Submission to the Court in case C-260/11

The request was refused by Legal Service.

Dear Legal Service (SJ),

Under the right of access to documents in the EU treaties, as
developed in Regulation 1049/2001 and Regulation 1367/2006, I am requesting documents which contain the following information:

The submission made to the CJEU by Ireland, the Danish government and the Greek government in case C-260/11

Yours faithfully,

Fred Logue

Legal Service

Dear Mr. Logue,

I refer to your e-mail below requesting access to documents under Regulation 1049/2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents.

We hereby acknowledge receipt of your application, which has been registered on 22/07/2013 under reference number GestDem 2013/3853.

In accordance with Regulation 1049/2001, your application will be handled within 15 working days. The time limit will expire on 12/08/2013. In case this time limit needs to be extended, you will be informed in due course.

Yours sincerely,
__________________________
Isabel ITURRITZA
Legal Officer
European Commission / Legal Service
BERL 1/107
B-1049 Brussels/Belgium
+32 2-295 36 58
[email address]

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Legal Service

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Logue
 
Pleased find attached the reply to your request for access to documents.
 
Yours sincerely   
 
BRIGITTE ARNOLD-WOERTZ
Responsible InfoDoc
 
European Commission
Legal Service
Information and Documentation (InfoDoc) 

BERL 1/90
B-1049 Brussels/Belgium
+32 2 295 08 47
[1][email address]
Legal service website on Europa
[2]http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/legal_service/in...
 
 
 

References

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Dear Legal Service (SJ),

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Legal Service (SJ)'s handling of my request for access to environmental information 'Submission to the Court in case C-260/11' made under Regulation 1367/2006.

The request and related correspondence is available at: http://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/submi...

In my view the Commission was not justified in refusing access to the information which I sought for the following reasons:

Firstly, although I made my request under Regulation 1367/2006 the Commission wrongly decided to evaluate it under Regulation 1049/2001. As you are no doubt aware this regulation gives the public rights to access environmental information held by or on behalf of Community Institutions. It applies 1049/2001 in a modified form to such information. However 1367/2006 implements the EU’s obligations under the Aarhus Convention and does not implement a right of access to documents derived from Article 15 TFEU. 1367/2001 applies to both the Court and the Commissions as Community Institutions (see Article 3 of Regulation 1367/2006)

Regulation 1367/2001 expresses a right to access information which is distinct from the right under Article 15 TFEU and the Commission erred by not reviewing my request under this regulations and therefore its conclusions with regard to Regulation 1049/2001 and Article 15 TFEU are not valid.

Secondly, the Commission cites joined cases C-514/07 C-528/07 and C-532/07 (Sweden -v- API and Commission) to support its view.

The relevant issues in these cases concerned the application of the second indent of Article 4(2) of Regulation 1049/2001 and whether there was a presumption that the interest protected by that provision would be undermined by the release of court pleadings.

Therefore the API cases do not support the Commission’s conclusion that court documents are generally excluded from disclosure under Regulation 1049/2001 or otherwise.

For closed cases the Court held that there is no presumption that the release of court documents would undermine the interest protected by the second indent of Regulation 1049/2001. The Court held at paragraphs 130 and 131:

“It must be noted from the outset that, although, for the reasons set out in paragraphs 68 to 104 above, the disclosure of pleadings lodged in pending court proceedings is presumed to undermine the protection of those proceedings, because of the fact that the pleadings constitute the basis on which the Court carries out its judicial activities, that is not the case where the proceedings in question have been closed by a decision of the Court.

In the latter case, there are no longer grounds for presuming that disclosure of the pleadings would undermine the judicial activities of the Court since those activities come to an end with the closure of the proceedings.”

The submission which I am requesting are from Case C-260/11 which is now closed therefore the Court's findings in API relating to closed cases should apply to this request.

In API the Court accepted that pleadings may be disclosed even where proceedings are pending and that in the case of closed proceedings there was no general presumption in favour of applying the exemption in the second indent of Article 4(2) of Regulation 1049/2001 and in that case the Commission must examine the contents of each document and evaluate whether or not the public interest favours disclosure (paragraph 134 of the judgment).

“Accordingly, only a specific examination of the documents to which access is requested, undertaken in accordance with the criteria referred to in paragraph 72 above, can enable the Commission to establish whether their disclosure may be refused on the basis of the second indent of Article 4(2) of Regulation No 1049/2001.”

The Court also set out some useful criteria to assist the Commission in evaluating the operation of this exemption (see paragraphs 72, 132 and 133).

Therefore in summary

The Commission and Court are obliged to provide access to environmental information under Regulation 1367/2006

There is no general exemption for the class of documents that I have requested and therefore the Commission must examine my request under Regulation 1367/2006

There is no presumption that disclosure of court proceedings would undermine the judicial activities of the Court once proceedings have been closed.

Accordingly the Commission must undertake a specific examination of each document requested in accordance with Regulation 1367/2006 and if it decides to refuse disclosure it must according to paragrpah 74 of the API judgment “explain how disclosure of that document could specifically and effectively undermine the interest protected by the exception – among those provided for in Article 4 of Regulation No 1049/2001 – upon which it is relying”

Yours faithfully,

Fred Logue

Fred Logue,

Dear Secretary General
I was wondering if my request for confirmatory application was passed onto
you be the legal service?
If not please consider this to be such a request in relation to file no
GEST 2013/3853.
The correspondence including my arguments in the confirmatory application
are available at:
[1]http://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/submi...
I would be obliged in you could reply to the following email address:
[2][FOI #693 email]
Yours sincerely
Fred Logue

References

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2. mailto:[email address]

Legal Service

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Logue,

 

The Legal Service of the Commission transmitted your confirmatory
application yesterday.

For the moment, the status of your request is pending, because our service
only works on the basis of the Regulation 1049/2001 about public access to
European Parliament, Council and Commission documents, and not on the
basis of Regulation 1367/2006.

That is why I am waiting until next Monday, 19 of August, when the Head of
Unit will be back, to submit him your request and to know how to deal with
it.

By advance, I thank you for your comprehension and your patience.

Sincerely yours,

 

Paul SIMON
European Commission - Secretariat General
Unit SG.B.5, Transparency

 

 

From: Fred Logue [mailto:[email address]]
Sent: Monday, August 12, 2013 9:28 PM
To: SG ACCES DOCUMENTS
Cc: [FOI #693 email]
Subject: Request for Confirmatory Application under Regulation 1367/2006

 

Dear Secretary General

 

I was wondering if my request for confirmatory application was passed onto
you be the legal service?

 

If not please consider this to be such a request in relation to file no
GEST 2013/3853.

 

The correspondence including my arguments in the confirmatory application
are available at:

 

[1]http://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/submi...

 

I would be obliged in you could reply to the following email address:

 

[2][FOI #693 email]

 

Yours sincerely

 

Fred Logue

References

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1. http://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/submi...
2. mailto:[email address]

Dear Legal Service (SJ),

Did you get a chance to decide how to proceed with my request for internal review. I would respectfully draw your attentions to the deadlines specified in Regulation 1367/2006 and 1409/2001

Yours faithfully,

Fred Logue

Legal Service

L'activité des services de la Commission européenne étant réduite durant
le mois d'août, vos demandes d'accès aux documents seront traitées dans
les meilleurs délais. Toutefois, certains retards peuvent se produire, en
particulier lorsque le traitement des données exige la consultation des
administrations nationales, d’organisations extérieures ou d’autres
services.

*  *  *

Die Tätigkeiten der Dienststellen der Europäischen Kommission sind im
August reduziert; Ihre Anträge auf Zugang zu Dokumenten werden dennoch so
schnell wie möglich bearbeitet. Allerdings können Verzögerungen auftreten,
insbesondere wenn die Berarbeitung der Anträge die Konsultierung der
nationalen Verwaltungen, externer Organisationen oder anderer
Dienststellen erforderlich macht.

* *  *

The activity of European Commission departments is likely to be reduced
during August.  We will handle  your requests for access to documents as
soon as possible.  However, some delays may occur, especially where the
processing of data requires the consultation of national administrations,
external organisations or other services.

Fred Logue,

Hello
I was wondering if you could let me know when I can expect to receive the
result of the internal review in relation to this request for information?
I wish to draw your attention to the 15 working day deadline for the
internal review under the applicable laws.
Best regards
Fred Logue

On 12 August 2013 20:28, Fred Logue <[1][email address]> wrote:

Dear Secretary General
I was wondering if my request for confirmatory application was passed
onto you be the legal service?
If not please consider this to be such a request in relation to file no
GEST 2013/3853.
The correspondence including my arguments in the confirmatory
application are available at:
[2]http://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/submi...
I would be obliged in you could reply to the following email address:
[3][FOI #693 email]
Yours sincerely
Fred Logue

References

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1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/submi...
3. mailto:[email address]

Fred Logue,

Begin forwarded message:

From: <[1][email address]>
Date: 27 August 2013 10:07:23 IST
To: <[2][email address]>
Subject: RE: Request for Confirmatory Application under Regulation
1367/2006

Dear Mr Logue,

 

Thank you for your message below.

Your request is still under analysis. You will receive an answer as soon
as possible.

Yours sincerely,

 

Paul SIMON
European Commission - Secretariat General
Unit SG.B.5, Transparency

 

From: Fred Logue [[3]mailto:[email address]]
Sent: Friday, August 23, 2013 8:08 PM
To: SG ACCES DOCUMENTS
Cc: [4][FOI #693 email]
Subject: Re: Request for Confirmatory Application under Regulation
1367/2006

 

Hello

 

I was wondering if you could let me know when I can expect to receive
the result of the internal review in relation to this request for
information?

 

I wish to draw your attention to the 15 working day deadline for the
internal review under the applicable laws.

 

Best regards

 

Fred Logue

 

On 12 August 2013 20:28, Fred Logue <[5][email address]> wrote:

Dear Secretary General

 

I was wondering if my request for confirmatory application was passed
onto you be the legal service?

 

If not please consider this to be such a request in relation to file no
GEST 2013/3853.

 

The correspondence including my arguments in the confirmatory
application are available at:

 

[6]http://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/submi...

 

I would be obliged in you could reply to the following email address:

 

[7][FOI #693 email]

 

Yours sincerely

 

Fred Logue

 

References

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4. mailto:[FOI #693 email]
5. mailto:[email address]
6. http://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/submi...
7. mailto:[email address]

Dear Legal Service (SJ),

I wonder if I might have an update as to the status of the internal review. I believe that the deadline for completion of this review has expired.

Yours faithfully,

Fred Logue

Legal Service

Dear Sir,

Thank you for your email dated 08/08/2013.

We hereby acknowledge receipt of your confirmatory application for access to documents, which was registered on 23/09/2013 under reference number GestDem 2013/3853 – Ares(2013) 3095436.

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 14/10/2013. In case this time limit needs to be extended, you will be informed in due course.

Yours faithfully,

Carlos Remis
SG.B.5.
Transparence.
Berl. 05/329.

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Legal Service

2 Attachments

 
Dear Mr Logue,

Kindly find herewith a letter concerning your confirmatory application for
access to documents (gestdem 2013/3853).
Yours sincerely,
Carlos Remis
SG.B.5.
Transparence.
Berl. 05/329.
 
 
 
 

 
 
 

Legal Service

2 Attachments

Dear Mr. Logue,
 
Please find herewith our answer to your confirmatory application for
access to documents under Regulation (EC) n° 1049/2001 – GESTDEM
2013/3853.
Yours sincerely,
 
BLURIOT-PUEBLA Madeleine
Cellule 'Accès aux documents'
 
European Commission
SG/B/5 - Transparence

BERL 05/330
B-1049 Brussels/Belgium
+32 2 296 09 97
[1][email address]
 
 
 

References

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