Under the right of access to documents in the EU treaties, as developed in Regulation 1049/2001, I am requesting documents written, received or exchanged regarding the EU Internet Forum. This includes documents provided to participants and received from them.
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Ares(2020)4794824 - your access to documents request - ref gestdem
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Thank you for your e-mail of 13/09/2020. We hereby acknowledge receipt of
your application for access to documents, which was registered on
14/09/2020 under reference number GESTDEM 2020/5406.
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
05/10/2020. In case this time limit needs to be extended, you will be
informed in due course.
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Ares(2020)4928998 - Your application for access to documents – GESTDEM
Sent by ve_home.d.3 (HOME) <[email address]>. All
responses have to be sent to this email address.
Envoyé par ve_home.d.3 (HOME) <[email address]>. Toutes
les réponses doivent être effectuées à cette adresse électronique.
We refer to your e-mail below in which you make a request for access to
documents, registered on 14/09/2020 under the above mentioned reference
The description given in your application is very large, covering more
than 5 years of activities of our EU Internet Forum meetings.
We therefore invite you, pursuant to Article 6(2) of Regulation (EC) No
1049/2001 regarding public access to documents, to provide us with more
detailed information on the specific documents which you seek to obtain,
- the period of time limited in duration, of interest
- specific meetings of interest
- information on the specific participants (persons or bodies)
who drafted the documents.
If you need assistance in clarifying or specifying your application, you
can contact us: by email at: [email address]; or by
telephone on: (+32) (2) 2989050.
In accordance with the third paragraph of Article 2 of the Detailed rules
for the application of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 ^^, the
deadline of 15 working days for handling your application will start
running when we receive the requested clarifications.
Thank you in advance for your understanding.
Unit D3: Prevention of Radicalisation
Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs
thank you for pointing out that the description given in my application is very large. However this is due to the fact that the activities in the context of the EU Internet Forum were apparently very extensive.
I am unable to narrow down the request. I need to see the documents first to be able to decide what is of interest. Therefore, specifically, the request is not limited regarding the period of time, regarding specific meetings of interest or information on specific participants.
Note that Article 6(2) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 applies only where a request is too unspecific to answer, but not to requests that extend to a large number of documents.
If you are in doubt whether a certain category of documents is covered by my request please get in touch and I shall be happy to clarify.
Please find attached document Ares(2020)5279409 from PARIAT Monique (HOME) dated 06/10/2020.
Veuillez trouver ci-joint le document Ares(2020)5279409 de PARIAT Monique (HOME) daté du 06/10/2020.
Dear Ms Pariat,
thank you for your proposal and your sincere effort to answer my request in time. I understand it results in a lot of work, which could have been avoided though had your DG been more transparent about these activities and published the documents proactively and continuously. You may want to consider doing so in the future. It helps the public and myself exercise scrutiny.
While splitting my request in two parts and submitting them one after the other would give you more time, it would also mean you would twice need to go through the entire process. So it is probably less work overall to process all documents in the context of a single request. I therefore prefer not to limit my present request in terms of time/date of the meetings.
The objective of my application and my specific interest in the documents requested is to allow the public and myself to exercise scrutiny regarding activities interfering with fundamental rights. For example processes to deal with illegal content or content violating TOS are known to come with a certain risk of error and over-removal of legal speech. There is a public interest in knowing the mechanisms that interfere with the freedom of legal speech.
There is also a legislative proposal to make some of the voluntary processes to address terrorist content online mandatory in the future. To assess the legislative proposal, information on the existing processes are also needed.
Regarding the four categories of documents you mention, I believe that there are more documents written, received or exchanged regarding the EU Internet Forum (e.g. internal and external e-mails, information/answers provided by individual participants, company reports). I am willing to exclude internal communications within the Commission, but access to information/answers provided by individual participants in the EU Internet Forum such as company reports on their processes to address terrorist content online or reports from law enforcement agencies/IRUs should be provided.
I also exclude names of natural persons from my request, which would leave the names of the organizations they belong to.
Regarding the invitations, there is no need to provide access to identical invitations sent to various actors; it is sufficient to provide access to one invitation per meeting.
Regarding the redaction of documents, it is likely that some participants will object to releasing information on their internal processes to deal with illegal content or content violating TOS. However it is known that such processes come with a certain risk of error and over-removal of legal speech. It is therefore likely that there is an overriding public interest in knowing the mechanisms that interfere with the freedom of legal speech. Please take this into account when deciding on redacting, to avoid unnecessary escalation and further action.
In case you do not find it possible to process my application within the period prescribed by legislation because not enough staff is allocated to honor the legal obligation to fully process the application in time, I prefer a complete but late reply to an incomplete but timely one. Partially not processing my application would only result in a confirmatory application and subsequent court action, which can and should be avoided.
Feel free to get in touch if further clarifications are needed.
Please find attached document Ares(2020)5426340 from ve_home.d.3 (HOME.D.3) dated 12/10/2020.
Veuillez trouver ci-joint le document Ares(2020)5426340 de ve_home.d.3 (HOME.D.3) daté du 12/10/2020.