To Whom it May Concern:

on behalf of Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO), I would like to - under the right of access to documents in the EU treaties as developed in Regulation 1049/2001 - request access to the following documents:
- all complaints received by the European Commission from railway operators regarding their rights to operate in The Netherlands (since January 1st 2021)
- all reports (and other notes) from European Commission meetings with representatives of the above-mentioned railway operators (since January 1st 2021).
- all correspondence (including emails and WhatsApp messages) between the European Commission and representatives of the above-mentioned railway operators (since January 1st 2021).

The background for this request is the following mention in the International Railway Journal: ""The EC has received “substantiated complaints” from operators wishing to exercise their rights under the Fourth Railway Package to operate in the Netherlands, and Vălean says “we are under an obligation to pursue these complaints and enforce EU rail legislation.”" https://www.railjournal.com/policy/ec-wa...

Yours faithfully,

Olivier Hoedeman
on behalf of Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO)
Rue d'Edimbourg 26
1050 Brussels

MOVE-ACCES-DOCUMENTS@ec.europa.eu,

Dear Sir or Madam,

We hereby acknowledge the receipt of your request for access to documents
sent on 01/12/2023 and registered on 05/12/2023 under the case number
2023/7203.

We will handle your request within 15 working days as of the date of
registration. The time-limit expires on 04/01/2024. We will let you know
if we need to extend this time limit for additional 15 working days.

To find more information on how we process your personal data, please see
[1]the privacy statement.

Yours faithfully,

Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport - Access to Documents
European Commission

References

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1. https://ec.europa.eu/info/principles-and...

MOVE-ACCES-DOCUMENTS@ec.europa.eu,

1 Adjuntos

Dear Sir,

Please find attached a message concerning your request for access to
Commission documents registered under the above case number 2023/7203.

Please acknowledge the receipt of this message by return email.

Kind regards,

MOVE ACCES DOCUMENTS TEAM

Olivier Hoedeman dejó un comentario ()

To Whom it May Concern:

in my access to documents request registered on 5 December 2023 (under reference number EASE 2023/7203), I requested access to documents related to complaints received by the European Commission from railway operators regarding their rights to operate in The Netherlands.

In a letter dated 03/01/2024 (Ref. Ares(2024)29381), the Commission mentioned more than 14 documents related to two complaints, but refused access to all of these, arguing that it would undermine an ongoing investigation regarding a possible infringement of Union law.

I would like to appeal this decision. I have no doubt that partial access could be granted to the documents requested, without affecting "the climate of mutual trust between the authorities of the Member State in question". Transparency is one of the EU's key principles. It requires the EU to disclose information on policy-making and to uphold the principle of freedom of information. These principles are set out in the EU treaties.

I notice that one of the documents mentioned is titled "Standard complaint form submitted on behalf of second complainant, dated 29 October 2020". From this I induce that the two complaints date back more then 3 1/2 years. In its response, the Commission does not mention which organisations submitted the complaints. There is a clear public interest in knowing which complaints, on what grounds and by which complainants sparked the Commission to initiate infringement procedures. In the form of partial access to the documents, this can surely be done without undermining trust between The Netherlands and the European Commission.