Legal opinion by the EC legal service on legal basis in EUTR for making Transparency Register mandatory

La solicitud fue rechazada por Secretaría General de la Comisión Europea.

Dear Secretariat General (SG),

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:

The Legal Opinion by the European Commission's Legal Service that was used in the discussions in the High Level Working Group on the review of the Transparency Register that took place from July-December 2013.

I could not find a document number for this legal opinion by the EC's SJ, but it is mentioned in a letter from MEP Rainer Wieland to EP President Martin Schultz dated 17 December 2013:

"Regarding the establishment of a mandatory Transparency Register in the future, it has been found, with the legal opinions of both Institutions' Legal Services, that at present European Union Law does not provide for a solid legal basis for a mandatory registration of lobbyists."

The letter is available here: http://www.alter-eu.org/documents/2014/0...

Yours faithfully,

Erik Wesselius
Corporate Europe Observatory

Erik Wesselius dejó un comentario ()

In the title it should read: "...legal basis in the TFEU for making..."

Secretaría General de la Comisión Europea

Dear Mr Wesselius,

Thank you for your email dated 4 February 2014, registered today under the reference Gestdem 2014/0630.

I hereby acknowledge receipt of your request for access to documents.

In accordance with Regulation 1049/2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents, you will receive a response to your request within 15 working days. The time limit will expire on 25/02/2014. In case this time limit needs to be extended, you will be informed in due course.

Yours sincerely,

European Commission
SG B5 – Transparency
'Access to documents'
B-1049 Brussels/Belgium

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Secretaría General de la Comisión Europea

3 Adjuntos

Dear Mr Wesselius,

 

Please find attached the reply to your request for access to documents
together with its enclosure.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

 

Diana TILOUCHE
 
European Commission
Legal Service

BERL 1/111
B-1049 Brussels/Belgium
+32 2-299 57 49
[1][email address]

 

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Dear Secretary General,

With this letter I would like to submit a confirmatory application for full access to the European Commission Legal Services note “Mandatory register for lobbyists: legal basis” (Ares(2013)3191712).

Upon my request for access (GestDEM 2014/630, 4 February 2014) to this document, I was granted only partial access to the document. With this letter I would like to appeal this decision and reiterate my request for access to the full document.

First of all I would like to remark that, contrary to what the first paragraph of Mr. Romero Requena’s reply (dated 24 February) suggests, I didn’t file my request for access on behalf of any client. Corporate Europe Observatory is a not for profit public interest group and we do not represent any commercial clients.

Mr Romero Requena writes that the expunged parts of the note couldn’t be released due to exceptions provided for in Article 4(2) second indent ("the protection of legal advice") 1 and Article 4(3) second paragraph ("the protection of the decision-making process") 3 of Regulation 1049/2001.

Mr Romero Requena’s letter does not substantiate why the expunged part of the legal service’s note would be of a highly sensitive nature and how publication exactly would “undermine the Commission’s capacity to take future decisions on the matter”. And even if that case could be made, the Transparency Register review was closed in December 2013 and the Commission concluded that there is no legal basis for a mandatory register. However, it now turns out that EU citizens would not be allowed to know on what gorunds the Commisison came to that conclusion.

Moreover, in the context of the Transparency Register review, the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation in the EU (ALTER-EU), commissioned a legal study by Prof. Markus Krajewksi, on a possible legal framework for a mandatory EU lobby register and regulations (17 June 2013). In this study, which was submitted to the EP-EC Transparency Register Review working group, Prof. Krajewski concluded:

"A binding regulation of lobbying activities at the EU level including the requirement to register and to adhere to certain standards of behavior would be the most effective way of regulating these activities. Examples, in the EU, but also in third countries (US, Canada) show the variety of such mandatory approaches, but also their feasibility."

"The legal basis for such a regulation can be found in Article 298 (2) TFEU concerning lobbyists which target EU institutions engaged in administrative tasks. Based on the implied powers doctrine, the EU’s competence could be extended to cover all activities addressing EU organs and institutions engaged in administrative as well as legislative tasks."

"A regulation based on Article 298 (2) TFEU and/or the implied powers doctrine could be adopted through the ordinary legislative procedure."

http://www.alter-eu.org/documents/2013/0...

ALTER-EU never received an official reaction from the European Commission to this study. Again, from a public interest perspective it is unacceptable that the Commission, on the basis of the partially disclosed legal note concludes that Art 298 and 352 TFEU don’t provide legal basis for a mandatory lobby register, but refuses to disclose the arguments leading to that conclusion.

Therefore, in the light of the longstanding debate about the legal basis for mandatory registration of EU lobbyists, we consider it of overriding public interest that the expunged parts of the legal note are being disclosed.

Yours faithfully,

Erik Wesselius
Corporate Europe Observatory

Secretaría General de la Comisión Europea

Dear Sir,

Thank you for your email dated 18/03/2014.

We hereby acknowledge receipt of your confirmatory application for access to documents, which was registered on 19/03/2014 under reference number GestDem 2014/630 – Ares(2014) 802555.

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 09/04/2014. In case this time limit needs to be extended, you will be informed in due course.

Yours faithfully,

Carlos Remis
SG.B.4.
Transparence.
Berl. 05/329.

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Secretaría General de la Comisión Europea

2 Adjuntos

 
Dear Mr Wesselius,

Kindly find herewith a letter concerning your confirmatory application for
access to documents (gestdem 2014/630).
Yours sincerely,
 
Carlos Remis
SG.B.4.
Transparence.
Berl. 05/329.
 
 
 
 

 
 
 

Secretaría General de la Comisión Europea

2 Adjuntos

Dear Mr Wesselius,

 

Please find attached a note for your attention concerning your
confirmatory application GESTDEM 2014/630.

 

Best regards,

 

ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS TEAM

[1]ec logo
European Commission
Secretariat General
Unit SG.B4 – Transparency

 

 

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Secretaría General de la Comisión Europea

2 Adjuntos

Dear Mr Wesselius,

Kindly find the answer to your confirmatory application concerning your
request for access to documents pursuant to Regulation (EC) N° 1049/2001
regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission
documents (Gestdem 2014/630).
Yours sincerely,
Carlos Remis
SG.B.5.
Transparence.
Berl. 05/329.