Code of Conduct Group on business taxation - background documents of meetings

La solicitud fue parcialmente exitosa.

Dear Taxation and Customs Union,

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

Any room documents or other written input prepared by the Commission in the context of the work of the Code of Conduct Group on business taxation since its coming into existence (since 9.3.1998).

Yours faithfully,

Sven Giegold

Dear Taxation and Customs Union,

please find below my postal address:

Sven Giegold
ASP 05F163
Rue Wiertz 60
1047 Brussels

Yours faithfully,

Sven Giegold

Dear Taxation and Customs Union,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Taxation and Customs Union's handling of my FOI request 'Code of Conduct Group on business taxation - background documents of meetings'.

On the 18th of September, two months ago, I requested, under the right of access to documents in the EU treaties, as developed in Regulation 1049/2001, the following documents:

Any room documents or other written input prepared by the Commission in the context of the work of the Code of Conduct Group on business taxation since its coming into existence (since 9.3.1998).

By law, under all circumstances, Taxation and Customs Union should have responded by now. As this is not the case, I herewith submit a confirmatory application.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: http://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/code_...

Yours faithfully,

Sven Giegold

ASP 05F163
Rue Wiertz 60
1047 Brussels

Dear Mrs. Guennelon,

on November 18, 2015, I filed a confirmatory application to DG TAXUD for not responding to my information request dating from September 18, 2015, asking for room documents of the Code of Conduct Group on Business Taxation. The history of my request can be followed here:
http://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/code_...

As I haven’t heard back from you since then, I would like to know when I can expect to receive the room documents requested.

Thank you in advance for your reply.

Kind regards,
Sven Giegold

-
ASP 05F163
Rue Wiertz 60
1047 Brussels

Fiscalidad y Unión Aduanera

2 Adjuntos

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Dear Mr Giegold,

Further to your last message, please find attached my message of 16 December 2015 with a proposal on how to handle your request.
The deadline of 8 January 2016 has been extended to the 25 January 2016 further to a meeting in the Council.
Therefore, and on the basis of the elements submitted to you in my previous message, we propose to send you a reply between 15 and 19 February 2016.

We trust that you will understand the constraints linked to the handling of the requested documents and that you will agree with this solution.

Best regards,
Virginie Guennelon

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Dear Mrs. Guennelon,

thank you for your message.

While I agree with the extension of the deadline for the reasons you stated, I would like to seek clarification on whether you are handling my request for room documents of the Code of Conduct Group on Business Taxation (http://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/code_...) together with my separate request for meeting-minutes or informal reports by the Commission of Code of Conduct Group meetings (http://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/code_...).

In your message dating from 16 December you extended the deadline for delivering 63 documents (meeting minutes) but you did not mention until when I can expect to receive the room documents (in your letter dating from 29 October you mentioned that there are more than 5500 documents to consult).

I would therefore highly appreciate if you could confirm that I can expect to receive your answer to my request for

a) all meeting minutes or informal reports produced by the Commission of Code of Conduct Group on Business Taxation meetings since 1998 by 29 January 2016 at the latest

b) all room documents of Code of Conduct Group on Business Taxation meetings since 1998 by 19 February 2016 at the latest.

Thank you in advance for your support.

Kind regards,
Sven Giegold

-
ASP 05F163
Rue Wiertz 60
1047 Brussels

Fiscalidad y Unión Aduanera

 

Dear Mr Giegold,

Thank you for your message.

In the reply of 29 October 2015, your 2 requests of September 2015 (ie
both the room documents and the informal minutes from Commission
officials)  were covered leading to an approximate number of 500-1000
documents which would have to be analysed and worked on.

In that framework, your confirmatory application on informal minutes was
understood as covering your 2 requests. I am therefore afraid that your
confirmatory application of 18 November regarding the room documents was
overlooked.  I  sincerely apologise for this error.

At this stage and in view  of the high number of documents you are
interested in,  we are writing to you with a view to reaching a fair
solution, in accordance with Article 6 (3) of Regulation 1049/2001 which
provides that "in the event of an application relating to a very long
document or to very large number of documents, the institution concerned
may confer with the applicant informally, with a view to finding a fair
solution". This fair solution should encompass both informal minutes and
room documents.

- Regarding the informal minutes of meeting of the Code of Conduct group
drafted by Commission officials until  mid-September 2015,  I explained in
my message of 21 January that the Member States had until 25 January to
provide their replies about the disclosure of these documents. In view of
that  consultation which will imply the final assessment of the documents
based on the comments received, the redaction of those parts of the
documents to which exceptions of Regulation 1049/2001 apply, the drafting
and approval of the reply, the preparation of the reply and of the
documents to be dispatched, we propose to send you a reply between 22 and
26 February 2016.

- Regarding the room documents until mid-September 2015, I would refer to
the explanation provided in the reply of 29 October 2015 (
ARES(2015)5012651),  and to the 84 documents you received in Annex to the
letter of 29 October 2015. Those documents were among the 356 documents
which were sent by Commissioner Moscovici to the TAXE Committee and that
you have at your disposal  as a Member of the Committee. Therefore and in
view of the privileged access to these documents originating from the
Commission which is broader than access under Regulation 1049/2001, it is
proposed to leave those documents aside.

Moreover, you had access to 56 documents originating from the Commission 
in your position of Member of Parliament, in the framework of 2 meetings
in camera in the premises of the European Commission. It is proposed to
consult Member States again on these documents in the framework of
Regulation 1049/2001 and to provide you with a reply between 7  and 11
March 2016.

Finally, we are left with the room documents originating from the Council
or Member States which might be in the possession of the Commission. In
that respect, in view of the huge number of documents which have been made
available to you,  of the broad knowledge you now have of the work of the
Code of Conduct Group and of the exchange you had with the Council as
regards access to the work of the CoC Group (requests  15/2695 and
15/2812),  we would be grateful if you could specify the subject matters
of interest to you over the determined period of time of interest to you.

Best regards,
Virginie Guennelon

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Dear Taxation and Customs Union,

I thank you very much for your clarification of the state of play.

My understanding of the Transparency Regulation 1049/2001 is the following:

Commission cannot reject my request for Code of Conduct Group (CoCG) room documents wholesale for reasons of confidentiality. Commission has to assess for each document whether it can be disclosed and if not reasons for refusing disclosure have to be indicated.

Documents related to issues that were brought to a conclusion in the CoCG have to be disclosed. Only if the disclosure would impede the decision-making process of the CoCG in the future, disclosure can be rejected but has to be weighed against the public interest. In the case of rejection, reasons for refusal have to be indicated.

Documents related to issues that have not been brought to a conclusion in the CoCG yet have to be disclosed. Only if the disclosure would impede the current decision-making process of the CoCG, disclosure can be rejected but has to be weighed against the public interest. In the case of rejection, reasons for refusal have to be indicated.

Commission has to assess room documents or the like issued by Council or Member States whether they can be disclosed or not. Rejection of disclosure is independent from the consent of the Council or the Member State. Commission has to assess for each document whether disclosure would undermine the protection of the public interest as laid down in Article 4 (a) of the Transparency Regulation. In the case of rejection, reasons for refusal have to be indicated.

Consequently, regarding the partly refusal of my request for all room documents originating from Commission, Council or Member States, I would like to know for each document that has not been disclosed to me yet the reasons for refusal and the outcome of the weighting against the public interest.

As far as your offer with a view to reaching a fair solution in accordance with Article 6 (3) of Regulation 1049/2001 is concerned, I would like to ask you to deliver - as a starting point - the following documents within 15 working days:

- Overview of measures found harmful by the CoC group (Annex) as mentioned in CoC group Room Document #3 of 23 Sept 2009

- Update of the overview of measures found harmful by the CoC group (Annex 1) as mentioned in CoC group Room Document #2 of 18 Nov 2009

- Latest version of the CoC overview of measures (the so-called grid evaluation) that were under scrutiny of the CoC group including CoC group's evaluation of the criteria for harmfulness for each measure

- Room doc #6 of CoC group meeting from 29.05.2013

- Full and final version of Annex 1 of CoC group meeting from 20.05.2010

- Annex 2 of CoC group meeting from 20.05.2010

- Annex 6b of CoC group meeting from 04.03.2010

- Annex 2 of Room doc #3 of CoC group meeting from 14.03.2010

- Room doc #2 of CoC group meeting from 04.03.2010

- Room doc #5 of CoC group meeting from 19.11.2010

- Annex 2 to Room doc #4 of CoC group meeting from 04.06.2012

- Room doc #5 of CoC group meeting from 30.01.2013

- Room doc #6 of CoC group meeting from 29.05.2013

- Room doc #5 of CoC group meeting from 22.10.2013

- Room doc 7 of CoC group meeting from 18.03.2014

- Room doc #4 of CoC group meeting from 22.10.2014

After the expiration of 15 working days, I will give you the names of additional documents which I am particularly interested in.

My separate request for CoCG meeting minutes or informal notes shall remain unaffected. I expect to receive all minutes or informal notes of all CoCG meetings since 1998 by 26 February 2016 at the latest. If disclosure is rejected partly or in total, reasons for refusal and the outcome of the weighting against the public interest will be provided for each document requested.

I am looking forward to co-operate with you and your services.

Yours faithfully,

Sven Giegold

Fiscalidad y Unión Aduanera

Dear Mr Giegold,

Thank you for your message.

In accordance with the provisions of Regulation 1049/2001, your request for the room documents of the Code of Conduct Group has not been rejected.
Given the wide scope and hence the large number of documents covered by your request on room docunents, we have been exchanging with a view to finding a fair solution in accordance with Article 6§3 of Regulation 1049/2001.

In that framework, we welcome the list of room documents you have sent to us. We will indeed assess each document, on an individual basis, in view of the provisions of Regulation 1049/2001 including the exceptions laid down in Article 4 of Regulation 1019/2001, in particular, the protection of the decision making process in the Institutions weighed against an overriding public interest. We will do our utmost to provide a reply before 19 February.

Regarding some documents you listed , we would be very grateful if you could provide the number of the document for which you would like to have access to the annex:


5- Full and final version of Annex 1 of CoC group meeting from 20.05.2010,
6- Annex 2 of CoC group meeting from 20.05.2010, document 13 de 2015/3963
7 - Annex 6b of CoC group meeting from 14.03.2010 ( we also wonder whether it would not be a reference to a meeting of 04 March 2010).

Moreover, regarding the following document, we would be grateful if you could specify if you are you interested in the document itself, the Annex or both?
1- Overview of measures found harmful by the CoC group (Annex) as mentioned in CoC group Room Document #3 of 23 Sept 2009.

As regards the informal minutes of meeting of the Code of Conduct group drafted by Commission officials until mid-September 2015, we will do our utmost to provide a reply before 26th February.

Best regards,
Virginie Guennelon

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Dear Taxation and Customs Union,
Dear Mrs Guennelon,

thank you very much for your efforts.

As you asked me to further specify some of my requests, please find herewith further clarifications.

"Full and final version of Annex 1 of CoC group meeting from 20.05.2010": As I don't know which documents exist, I would ask you to submit all Annexes of this meeting.

"Annex 2 of CoC group meeting from 20.05.2010": As I don't know which documents exist, I would ask you to submit all Annexes of this meeting.

"Annex 6b of CoC group meeting from 14.03.2010 ( we also wonder whether it would not be a reference to a meeting of 04 March 2010)": As I don't know which documents exist, I would ask you to submit all Annexes of the meetings from 04.03.2010 and 14.03.2010.

"Overview of measures found harmful by the CoC group (Annex) as mentioned in CoC group Room Document #3 of 23 Sept 2009": I would ask you to submit both, the document itself and the Annex.

I am looking forward to co-operate with you and your services.

Yours faithfully,

Sven Giegold

Fiscalidad y Unión Aduanera

2 Adjuntos

Dear Mr Giegold,

We thank you for your request.

Please find herewith our reply.

Best regards,

European Commission
DG TAXUD – R2
Access to documents

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Fiscalidad y Unión Aduanera

Dear Mr Giegold,

I refer to your requests under GestDem 2015/4940 and to the fair solution agreed upon on 3 February below.

Under that framework, you received a reply covering the internal minutes of meetings of the Code of Conduct Group falling under your request, under the reference Gestdem 2015/4940, on 11 April.

In order to facilitate the references to the forthcoming reply to be provided, we hereby acknowledge receipt of the remaining parts (list of documents in your mail of 1 February below) of your application for access to documents under the reference GestDem 2016/1856.

In accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents, we will do our utmost to handle your request within 15 working days following the sending of the previous reply. In case this time limit needs to be extended, you will be informed in due course.

Yours faithfully,

DG TAXUD R2 - Access to documents

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Fiscalidad y Unión Aduanera

1 Adjuntos

Dear Mr Giegold,

We thank you for your request.

Please find herewith our reply.

Best regards,

DG TAXUD – R2
Access to documents

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