Stakeholder meetings DIDP and EDF

Bram Vranken made this access to documents request to European Defence Agency

The request was refused by European Defence Agency.

From: Bram Vranken

Delivered

Dear European Defence Agency,

I am writing on behalf of Vredesactie, a Member of the European Network Against Arms Trade ("ENAAT"), to exercise my right under Regulation 1049/2001 to request access to documents as detailed below. As a Member of ENAAT, Vredesactie is actively involved in ensuring transparency within the EU institutions' defence and security policy-making process.

In this context, I hereby respectfully request access to all documents containing the following information:

1. Details of all stakeholders consulted (including member states, industry, academia and others) on the decision to establish:

a) The European Defence Fund; and
b) The Defence Industrial Development Programme.

2. Details of all meetings, including minutes of meetings, with all stakeholders identified under 1(a) and 1(b) respectively, in relation to:

a) The European Defence Fund; and
b) The Defence Industrial Development Programme.

3. All correspondence with the stakeholders identified under 1(a) and 1(b) respectively, in relation to:

a) The European Defence Fund; and
b) The Defence Industrial Development Programme.

Thank you for your consideration in this matter. Please let us know if you have any questions.

Yours faithfully,

Bram Vranken
On behalf of Vredesactie

Vredesactie
Patriottenstraat 27,
2600 Berchem
www.vredesactie.be
Tel. +32 (0) 3 281 68 39
Mobile: +32 497 13 14 64

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From: Information Mailbox
European Defence Agency

Good morning,

Thank you for your request for access to documents. We hereby acknowledge receipt, and will revert to you within 15 working days from the date of reception of your email.
Please note that all requests for access to documents must be sent to [EDA request email].
Best regards,

The European Defence Agency

[EDA request email]
+32 (0) 2 504 28 00
Rue des Drapiers 17-23, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium

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From: Information Mailbox
European Defence Agency

Dear Mr Vranken,

Referring to your e-mail dated 15/11/2017 and to our subsequent reply of 16/11/2017 (see below), we hereby have to inform you that due to the need for us to liaise with other stakeholders involved, we unfortunately cannot keep the 06/12/2017 deadline which, therefore, has to be extended for another 15 working days, until 27/12/2017.
Thank you for your understanding.

We remind you again that 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 Agency cannot be held accountable for any technical issues or problems linked to the use of this system.

Yours faithfully,

EDA

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From: Information Mailbox
European Defence Agency

Dear Mr Vranken,

We refer to your request of 15 November 2017 for access to EDA documents containing the following information:

1. Details of all stakeholders consulted (including member states, industry, academia and others) on the decision to establish:

a) The European Defence Fund; and
b) The Defence Industrial Development Programme.

2. Details of all meetings, including minutes of meetings, with all stakeholders identified under 1(a) and 1(b) respectively, in relation to:

a) The European Defence Fund; and
b) The Defence Industrial Development Programme.

3. All correspondence with the stakeholders identified under 1(a) and 1(b) respectively, in relation to:

a) The European Defence Fund; and
b) The Defence Industrial Development Programme.

In response to your request, please note that even though some documents addressed to EDA participating Member States have been identified, these are produced and disseminated to government officials only and therefore fall under Article 4.1 of Regulation 1049/2001 as their disclosure would undermine the protection of the public interest as regards defence matters.

Furthermore, please note that some documents related to the aforementioned topics originate from other institutions, in particular the European Commission and the EU Council of Ministers and that following internal consultation, in accordance with Article 4.4 , these have also been found to fall under the exceptions of Article 4 of Regulation 1049/2001.

We inform you that according to Article 7 of Regulation 1049/2001, you have the right to make a confirmatory application within 15 working days.

We remind you again that 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 Agency cannot be held accountable for any technical issues or problems linked to the use of this system.

Yours faithfully,

EDA

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From: Bram Vranken

Delivered

Dear Sir/Madam,

We refer to your correspondence of 22 December 2017, by which you both refuse to disclose the documents to which we requested access on 15 November 2017 pursuant to Regulation No 1049/2001 ("Regulation"), and inform us that we have the right to make a confirmatory application within 15 working days pursuant to Article 7 of the Regulation (see https://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/stak.... The present letter constitutes our confirmatory application.

We note that you base your decision on two different grounds, namely (i) that disclosure of some of the requested documents would undermine the protection of the public interest as regards defence matters pursuant to Article 4.1 of the Regulation because they are "produced and disseminated to government officials only" ("First set of documents"); and (ii) that some of the documents have also been found to fall under the exceptions of Article 4 of the Regulation following internal consultation with, inter alia, the European Commission and the EU Council of Ministers ("Second set of documents").

We take the view that the above-mentioned grounds cannot serve as a valid basis to refuse disclosure of the requested documents for the following reasons:

- First, you have not explained how disclosure of the First set of documents can "specifically and actually" undermine the public interest as regards defence matters and/or why this is "reasonably foreseeable and not purely hypothetical," as required by the established case law of the Court of Justice of the EU.

See e.g. Cases:
- 576/12 P, para. 45 - http://curia.europa.eu/juris/document/do...
- C-280/11 P, para. 54 - http://curia.europa.eu/juris/document/do...
- and C-506/08 P, para. 76 - http://curia.europa.eu/juris/document/do...

- Second, you have not identified which of the exceptions listed in Article 4 of the Regulation apply to the Second set of documents, as required by the established case law of the Court of Justice of the EU.

See e.g. Cases:
- T-355/04, para. 101 - http://curia.europa.eu/juris/document/do...
- T-109/05, para. 82 - http://curia.europa.eu/juris/document/do...
- and T-300/10, para. 182 - http://curia.europa.eu/juris/document/do....

It automatically follows that you have also failed to explain how disclosure of the Second set of documents would "specifically and actually" undermine the (allegedly) applicable interest(s) listed in Article 4 of the Regulation (see above).

On that basis, we respectfully request that you reconsider your decision, fully comply with your obligations under the Regulation, and disclose the requested documents accordingly.

Thank you for your consideration in this matter. Please let us know if you have any questions.

Yours faithfully,

Bram Vranken
On behalf of Vredesactie

Vredesactie
Patriottenstraat 27,
2600 Berchem
www.vredesactie.be
Tel. +32 (0) 3 281 68 39
Mobile: +32 497 13 14 64

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From: Information Mailbox
European Defence Agency

Dear Mr Vranken,

Thank you for your confirmatory application. We hereby acknowledge receipt, and will revert to you within 15 working days from the date of reception of your email.

Best regards,

The European Defence Agency

[EDA request email]
+32 (0) 2 504 28 00
Rue des Drapiers 17-23, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium

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From: Information Mailbox
European Defence Agency


Attachment EDA reply to confirmatory application Mr Vranken 2018.01.24.pdf
190K Download View as HTML


Dear Mr Vranken,
Please find attached our Chief Executive's response to your confirmatory application of 4 January 2018 (below).
Kindest regards,
EDA

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Things to do with this request

Anyone:
European Defence Agency only: