Contracts/agreements with Member States (follow up)

Luisa Izuzquiza made this Accès à l'information request to Agence européenne pour la gestion de la coopération opérationnelle aux frontières extérieures

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Dear European Border and Coast Guard Agency,

This is a follow-up request to my request of the 28 November 2017, which can be found here:
https://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/cont...

To that extent I’d like to point out that Operation Triton 2016 and 2017 have now officially come to an end, and that a new and different operation, JO Themis, is currently underway in the Central Mediterranean.

Therefore, under the right of access to documents in the EU treaties, as developed in Regulation 1049/2001, I am requesting the following documents:

- all contracts, agreements and/or contractual statements signed with Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway in regards to Joint Operation Triton 2016; and
- all contracts, agreements and/or contractual statements signed with Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway in regards to Joint Operation Triton 2017.

I am particularly interested, for each of the above-mentioned Member States, in the following documents:
- Specific Financing Decision
- Request for Pre-Financing
- Acknowledgement of Receipt
- Request for Interim/Final Payment
- Forms for the calculation of the contribution.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need any clarification in regards to any aspect of my request.

Thank you in advance.

Yours faithfully,

Luisa Izuzquiza

PAD, Agence européenne pour la gestion de la coopération opérationnelle aux frontières extérieures

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Dear Ms Izuzquiza,

 

Thank you for your interest in Frontex activities.

 

As your request falls under the regime of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 of
the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2001 regarding public
access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents, we will
now forward your email to the responsible Unit and get back to you with an
answer within 15 working days.

 

In the meantime, should you have any questions regarding your request or
public access to documents process, do not hesitate to contact us.

 

Kind regards,

 

Transparency Office

Corporate Governance

Tel: +48 22 205 95 00

 

 

 

Frontex - European Border and Coast Guard Agency · Plac Europejski 6,
00-844 Warsaw, Poland · Tel: +48 22 205 9500 · Fax: +48 22 205 9501 ·
[1]www.frontex.europa.eu

DISCLAIMER: This e-mail message, including any attachments, cannot be
construed as automatically constituting any form of commitment by Frontex,
unless its contents clearly indicate otherwise. It is intended solely for
the use of the addressee(s). Any unauthorised disclosure, use or
dissemination, either in whole or in part, is prohibited. If you have
received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately via
e-mail and delete the e-mail from your system.

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PAD, Agence européenne pour la gestion de la coopération opérationnelle aux frontières extérieures

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Dear Ms Izuzquiza,

 

I would like to inform you that pursuant to Article 7(3) of Regulation
1049/2001 and the extent of the documents you have requested, we have to
extend the deadline to answer your application by 15 working days.

 

Nonetheless, we will do our best to provide you with the requested
documents as soon as possible. At the very latest we will provide you with
an answer on 28 March 2017

 

Thank you very much for your understanding.

 

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any question you may have.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Transparency Office

Corporate Governance

Tel: +48 22 205 95 00

 

 

Frontex - European Border and Coast Guard Agency · Plac Europejski 6,
00-844 Warsaw, Poland · Tel: +48 22 205 9500 · Fax: +48 22 205 9501 ·
[1]www.frontex.europa.eu

DISCLAIMER: This e-mail message, including any attachments, cannot be
construed as automatically constituting any form of commitment by Frontex,
unless its contents clearly indicate otherwise. It is intended solely for
the use of the addressee(s). Any unauthorised disclosure, use or
dissemination, either in whole or in part, is prohibited. If you have
received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately via
e-mail and delete the e-mail from your system.

From: PAD
Sent: Wednesday 14 February 2018 18:34
To: [FOI #5150 email]
Cc: PAD <[email address]>
Subject: PAD (3598): Contracts/agreements with Member States (follow up)

 

Dear Ms Izuzquiza,

 

Thank you for your interest in Frontex activities.

 

As your request falls under the regime of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 of
the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2001 regarding public
access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents, we will
now forward your email to the responsible Unit and get back to you with an
answer within 15 working days.

 

In the meantime, should you have any questions regarding your request or
public access to documents process, do not hesitate to contact us.

 

Kind regards,

 

Transparency Office

Corporate Governance

Tel: +48 22 205 95 00

 

 

 

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PAD, Agence européenne pour la gestion de la coopération opérationnelle aux frontières extérieures

2 Attachments

Dear Ms Izuzquiza,

 

Please find our response as attached.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Transparency Office

Corporate Governance

Tel: +48 22 205 9500

 

Frontex - European Border and Coast Guard Agency · Plac Europejski 6,
00-844 Warsaw, Poland · Tel: +48 22 205 9500 · Fax: +48 22 205 9501 ·
[1]www.frontex.europa.eu

DISCLAIMER: This e-mail message, including any attachments, cannot be
construed as automatically constituting any form of commitment by Frontex,
unless its contents clearly indicate otherwise. It is intended solely for
the use of the addressee(s). Any unauthorised disclosure, use or
dissemination, either in whole or in part, is prohibited. If you have
received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately via
e-mail and delete the e-mail from your system.

From: PAD
Sent: Wednesday 14 February 2018 18:34
To: [FOI #5150 email]
Cc: PAD <[email address]>
Subject: PAD (3598): Contracts/agreements with Member States (follow up)

 

Dear Ms Izuzquiza,

 

Thank you for your interest in Frontex activities.

 

As your request falls under the regime of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 of
the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2001 regarding public
access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents, we will
now forward your email to the responsible Unit and get back to you with an
answer within 15 working days.

 

In the meantime, should you have any questions regarding your request or
public access to documents process, do not hesitate to contact us.

 

Kind regards,

 

Transparency Office

Corporate Governance

Tel: +48 22 205 95 00

 

 

 

Afficher les sections citées

Dear European Border and Coast Guard Agency,

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 ‘Contracts/agreements with Member States (follow up)’.

On 14 February 2018 I filed an access to documents request asking for the following documents:
“- all contracts, agreements and/or contractual statements signed with Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway in regards to Joint Operation Triton 2016; and
- all contracts, agreements and/or contractual statements signed with Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway in regards to Joint Operation Triton 2017.

I am particularly interested, for each of the above-mentioned Member States, in the following documents:
- Specific Financing Decision
- Request for Pre-Financing
- Acknowledgement of Receipt
- Request for Interim/Final Payment
- Forms for the calculation of the contribution.”

The request was acknowledged by Frontex on that same day; on 5 March 2018, Frontex requested a deadline extension; and on 27 March 2018, Frontex responded to my request by refusing access to the requested documents on the basis of Article 4 (1) (a) of EU Regulation 1049/2001, “protection of public security”.

Frontex based its refusal on the fact that the evaluation process for Joint Operation Triton 2017 is still ongoing, and that only once the evaluation was over Frontex would be able to consider disclosure of the requested documents. Regarding documents related to JO Triton 2016, Frontex argues that disclosure would “open the way for abuse” thus “[hampering] the ongoing, but (…) also the future operations”.

In this regard, I consider that:

I. In its response, Frontex has failed to explain how disclosure of the requested documents would have a negative impact on the ongoing evaluation process for JO Triton 2017.

According to Frontex, disclosure of the requested documents would imply disclosing “the exact type, capabilities and weaknesses of human resources and equipment made available”.

While I understand how this information would be part of the evaluation process, what Frontex fails to explain is how making this information available would actually affect the course of the evaluation, given that the main actors involved in such a process are Frontex and EU Member States, and both Frontex and EU Member States are already aware of such details regarding the operation.

Therefore, given that the requested documents concern exclusively Frontex and five specific Member States, I hardly see how disclosure would negatively affect a process where all the actors are already familiar with such information; and if this were to be indeed the case and damage to the process were to be possible, Frontex has failed to explain if and how.

II. In its response, Frontex has failed to explain how disclosure of the requested documents would “specifically and actually” undermine public security.

Given that, as mentioned in my initial request, both Joint Operation Triton 2017 and 2016 have effectively come to an end and a new Joint Operation, Themis, is now underway, Frontex is failing to explain – as required by the European Court of Justice (Case T-167/10) – how disclosure would “specifically and actually” undermine public security.

Even if particular aspects of Joint Operation Triton (both in its 2016 and 2017 versions) have inspired to some extent Joint Operation Themis, given that the operational plans and further operational details for JO Themis are not currently publicly available, the public, in possession of the requested documents regarding of JO Triton, would only and merely be able to speculate and suppose how that information is applicable to Frontex’s current activities in the Central Mediterranean.

Those speculations and suppositions from the public would be purely hypothetical, and could in no way be interpreted as a specific and actual harm to public security.

III. As a matter of fact, Frontex’s assessment that disclosure of the requested documents would harm public security is incorrect, as demonstrated by the fact that these documents are already in the public domain, having been disclosed by one of the Member States concerned by my initial request to Frontex.

Indeed, documents falling under the scope of this request (i.e.: the requested contracts signed between Frontex and Sweden) have already been released by Sweden itself: https://fragastaten.se/request/contracts...

To this extent, disclosure has evidently and manifestly not caused harm to the Union’s public security, proving Frontex’s initial assessment incorrect.

In this regard, I’d like to recall that Article 15 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union states that “(…) the Union's institutions, bodies, offices and agencies shall conduct their work as openly as possible.” Furthermore, the European Border and Coast Guard Regulation also states in its preamble that “The Agency should be as transparent as possible about its activities”.

Disclosure of the requested documents by Sweden proves that it is indeed possible to achieve this level of openness around Frontex’s JO Triton, without prejudice to public security, thus creating a standard of transparency assumable by both Frontex and the Member States participating in its Joint Operations.

Finally, I’d like to add one last point and argument which goes beyond the scope of this particular confirmatory application, as it applies more broadly to Frontex’s access to documents practices, but that is also applicable to the requested documents and is therefore relevant in this context:

IV. Frontex’s persistent lack of transparency regarding its past operations are contravening the EU’s transparency principles and rules, as well as the own Agency’s commitment to transparency, enshrined in its own regulation.

The present case is not the first time Frontex has argued that documents related to the Agency’s operations in 2016 are not releasable because they “informed the conceptualisation” of the Agency’s operations in 2017. Likewise, Frontex has considered before that documents related to the Agency’s operations in 2017 are not releasable either, as they, too, inspired in some way the new operation, JO Themis, which is currently ongoing.

To this extent one can surely assume that documents regarding the 2018 operation will not be releasable in 2019 either, as they will also be reflected in some way in the Agency’s 2019 operations, and so on, and so on.

The fact that Frontex is consistent in its actions and in its operations, and the fact that it learns from its lessons, cannot come at the cost of EU citizens’ and residents’ right of access to documents, which is recognised as a fundamental right in the European Union.

I would also like to recall that Frontex holds a great responsibility when it comes to ensuring respect for human rights at the EU’s borders, as well as for the safeguard of the lives of people in vulnerable conditions and/or in peril.

While I do not doubt Frontex takes the above-mentioned responsibilities seriously, I’d like to urge Frontex to take just as seriously the right of all EU citizens to hold the Agency accountable for its actions, and by doing so, to raise the bar on its level of transparency when it comes to its past operations at the very least.

I hereby request that Frontex:
- Rectifies its preliminary assessment where it states that the disclosure of the requested documents would undermine public security; and
- Discloses the requested documents.

A full history of our request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/cont...

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need any clarification in regards to any aspect of this confirmatory application.

Thank you in advance.

Yours faithfully,

Luisa Izuzquiza

PAD, Agence européenne pour la gestion de la coopération opérationnelle aux frontières extérieures

Dear Ms Izuzquiza,
 
As your application for a confirmatory application falls under the regime
of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 of the European Parliament and of the
Council of 30 May 2001 regarding public access to European Parliament,
Council and Commission documents, the Director of Corporate Governance
will reappraise your application and get back to you with an answer within
15 working days. Please note that Frontex is closed on the 1^st , 3^rd 
and 9^th of May.
 
In the meantime, should you have any questions regarding your request or
public access to documents process, do not hesitate to contact us.
 
Yours sincerely,
 
Transparency Office
Corporate Governance
Tel: +48 22 205 9500
 
 
 
Frontex - European Border and Coast Guard Agency
[1]www.frontex.europa.eu
Plac Europejski 6, 00-844 Warsaw, Poland · Tel: [2]+48 22 205 9500 · Fax:
+48 22 205 9501
DISCLAIMER: This e-mail message, including any attachments, cannot be
construed as automatically constituting any form of commitment by Frontex,
unless its contents clearly indicate otherwise. It is intended solely for
the use of the addressee(s). Any unauthorised disclosure, use or
dissemination, either in whole or in part, is prohibited. If you have
received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately via
e-mail and delete the e-mail from your system.
 
 

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PAD, Agence européenne pour la gestion de la coopération opérationnelle aux frontières extérieures

Dear Ms Izuzquiza,
 
In accordance with Article 8(2) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001, we will
exceptionally extend the deadline by another 15 working days.
 
The reason for this is the extent of the requested documents and our
limited capacity to process them due to many ongoing PAD requests.
Nonetheless, we will do our best to provide you with the answer as soon as
feasible.
 
Thank you very much for your understanding.
 
Please do not hesitate to contact us with any question you may have.
 
Kind regards,
 
Transparency Office
Corporate Governance
Tel: +48 22 205 95 00
 
 
Frontex - European Border and Coast Guard Agency
[1]www.frontex.europa.eu
Plac Europejski 6, 00-844 Warsaw, Poland · Tel: [2]+48 22 205 9500 · Fax:
+48 22 205 9501
DISCLAIMER: This e-mail message, including any attachments, cannot be
construed as automatically constituting any form of commitment by Frontex,
unless its contents clearly indicate otherwise. It is intended solely for
the use of the addressee(s). Any unauthorised disclosure, use or
dissemination, either in whole or in part, is prohibited. If you have
received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately via
e-mail and delete the e-mail from your system.
 
 
_____________________________________________
From: PAD
Sent: Friday 20 April 2018 11:18
To: [FOI #5150 email]
Cc: PAD <[email address]>
Subject: FW: Internal review of access to documents request -
Contracts/agreements with Member States (follow up) - Reg No 3598a
 
 
Dear Ms Izuzquiza,
 
As your application for a confirmatory application falls under the regime
of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 of the European Parliament and of the
Council of 30 May 2001 regarding public access to European Parliament,
Council and Commission documents, the Director of Corporate Governance
will reappraise your application and get back to you with an answer within
15 working days. Please note that Frontex is closed on the 1^st , 3^rd 
and 9^th of May.
 
In the meantime, should you have any questions regarding your request or
public access to documents process, do not hesitate to contact us.
 
Yours sincerely,
 
Transparency Office
Corporate Governance
Tel: +48 22 205 9500
 
 
 

Afficher les sections citées

PAD, Agence européenne pour la gestion de la coopération opérationnelle aux frontières extérieures

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Izuzquiza,
 
Please find attached the reply to your confirmatory application.
 
Yours sincerely,
 
Transparency Office
Corporate Governance
Tel: +48 22 205 95 00
 
 
Frontex - European Border and Coast Guard Agency
[1]www.frontex.europa.eu
Plac Europejski 6, 00-844 Warsaw, Poland · Tel: [2]+48 22 205 9500 · Fax:
+48 22 205 9501
DISCLAIMER: This e-mail message, including any attachments, cannot be
construed as automatically constituting any form of commitment by Frontex,
unless its contents clearly indicate otherwise. It is intended solely for
the use of the addressee(s). Any unauthorised disclosure, use or
dissemination, either in whole or in part, is prohibited. If you have
received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately via
e-mail and delete the e-mail from your system.
 
 
_____________________________________________
From: PAD
Sent: Wednesday 16 May 2018 13:32
To: [FOI #5150 email]
Cc: PAD <[email address]>
Subject: PAD (3598b)-Contracts/agreements with Member States (follow up) -
confirmatory application
 
 
Dear Ms Izuzquiza,
 
In accordance with Article 8(2) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001, we will
exceptionally extend the deadline by another 15 working days.
 
The reason for this is the extent of the requested documents and our
limited capacity to process them due to many ongoing PAD requests.
Nonetheless, we will do our best to provide you with the answer as soon as
feasible.
 
Thank you very much for your understanding.
 
Please do not hesitate to contact us with any question you may have.
 
Kind regards,
 
Transparency Office
Corporate Governance
Tel: +48 22 205 95 00
 
 
_____________________________________________
From: PAD
Sent: Friday 20 April 2018 11:18
To: [3][FOI #5150 email]
Cc: PAD <[4][email address]>
Subject: FW: Internal review of access to documents request -
Contracts/agreements with Member States (follow up) - Reg No 3598a
 
 
Dear Ms Izuzquiza,
 
As your application for a confirmatory application falls under the regime
of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 of the European Parliament and of the
Council of 30 May 2001 regarding public access to European Parliament,
Council and Commission documents, the Director of Corporate Governance
will reappraise your application and get back to you with an answer within
15 working days. Please note that Frontex is closed on the 1^st , 3^rd 
and 9^th of May.
 
In the meantime, should you have any questions regarding your request or
public access to documents process, do not hesitate to contact us.
 
Yours sincerely,
 
Transparency Office
Corporate Governance
Tel: +48 22 205 9500
 
 
 

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