Correspondence between Johannes Hahn and Head of Cabinet

La solicitud fue rechazada por Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations.

Dear Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations,

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

All text messages (i.e., SMS messages) and other mobile-phone-based text communications (e.g., WhatsApp, Telegram, iMessage, Facebook Chat, SnapChat, Slack, Facebook and Twitter "direct messages," Signal Messenger, Wire, etc.) sent by – or on behalf of – EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn addressed or "CC'd" to his Head of Cabinet Michael Karnitschnig, from 1 September 2017 to 31 October 2017 inclusive, on work-specific devices operated by or otherwise under the control of Commissioner Hahn.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need any clarification in regards to any aspect of my request.

Thank you in advance.

Yours faithfully,

Luisa Izuzquiza
Access Info Europe

Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations

Dear Ms. Izuzquiza,

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/...

Yours faithfully,


European Commission
DG Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations
NEAR Access to Documents
[DG NEAR request email]

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Dear Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations,

Thank you for your message.

There are no valid procedural requirements that allow an institution to refuse registration of an access to documents request pending the provision of a postal address. I refer you to the Decision of the Ombudsman in in case 682/2014/JF: https://www.ombudsman.europa.eu/cases/de...

Yours faithfully,

Luisa Izuzquiza
Access Info Europe

Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations

Dear Ms. Izuzquiza,

We refer to your email of 4/01/2018, copied below.

In response to the question you raised, please be informed that the Commission's latest position regarding the postal address requirement is reflected in our reply to the Ombudsman of 9 March 2017, which can be found on the Ombudsman website (https://www.ombudsman.europa.eu/en/cases...).

The Commission has been asked to provide its reply to the Ombudsman's final conclusions on this topic by the end of the first quarter of 2018, and this reply will also be made available on the Ombudsman's website.

Please note that on 1 April 2014, the postal address became a mandatory feature for the purpose of introducing a request for access to documents.

The decision to ask for a postal address from applicants for access to documents was triggered by the following considerations:

• The need to obtain legal certainty as regards the date of receipt of the reply by the applicant under Regulation 1049/2001. Indeed, as foreseen by Article 297 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), […] decisions which specify to whom they are addressed, shall be notified to those to whom they are addressed and shall take effect upon such notification. Replies triggering the possibility for administrative or judicial redress are therefore transmitted via registered mail with acknowledgement of receipt. This requires an indication of a valid postal address by the applicant;

• The need to direct the Commission's scarce resources first of all to those requests which have been filed by "real" applicants. With only a compulsory indication of an e-mail address, applicants can easily introduce requests under an invented identity or under the identity of a third person. Asking for a postal address helps the Commission to protect the administration, as well as other citizens and legal persons, from abuse;

• For similar reasons, asking for a compulsory indication of a postal address enables the Commission services to verify whether Article 6(3) of the Regulation, on voluminous requests, is being evaded by introducing several requests under different identities. Indeed, in its Ryanair judgment, the General Court confirmed that Article 6(3) cannot be evaded by splitting the application into a number of applications. The Commission would like to point out that, in 2012/2013, it received some 57 confirmatory requests from what it suspects to be one single applicant operating under 13 different identities;

• Knowing whether the applicant is an EU resident in the sense of Article 2(1) of Regulation 1049/2001 is a precondition for the purpose of correctly applying the exception in Article 4(1)(b) of Regulation 1049/2001 (protection of the privacy and integrity of the individual), which has to be interpreted in accordance with Data Protection Regulation 45/2001. Article 9 of Regulation 45/2001 requires the adequacy of the level of protection afforded by the third country or international organisation when transmitting personal data to third-country residents or legal persons. It follows that, in case of requests for documents which include personal data, the correct application of the data protection rules cannot be ensured in the absence of a postal address enabling the Commission to ascertain that the minimum data protection standards will be respected.

All of these considerations show that the request for and the consequent processing of a postal address is not only appropriate but also strictly necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest within the meaning of Article 5 (a) of Data Protection Regulation 45/2001, namely providing a smooth and effective access to documents.

The Commission has been applying this approach since 1 April 2014, because of numerous problems encountered by the Commission in its previous practice (legal uncertainty, false identities used etc.). We also would like to point out that other institutions, such as the Court of Justice, already ask for the address in their respective electronic forms for access to documents requests.

We therefore kindly reiterate our request to you to provide a full postal address, so we can duly register and handle your request. Please note that, once we receive your postal address, we will register your request for access as an initial application for access to documents in the meaning of Article 6(1) of Regulation 1049/2001. The deadline for handling your initial request shall run as from the moment of registration of your request following the submission of your postal address.

Thank you in advance.

Kind regards,

European Commission
DG Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations
NEAR Access to Documents
[DG NEAR request email]

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Dear Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations,

My postal address is:

Luisa Izuzquiza
Access Info Europe
Calle Cava San Miguel 8, 4º centro
28005 Madrid
Spain

Yours faithfully,

Luisa Izuzquiza

Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations

Dear Ms. Izuzquiza,

Thank you for your e-mail dated 10/01/2018. We hereby acknowledge receipt of your application for access to documents, which was registered on 10/01/2018 under reference number GestDem 2018/0219.

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 31/01/2018. In case this time limit needs to be extended, you will be informed in due course.

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 European Commission cannot be held accountable for any technical issues or problems linked to the use of this system.

Yours faithfully,

European Commission
DG Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations
NEAR Access to Documents

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Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations

1 Adjuntos

Dear Ms. Izuzquiza,

Please find attached the reply concerning your request for access to documents - GestDem 2018/0219.

Yours faithfully,

European Commission
DG Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations
NEAR Access to Documents

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