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Request for documents related to EU staffer Roy John Dickinson campaigning for Brexit

Louise Mensch made this access to documents request to Economic and Financial Affairs

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From: Louise Mensch

Delivered

Dear Economic and Financial Affairs,

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:

Any and all internal documents or correspondence relating to campaigning by Roy John Dickinson, an EU staffer, during the Brexit British Referendum on Exiting the EU.

A prior information request on this matter was answered only in part. The request made by a Mr. Abdul Hai was

"Can you publish all documents you have about Roy Dickinson and his use of Twitter and any other European Commission resources to support the remain campaign in the UK referendum on June 23rd."

To this request, the Commission eventually provided some public documents used by Mr. Dickinson in his tweets.

However it did not publish, as requested, "all documents you have" about the matter or "any other European Commission resources".

I wish to request all internal correspondence to, from and about Mr. Dickinson on this matter; to know whether Mr. Dickinson used EU equipment, such as computers, to make his tweets; when Mr. Dickinson went on leave, as he claimed, and for how long before taking his leave he was tweeting in favour of Remain whilst still employed at the EU; with whom, and any correspondence between them, employed by any branch of the EU's governance, he corresponded about his use of Twitter; whether his employers warned him, and all correspondence relating to the matter, that he must go on leave in order to tweet for Remain; correspondence relating to any disciplinary requests or complaints; on what basis the EU concludes that Mr. Dickinson was tweeting in a "personal capacity" when he was at work; if Mr. Dickinson, as your last reply to Mr. Abdul Hai stated, was tweeting in a "personal capacity" then how does the EU know on what documents he relied?

For the avoidance of doubt I seek all applicable internal correspondence about, to or from Mr. Dickinson on the matter of his tweeting for Remain and against Brexit, including that sent to and from him in order to satisfy (to partially satisfy) the last subject access request. My publication Heat Street was the first to report on Mr. Dickinson's tweeting for Remain and I still have access to cached tweets he made insulting many British citizens campaigning for Vote Leave. I further ask if Mr. Dickinson has tweeted with a false, or pseudonymous, name and profile from EU equipment or using any EU resources since July 29th when he deleted several of his old 'sock puppet' accounts, and if Mr. Dickinson's tweeting violated any EU regulations on impartiality or otherwise and if he has been disciplined. Thank you. I am retaining a copy of this subject access request.

Yours faithfully,

Louise Mensch

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Economic and Financial Affairs

Sehr geehrte Frau MENSCH,

vielen Dank für Ihren Antrag auf Zugang zu Dokumenten.
Leider haben Sie Ihre Postanschrift, die gemäß den Verfahrensvorschriften für die Registrierung und Bearbeitung des Antrags erforderlich ist, nicht angegeben.
Bitte senden Sie uns Ihre vollständige Postanschrift so bald wie möglich zu. In der Zwischenzeit behalten wir uns das Recht vor, die Registrierung Ihres Antrags zu verweigern.
Natürlich können Sie auch das elektronische Formular zur Antragstellung verwenden:
http://ec.europa.eu/transparency/regdoc/....

Mit freundlichen Grüßen

Dear Mrs MENSCH,

Thank you for your request for access to documents.
Unfortunately you have not indicated your postal address that is required for registering and handling your request in line with the procedural requirements.
Please send us your full postal address at your earliest convenience. Pending your reply, we reserve the right to refuse the registration of your request.
You may, of course, use directly the electronic form for entering your request:
http://ec.europa.eu/transparency/regdoc/...

Best regards,

ECFIN ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS TEAM
 

European Commission
Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs
Unit R.1: Organisational performance and talent management, business continuity and control

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Attachment Picture Device Independent Bitmap 1.jpg
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Attachment ANNEX Reply to Request GESTDEM 2016 5226 Mensch.pdf
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Attachment GESTDEM 2016 3305 mail 6 Redacted.zip
1.8M Download


Dear Mrs MENSCH,
 
we refer to your request for access to documents of 16 September 2016
(Gestdem 2016/5226).
 
Reply to request Gestdem 2016/3305
 
In your request you refer to the reply to the request for access to
documents filed as Gestdem 2016/3305.  This request was for "all documents
you have about Roy Dickinson and his use of Twitter and any other European
Commission resources to support the remain campaign in the UK referendum
on June 23rd."
 
The Commission, Directorate-General for Economy and Finance, replied by
email of 5 July 2016, to this request and released three internal emails
sent by Mr Dickinson via the internal Outlook messaging server.
Furthermore, it was stated in the reply that "Twitter messages and other
documents produced by officials in a personal capacity do not form
"documents of the institution" within the meaning of Regulation
1049/2001".
 
Your request Gestdem 2016/5226
 
You consider that the Commission "did not publish, as requested, 'all
documents' in its possession about the matter or 'any other European
Commission resources.'"
 
In particular, you "wish to request all internal correspondence to, from
and about Mr. Dickinson on this matter" and you "seek all applicable
internal correspondence about, to or from Mr. Dickinson on the matter of
his tweeting for Remain and against Brexit, including that sent to and
from him in order to satisfy (to partially satisfy) the last subject
access request".
 
We have examined your request and we could identify a number documents
related to the handling of request 2016/3305, which are listed in the
Annex to this reply.
 
We are releasing all these emails (in addition, we enclose the three
emails released in reply to the request Gestdem 2016/3305, since they are
now made available to the public).
 
You may reuse these documents requested free of charge for non-commercial
and commercial purposes provided that the source is acknowledged, that you
do not distort the original meaning or message of these documents. Please
note that the Commission does not assume liability stemming from the
reuse.
 
We confirm that the Commission is not in possession of any other documents
produced by Mr Dickinson with regard to the Referendum in the United
Kingdom of 23rd June and we confirm our point of view that Twitter
messages and other correspondence sent by officials in a personal capacity
are out of the scope of Article 2 (3) of Regulation 1049/2001 ("This
Regulation shall apply to all documents held by an institution, that is to
say, documents drawn up or received by it and in its possession (…)").
 
Protection of personal data
 
The personal data of the Commission's staff involved in the handling of
the request (except staff in senior management positions) is protected
under the exception in Article 4(1) (b) of Regulation 1049/2001, which
reads
 
"The institutions shall refuse access to a document where disclosure would
undermine the protection of:
 
(…)
 
privacy and the integrity of the individual, in particular in accordance
with Community legislation regarding the protection of personal data."
 
The case-law of the Court of Justice on Article 4(1)(b) of Regulation
1049/2001 requires that any undermining of the privacy and the integrity
of the individual must always be examined and assessed in conformity with
the legislation concerning the protection of personal data, and, in
particular, with the provisions of Regulation 45/2001*.
 
According to Article 8 of Regulation 45/2001 the necessity of the data
transfer of personal data to recipients, other than Community institutions
and bodies must be demonstrated by express and legitimate justifications.
 
Based on the information available in your request, the necessity of
disclosing the personal data of Commission staff members has not been
established and it cannot be assumed that such disclosure would not
prejudice the legitimate rights of the persons concerned.
 
Thus, the names and functions of staff appearing in the documents have
been redacted.
 
[*Judgment in the case C-28/08P of 29 June 2010, Bavarian Lager, point 57
onwards.]
 
Access to personal files of Commission staff
 
In general, as stated on the Commission's access-to-documents website, you
may wish to take note that access to the personal files of Commission
staff, which contain all records relating to their administrative status,
ability, efficiency and conduct, is regulated by specific access rights
(see Staff Regulations, Article 26), which apply in concurrence to
Regulation 1049/2001 on public access to documents.
 
Remedies
 
In accordance with Article 7(2) of Regulation 1049/2001, you are entitled
to make a confirmatory application requesting the Commission to review
this position.
 
Such a confirmatory application should be addressed within 15 working days
upon receipt of this letter to the Secretary-General of the Commission at
the following address:
 
European Commission
Secretary-General
Transparency unit SG-B-4
BERL 5/282
B-1049 Bruxelles
 
or by email to: [email address]
 
Yours sincerely,
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
ECFIN ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS TEAM
 
European Commission
Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs
Unit R.1: Organisational performance and talent management, business
continuity and control
 
 
 
 
 

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Abdul Hai left an annotation ()

Here is the original FOI which I have sent. The EU are way less open than UK public bodies.

https://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/roy_...

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