Meetings with industry during 2018 and 2019

Currently waiting for a response from European Border and Coast Guard Agency, they should respond promptly and normally no later than (details).

Dear European Border and Coast Guard Agency,

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

For the following meetings, events, workshops:

- Industry Day on Vehicle for migration management support (VMM), held on 8 February 2018;
- Workshop on highly innovative/cutting edge border security technologies, applications, equipment, held on 15 March 2018;
- Industry day Biometric on Move, held on 20 April 2018;
- Industry meeting on multi-touch screens for document image group analysis, held on 14 September 2018;
- One-day workshop on Forecasting changes in the migration flows using Open Sources, held on 24 September 2018;
- Industry meeting on border control devices and systems, held on 10-11 October 2018;
- Industry Dialogue on Technology Foresight for Border Security, held on 7 April 2019;
- International Conference on Biometrics for Borders, held on 9-10 October 2019;
- Industry Dialogue on Procurement of handguns, ammunition and holsters for the standing corps of the European Border and Coast Guard, held on 9-10 December 2019;

as well as for any other industry meeting, day, event, workshop or gathering of any kind, hosted by Frontex in 2018 and/or 2019, and not listed above,

I am requesting:

1. All agendas of these meetings/workshops/events/gatherings/...;
2. A list of all attendees, including the name of the company, group, or organisation of any kind each attendee represents;
3. All presentations by Frontex shown during the course of these meetings/workshops/events/gatherings/...;
4. All documents prepared by Frontex for the purpose of these meetings and given out or distributed among the attendees (such as – but not limited to – handouts, leaflets, briefings or background notes);
5. All presentations by any other speaker – be it industry representative, academic, Member State representative, or attendee of any kind – shown during the course of these meetings/workshops/events/gatherings/...;
6. All reports, summaries, minutes, notes, or record-keeping of any kind produce by Frontex as an outcome of these meetings/workshops/events/gatherings/...

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any doubts or question in regards to this request.

Thank you in advance.

Yours faithfully,

Luisa Izuzquiza

PAD, European Border and Coast Guard Agency

Dear Ms Izuzquiza,

We acknowledge receipt of your application CMS-2020-00001-0463) for public access to Frontex documents. Before we are able to process your application, we have to inform you that it is very wide and pertains to a significant number of documents. We would thus invite you to develop, similar to previous cases, a fair solution in order to reconcile your needs with those of good administration.

Furthermore, by adhering to the principle of good administration and in the interest of transparency, we would like to inform you that the possible redaction required from Frontex under Article 4 of Regulation (EC) 1049/2001 and the hardcopies that are going to be produced in its course, oblige us to charge 20 cent per page plus postage.

We are looking forward to finding a fair solution that would accommodate your needs and enable us to organize. We would in any case welcome a phone conversation in this regard.

Yours sincerely,

Transparency Office

Frontex - European Border and Coast Guard Agency

www.frontex.europa.eu
Plac Europejski 6, 00-844 Warsaw, Poland · Tel: +48 22 205 9500 · Fax: +48 22 205 9501
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Dear Frontex,

Thank you for your response.

With regards to your anticipation of fees deriving from the processing of my request, allow me to refer you to my message to your Transparency Office last time Frontex attempted to charge fees for the redaction of documents, in 2018:

"While I understand that my application covers a large number of documents, and while I may be willing to find a fair solution that would enable you to handle the processing of my request in a proportionate manner, I cannot agree to the costs that you are suggesting.

I am absolutely sure that Frontex can find a way to redact the documents falling under the scope of my application without having to produce hard copies.

As a matter of fact, in the year 2018, to adhere to the principle of good administration rather means to find an effective, digital way of redacting documents that does not require the printing and scanning of pages, thus avoiding the unnecessary environmental cost and the loss of time the production of hard copies entail, let alone putting a price to EU citizens' exercise of their fundamental right of access to EU documents."

In this regard, I would like to recall the European Ombudsman's recommendation to Frontex in May 2019: "In the interest of good administration, Frontex should, however, strive to adopt a secure process for redacting electronic documents that does not require the production of hardcopies. Such methods could significantly reduce the administrative and environmental burden of granting partial public access to documents." (Cases 1808/2018/FP and 1817/2018/FP)

It is unfortunate to learn that Frontex has still not been able to find a method for the redaction of documents which manages to reflect the technological advances of the XXI Century. This evermore surprising for an agency which often refers to itself as a "law enforcement" actor, and whose core work, according to Frontex, depends on "innovative solutions that utilise state-of-the-art technologies".

I would therefore like to encourage Frontex to comply with the European Ombudsman's recommendation rather than charging unnecessary fees for the redaction of documents. I would also like to clarify that I do not wish to receive the requested documents by post, and therefore postage fees are also unnecessary. Please provide the requested documents by e-mail.

Fees aside, I would be happy to discuss by phone any further arrangements needed in order to ensure the scope of my request is clear and manageable.

Please don't hesitate to let me know which date and time would be convenient for Frontex in this regard.

Thank you in advance.

Yours sincerely,

Luisa Izuzquiza