Written observations in Case C-311/18 (Facebook Ireland and Schrems)
Dear Legal Service,
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:
Written observations from all parties (The Irish Data Protection Commission, Maximillian Schrems, The US Government, EPIC, BSA, DIGITALEUROPE, Ireland, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, the United Kingdom, the European Parliament), and any transcripts of the position of France, in Case C-311/18 (Facebook Ireland and Schrems).
Michael Veale, Faculty of Laws, University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT
Ares(2020)155398 - Your requests for Access to Documents - Fair
Sent by ve_sj.acces docs (SJ) <[SJ request email]>. All responses
have to be sent to this email address.
Envoyé par ve_sj.acces docs (SJ) <[SJ request email]>. Toutes les
réponses doivent être effectuées à cette adresse électronique.
Dear Mr Veale,
Acknowledgement of receipt
We refer to your emails of 2 January 2020 by which you submit 4 requests
for access to documents under Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding
public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents.
You have lodged your applications via the “AsktheEU.org” website. Please
note that this is a private third-party 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.
Also, kindly note that this private third party - running the AsktheEU.org
website - is responsible and accountable for the processing of your
personal data via this website and not the European Commission. For more
information on your rights, please refer to the third party’s privacy
Furthermore, the third party usually publishes on this website the content
of the applicants’ correspondence with the European Commission. This
includes personal data which you may have communicated to the European
Commission (e.g. your private postal address, contact details, etc.) as
well as any reply which the European Commission will send to you.
If you do not wish your correspondence with the European Commission to be
published on the AsktheEU.org website, you can provide us with an
alternative, private e-mail address, for future correspondence. In this
case, the European Commission will send all electronic correspondence
addressed to you to the private email you have provided.
Fair solution proposal
Your requests concern the European Commission’s and third parties’
submissions to the Court of Justice in the Cases C-40/17, C-673/17,
C-18/18 and C-311/18.
Regarding Case C-311/18 Facebook Ireland & Schrems, we would like to
inform you that the case is currently pending and therefore the
submissions to the Court of Justice are covered by the exception provided
for under Article 4(2), second indent, of Regulation 1049/2001
("protection of court proceedings"). See in this respect judgment in
Joined Cases C-514/07P, C-528/07P and C-532/07P Sweden a.o v. API and
Commission (paragraphs 77, 79, 92 and 94).
As to the handling of the other three requests, namely Cases C-40/17,
C-673/17 and C-18/18, they contain 7, 11 and 6 documents, respectively (24
documents in total, 21 of which originate from Member States and other
Please note that regarding the Commission’s documents, the Legal Service
has to carry out a concrete assessment of each document before taking the
decision of granting / refusing access in order to guarantee that the
documents to be disclosed do not contain information that should be
covered by any of the exceptions of Regulation 1049/2001, despite the fact
that these cases are no longer pending before the Court.
With regard to the documents originating from third parties, the
Commission has to consult those parties according to Article 4(4) of
Regulation 1049/2001, which provides that the institution shall consult
the third parties with a view to assessing whether an exception in
paragraph 1 of 2 is applicable. Therefore, the Legal Service will consult
the third parties setting a deadline of 10 working days, in order for them
to communicate the conclusions of their assessments. This consultation
period adds an additional administrative step to the handling of your
In view of the number of documents concerned by your request and the
procedure of consultation referred to above, it will not be possible for
the Legal Service to provide you with a reply within the lime limit set by
Article 8(2) of Regulation 1049/2001. In this respect, please also note
that the Commission cannot privilege one applicant and has to guarantee
that all the requests are dealt with within the deadlines of Regulation
1049/2001 or, where not possible – as in the present case – to seek for a
fair solution in conformity with Article 6(3) that reconciles the
interests of the applicant with those of good administration.
In accordance with the case-law of the EU Courts, a fair solution can only
concern the content or the number of documents applied for, not the
deadline for replying (judgment of 2 October 2014 in Case C-127/13, Guido
Strack v. Commission, paragraphs 26-28). This means that the scope of your
requests must be narrowed down in a way that would enable its treatment
within the extended deadline of 15 + 15 working days.
In view of the foregoing, we would like to propose a fair solution that
enables us to conciliate your interest with the principle of good
administration and without prejudice to other applicants’ requests. In
this sense, the Legal Service considers that it would be in a position to
deal, within the extended deadline of 15 + 15 working days, with one of
the cases concerned by your request. We kindly ask you to inform us which
Case you would like the Legal Service to deal with first.
Kindly send your agreement to this proposal to the following email
address: [SJ request email]
Access to Documents team
6. mailto:[SJ request email]
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