Ceci est une version HTML d'une pièce jointe de la demande d'accès à l'information 'Information about IMR presumable false accounting and the Response given by Madame Viviane Reding to European Parliament'.
 
 
Under the Treaty (Article 15(3) TFEU), any citizen has a right of access to documents of the EU’s institutions, bodies, 
offices and agencies. The rules governing the exercise of this right are laid down in Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 
regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents
  (http://eur-
lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2001:145:0043:0048:EN:PDF).
 
Under Article 7 of the Regulation, in the event of a total or partial refusal, or in the absence of a response, the applicant 
can make a confirmatory application to the Secretary general, who will then take a final decision on behalf of the 
Commission. The applicant can then challenge this decision either by filling a complaint to the Ombudsman or by appeal 
to the Tribunal. 
1. CHECK IF IT REALLY IS A REQUEST FOR ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS  
The Regulation applies only to requests for access to existing documents, i.e. “any content whatever its medium 
(written on paper or stored in electronic form or as a sound, visual or audio-visual recording) concerning a matter 
relating to the policies, activities and decisions falling within the institution's sphere of responsibility” (Article 3 of 
Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001).  
•  If the request relates to information which is not contained in documents, and if replying would involve compiling 
information from a number of different documents, it should be considered as a request for information to be processed in 
accordance with the Code of Good Behaviour:  http://myintracomm.ec.europa.eu/hr_admin/en/code/Pages/conduct.aspx. 
•  A document that is 30 years old or more can be accessed under the rules on the opening to the public of the historical 
archives. Contact the Historical Archives (e-mail: OIB ARCHIS BASE).  
•  Some documents are already in the public domain and can be released: check in the Register of Commission documents 
and Eur-Lex.  
2. REGISTER THE APPLICATION FOR ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS 
A copy of the application must be sent, as soon as possible, to the team in charge of access to documents in your DG, 
which will register the request in GESTDEM (shared database for applications for access to documents) and send an 
acknowledgement of receipt to the applicant.  This team will also inform you of the administrative rules in force on 
access to documents in your DG.  
http://www.cc.cec/home/dgserv/sg/docinter/docs/liste_corresp-2011.pdf 
3. PREPARE A REPLY TO THE APPLICANT (if you are the person who should reply) 
A reply must be sent to the applicant, in writing and in the language in which the application was submitted, within 15 
working days from the date on which the application was registered by your DG’s ‘access to documents’ team. 
HOW SHOULD I ASSESS A REQUEST?  
Under the principle of transparency, citizens are entitled to the widest possible access to Commission documents  
(Article 1 of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001) 
You should draw up a full list of the documents to which the application refers and closely examine the content of each 
document in order to determine whether disclosure would undermine one or more of the interests protected by Article 
4 of Regulation No 1049/2001.  
The list must be attached to your reply, except in cases where the Commission may dispense with an individual 
examination of each document (check with the coordinator in your DG). 
In principle, no document is spared the detailed examination of its contents, even if it is ‘classified’.  If this examination 
indicates that a classified document must be disclosed, it will first have to be declassified. See: 
http://www.cc.cec/security/security_management/information/info_principles_en.htm 
•  If you are unable to identify the document(s) asked for: You should ask the applicant to provide you with 
additional information which will enable you to identify the document or to narrow down the request.  In that 
case, the 15-working day deadline for reply will apply only from the date by which you receive this information. 


 
•  If you think the request is disproportionate:  inform the applicant in writing, referring to Article 6(3) of 
Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001, and confer with a view to finding a fair solution.  
In the case of a vague or voluminous request, the statutory deadline of 15 working days may be replaced by a timetable 
agreed with the applicant under Article 6(3) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001.  If a fair solution cannot be found, you 
may refer to the proportionality principle to justify a refusal to process the application on the grounds that to do so 
would involve a disproportionate amount of work.  
WHAT IF I HAVE TO REFUSE AN APPLICATION (TOTAL OR PARTIAL REFUSAL)?   
The answer must: 
 
•  clearly indicate the grounds for the refusal based on one of the exceptions listed in Article 4 of Regulation (EC) 
No 1049/2001 and set out specific and detailed arguments justifying the refusal; 
•  inform the applicant of his or her right to appeal to the Secretary General in relation to the application.  
If only part of the document requested is covered by one or more of the exceptions listed in the Regulation, you must 
release the remaining parts (partial access) and give reasons for the partial refusal as above.   Except where the refusal 
is based on the exceptions in Article 4(1), the potential harm caused by disclosure must be weighed against the public 
interest in disclosure. 
WHAT IF THE DOCUMENT REQUESTED CONTAINS PERSONAL DATA?  
The disclosure to third parties of personal data is covered by Regulation 45/2001.  The consent of the person in question 
or a need to disclose such data is required.  
Consult your DG’s Data Protection Coordinator : http://myintracomm.ec.europa.eu/serv/en/dpo/home/Pages/home.aspx 
WHAT ABOUT DOCUMENTS RECEIVED FROM THIRD PARTIES/MEMBER STATES? 
Consult the third party, including Member States, to obtain their opinion (or their agreement in the case of a MS) on 
whether the document may be disclosed, unless it is clear that the document may – or must not – be released.  
If the third party objects to disclosure, you must refuse access to the document or the parts of the document 
concerned, reproducing the argument used by the third party, even if their objections are not of a nature to justify 
refusal. The Commission can decide to disregard the opposition of a third party only at the stage of the confirmatory 
application.   
WHAT IF I AM UNABLE TO REPLY WITHIN THE 15-DAY DEADLINE? 
Send the applicant a letter, before the expiry of the 15-day deadline, notifying him or her of the extension of the 
deadline and giving reasons for the new deadline.   
Failure to reply within the prescribed time limit constitutes a tacit refusal and entitles the applicant to make a 
confirmatory application. 
WHO SHOULD SIGN THE REPLY TO AN INITIAL APPLICATION?  
•  Positive replies can be signed by any official to whom the director general has delegated this power. 
•  Negative replies (total or partial) must be signed by your director general (see attached Note from Ms Day and 
Mr Romero Requena (21.1.2010) : http://www.cc.cec/home/dgserv/sg/docinter/docs/check_list_2011.pdf). 
WHAT SHOULD I DO BEFORE SUBMITTING THE REPLY FOR SIGNATURE? 
It is compulsory to use the check-list in the attached note from Ms Day and Mr Romero Requena, mentioned above, in 
order to be sure that your reply meets the requirements imposed by Regulation (EC) No 45/2001. The check-list must 
be included with your draft negative answer in the signataire sent to the director general
, but must not be attached to 
the reply to the applicant.  
 
 
 
1/3/12 - SG/B/5. - This document has been drafted strictly for information purposes and does not constitute a legal document. 
Internal site ‘Public  access to Commission documents’: http://www.cc.cec/home/dgserv/sg/docinter/. 
  

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