"European Encyclopedia Network" / Vestager

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Dear Competition,

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

In February 2023, executive Vice-President Vestager received a letter from the "European Encyclopedia Network", representing several publishing entities concerning questions of competition. According to news reports and press releases, she has attended meetings with publishers from lex.dk at around the same time.

I would like to receive a copy of all information the European Commission (including but not limited the units under the authority of VP Vestager) concerning the European Encyclopedia network

or

any of the publishers represented by this network acting individually, including:

Bulgarian Encyclopedia Scientific Information Centre / Bulgarian Academy of Sciences

The Miroslav Krleža Institute of Lexicography

Foreningen lex.dk / lex.dk

Georgian Encyclopedia / Georgian National Academy of Sciences

Brockhaus NE

Latvian National Encyclopedia / National Library of Latvia

Lithuanian Science and Encyclopedia Publishing Center / Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania

Montenegrin Centre of Lexicography / Montenegrin Academy of Sciences and Art

Great Norwegian Encyclopedia

Encyclopaedia Beliana / Slovak Academy of Sciences

(Swedish) National Encyclopedia

These documents should include internal and inter-service communication, drafts, memos and notes as well as briefing documents for VP Vestager and other members of the Commission and staff.

Yours faithfully,

Mathias Schindler

COMP-ACCESS-TO-DOCUMENTS@ec.europa.eu,

Dear Sir or Madam,

We hereby acknowledge the receipt of your request for access to documents
sent on 28/03/2023 and registered on 28/03/2023 under the case number
2023/1929.

We will handle your request within 15 working days as of the date of
registration. The time-limit expires on 21/04/2023. 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 Competition - Access to Documents
European Commission

References

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

COMP-ACCESS-TO-DOCUMENTS@ec.europa.eu,

Hello,

We are writing concerning your request for access to Commission documents
registered on 28/03/2023 under case number 2023/1929.

We are currently working on your request. However, we have not yet been
able to gather all the elements necessary to carry out a full analysis of
your request. We will not be able to send you the reply within the
prescribed time limit expiring on 21/04/2023.

• the application concerns a very large number of documents;
• in order to retrieve the documents requested, large files have to be
examined;

Therefore, in line with Article 7(3) of [1]Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001,
we need to extend this time limit by 15 additional working days. The new
time limit expires on 16/05/2023.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Kind regards,

ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS TEAM 

European Commission

DG Competition

DG COMP.I.1 (Registry and Transparency)

[email address]

References

Visible links
1. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/...

SUROWKA-BOGUS Hanna, Competencia

2 Adjuntos

Dear Sir,

We refer to your e-mail dated 28 March 2023 in which you make a request
for access to documents, registered under the above mentioned reference
number.

Please find attached a scan of the reply to your request for access to
documents, signed by the Director General.

You are kindly requested to reply to the present email acknowledging
receipt thereof.

Yours faithfully,

[1]cid:image001.png@01CE65EC.45FF9CB0
European Commission
DG Competition, unit C-3
Antitrust: IT, Internet and Consumer Electronics

 

 

References

Visible links

Dear DG Competition,

Please pass this on to the person who reviews confirmatory applications.

I am filing the following confirmatory application with regards to my access to documents request '"European Encyclopedia Network" / Vestager'.

The grounds for my application are as follows:

The decision is based on a faulty application of the exemptions provided by Regulation 1049/2001.

The decision to refuse access to the requested documents on the grounds of the protection of the commercial interests of the European Union is not justified.

Moreover, the decision to refuse access does not sufficiently consider the public interest in disclosure, nor does it adequately balance this against the commercial interests invoked. In addition, the grounds for the refusal are not specified with sufficient clarity to allow for effective judicial review.

Therefore, I respectfully request that you reconsider your decision and grant access to the requested documents.

Regarding the reasons for the refusal of access, I would like to highlight that the European Commission did not provide a detailed list of the documents that fall within the scope of my request and did not provide specific reasons for each of them. Instead, a blanket excuse was given which does not provide adequate justification for the refusal.

Furthermore, I have reason to believe that there may be documents that are within the scope of my request that the Commission has not included in the process. This lack of transparency raises concerns about the Commission's handling of access to documents requests.

In addition, I would like to emphasize that the Commission erred in not partially disclosing documents through redaction or other means. This would have allowed for the release of information that is not exempt from disclosure, while protecting sensitive information.

Finally, I believe that there is an overriding public interest in the disclosure of the requested documents. Access to information on the European Encyclopedia Network is of significant public interest, particularly given the potential impact of the network on the European cultural landscape. The public has a right to access this information in order to make informed decisions and engage in meaningful debate.

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

Yours faithfully,

Mathias Schindler

sg-acc-doc@ec.europa.eu,

Dear Sir or Madam,

We hereby acknowledge the receipt of your confirmatory request for case
2023/1929, sent on 07/05/2023 and registered on 08/05/2023.

We will handle your confirmatory request within 15 working days as of the
date of registration. The time-limit expires on 01/06/2023. We will let
you know if we need to extend this time limit for additional 15 working
days.

Yours faithfully,

Secretariat-General - Access to Documents
European Commission

sg-acc-doc@ec.europa.eu,

Dear Sir or Madam,

We hereby acknowledge the receipt of your confirmatory request for case
2023/1929, sent on 07/05/2023 and registered on 08/05/2023.

We will handle your confirmatory request within 15 working days as of the
date of registration. The time-limit expires on 01/06/2023. We will let
you know if we need to extend this time limit for additional 15 working
days.

Yours faithfully,

Secretariat-General - Access to Documents
European Commission

sg-acc-doc@ec.europa.eu,

Hello,

We are writing concerning your confirmatory request for access to
Commission documents for case 2023/1929 registered on 8 May 2023.

We are currently working on your confirmatory request. However, we have
not yet been able to gather all the elements necessary to carry out a full
analysis of your request. We will not be able to send you the reply within
the prescribed time limit expiring on 1 June 2023.

Therefore, in line with Article 8(2) of [1]Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 we
need to extend this time limit by 15 additional working days. The new time
limit expires on 22 June 2023.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Kind regards,

References

Visible links
1. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/...

Hello,

I am writing to express my deep concern regarding the recent communication I received from the European Commission concerning my confirmatory request for access to Commission documents, as per case 2023/1929 registered on 8 May 2023.

In the email dated May 26, it was stated that the Commission requires an extension of 15 additional working days beyond the prescribed time limit outlined in Article 8(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001. I regret to inform you that this communication fails to adhere to the necessary requirements stipulated in Article 8(2) of the aforementioned regulation.

According to Article 8(2), an extension beyond the initial time limit is only permissible in exceptional cases. However, the Commission's email did not provide any indication or explanation to suggest that my case falls under such exceptional circumstances. It is crucial that the Commission justifies any extension by providing detailed reasons that warrant such an exception. Regrettably, this information was absent from the communication I received.

Therefore, I kindly request that the European Commission promptly provides a detailed reasoning for considering my case as exceptional and necessitating an extension. It is my firm belief that compliance with the transparency requirements set forth in Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 is of utmost importance, and Article 8(2) specifically emphasizes the need for clear justifications in exceptional cases.

I must inform you that unless the European Commission adheres to the regulation, specifically Article 8(2), by providing detailed reasoning for the extension and clearly demonstrating the exceptional circumstances, I cannot accept any further delay beyond the original prescribed time limit.

I trust that you understand the importance of upholding the principles of transparency and accountability enshrined in Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001. I look forward to receiving a prompt response addressing my concerns and providing the requested detailed reasoning in accordance with the regulation.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. I anticipate a swift and satisfactory resolution.

Yours sincerely,
Mathias Schindler

sg-acc-doc@ec.europa.eu,

Dear Mr Schindler,

Thank you for your email. We would like to sincerely apologise for the
delay in replying to your request. The internal consultations between the
services involved in your file are ongoing. We are doing our utmost to
provide you with a reply as soon as possible.

Thank you for your understanding and patience.

 Kind regards,

Greetings,

Thank you for your prompt response. I appreciate your acknowledgment of the delay and your ongoing efforts in handling my request. However, I would like to address a particular concern regarding the exceptional circumstances cited for the extension of the time limit, as mentioned in your previous email.

In your response, you mentioned that the delay is due to ongoing "internal consultations" between the services involved in my file. While I understand that internal consultations are a regular part of the process, they do not appear to constitute exceptional circumstances as required by Article 8(2) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001. In fact, the mention of such consultations suggests that this is a routine case rather than an exceptional one.

Considering the aforementioned point, I kindly request that the European Commission provides a detailed explanation regarding the exceptional circumstances that warrant the extension of the time limit for my confirmatory request. It is crucial to adhere to the transparency requirements outlined in Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001, which includes justifying any extension with clear and specific reasoning.

I appreciate your understanding and cooperation thus far. However, I must emphasize that no extension can be granted without conformity with Article 8(2) of the regulation, which requires a valid justification for exceptional circumstances.

Furthermore, I would like to remind you that the original deadline, as confirmed by the Commission in their email dated May 8, 2023, is June 1, 2023. Given this timeline, I kindly request a prompt response that addresses my concerns and provides the required detailed reasoning for the exceptional circumstances justifying the extension.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. I look forward to receiving a prompt response that addresses my concerns and provides the necessary information.

Yours sincerely,

Mathias Schindler

Mathias Schindler dejó un comentario ()

A complaint has been filed after the expiration of the time limit.

Mathias Schindler dejó un comentario ()

The complaint number is 1037/2023/SF , titled:

The European Commission’s failure to take a final decision within the applicable time limit on a request for public access to documents concerning contacts with encyclopaedia publishers

Greetings,

this request will soon be unanswered for about one year. Would you like a cake for this upcoming achievement?

Yours faithfully,

Mathias Schindler

Dear Competition,

What is the status of the confirmatory application in the case 2023/1929?

Yours faithfully,

Mathias Schindler

Dear SUROWKA-BOGUS Hanna,

What is the status of the confirmatory application in the case 2023/1929?

Yours faithfully,

Mathias Schindler

COMP-C3-MAIL@ec.europa.eu, Competencia

1 Adjuntos

Dear Sir,

 

According to our knowledge, the case is now in the hands of the
Secretary-General of the European Commission and we understand that they
are still working on the preparation of a confirmatory reply.

 

 

Kind regards,

 

Brice ALLIBERT

Head of Unit
 
European Commission
DG Competition – Unit C3

Antitrust - IT, Internet and Consumer electronics

B-1049 Brussels/Belgium