GestDem No 2018/2027”), which was erroneously sent to
your address.

Best regards,

 

 

 

 

European Commission
DG CONNECT — ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS
Avenue de Beaulieu, 25
B-1160 Brussels/Belgium

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From: EC ARES NOREPLY

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[4]Ares(2018)3532426 - Your application for Access to Documents - Ref
Gestdem 2018/2284

Sent by ve_cnect.public_access_to_documents (CNECT)
<[email address]>. All responses have to be
sent to this email address.
Envoyé par ve_cnect.public_access_to_documents (CNECT)
<[email address]>. Toutes les réponses
doivent être effectuées à cette adresse électronique.

Dear Ms. Da Silva,

We refer to your application dated 25/04/2018 in which you make a request
for access to documents, registered on the same date under the above
mentioned reference number.

We also refer to your email dated 18/05/2018 and registered on 22/05/2018,
in which you clarified the wording of your request, and to our email dated
25/05/2018, whereby we informed you that the time limit for handling your
application was extended by 15 working days pursuant to Article 7(3) of
Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 on public access to documents. 

We would like to inform you that our reply was delayed and you should be
receiving it in the coming days.

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

Yours faithfully,

 

 

Access to Documents Team

 

European Commission

DG Connect – ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS

BU25 – Avenue de Beaulieu 25
B-1160 Brussels/Belgium

References

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4. https://webgate.ec.testa.eu/Ares/ext/doc...

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Communications Networks, Content and Technology


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Advance copy by e-mail and registered mail with acknowledgement of receipt
Dear Mrs Da Silva,
Please find attached document Ares(2018)3845835 regarding "Your
application for access to documents – GestDem 2018/2284" sent by Mr
Roberto Viola, General Director of DG CONNECT on 19/07/2018.
As the files are heavy, we send you the reply and the annexes in 5
separate emails.
Best regards,
European Commission
DG CONNECT – ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS
Avenue de Beaulieu, 25
B-1160 Brussels/Belgium
 
 
 

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