Discussions on RRF plan Netherlands (3)

Peter a fait une demande de Accès à l'information à Secrétariat général de la Commission européenne

Automatic anti-spam measures are in place for this older request. Please let us know if a further response is expected or if you are having trouble responding.

En attente d'une révision interne par Secrétariat général de la Commission européenne a propos de leur gestion de la demande.

Dear Madam, Sir,

Under the right of access to documents in the EU treaties, as developed in Regulation 1049/2001, and Regulation 1367/2006, I am requesting documents which contain the following information:

All documents held by the Commission on the preparation of a recovery and resilience plan of the Netherlands as part of the European Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), from 29 January 2022 until 1 June 2022.

This includes exchanges via e-mail, including attachments, letter, text messages, phone call notes, or meeting notes, between the Commission and the Dutch national government about possible investments and potential projects.

Since the information might at least partly concern also "activities affecting or likely to affect" the "state of the elements of the environment", I believe Regulation 1367/2006 applies.

Should you encounter any difficulties in interpreting or processing my request, I am ready to discuss ways to clarify or amend it to keep the effort required on your part to the necessary minimum.

Please send me an acknowledgement of receipt for this request, as foreseen by Article 7 (1) of Regulation 1049/2001.

If the European Commission is going to argue that disclosure of some or all of the documents would be prevented by the 4th indent of Article 4(1)(a), as it did in the case of reference number GESTDEM 2021/7168, and GESTDEM 2022/0654, please provide a substantial and non-hypothetical argument why this supposedly is the case.

Article 7 of the Regulation states that the institution “shall either grant access [..] or, in a written reply, state the reasons for the total or partial refusal”. Simply referring to “the 4th indent of Article 4(1)(a)” cannot be sufficient to fulfill the requirement of stating the reasons of refusal.

Since I also asked for a substantial and non-hypothetical argument when I filed my request registered GESTDEM 2022/0654, a question which the Commission then ignored, let me emphasize: PLEASE PROVIDE A SUBSTANTIAL AND NON-HYPOTHETICAL ARGUMENT why disclosure of the documents should be prevented by the 4th indent of Article 4(1)(a).

If the European Commission is going to argue that disclosure of some or all of the documents would be prevented by the first subparagraph of Article 4(3)” , as it did in the case of reference number GESTDEM 2021/7168 and GESTDEM 2022/0654, please consider that this STILL cannot be properly used because of the following reasons:

- Since there is currently no Dutch Recovery and Resilience Plan submitted by the Netherlands, the decision-making process in relation to the Dutch Recovery and Resilience Plan has not started in the European Commission. Article 19 of Regulation (EU) 2021/241 (of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 February 2021 establishing the Recovery and Resilience Facility) states that the European Commission "shall assess the recovery and resilience plan". not any correspondence between the Commission and a member state on the preparation of the Recovery and Resilience Plan.

My position about the decision-making process in relation to the Dutch Recovery and Resilience Plan not having been started, is reinforced by a letter from the Dutch minister of Finance, Mrs Sigrid Kaag. On 17 February, she answered questions from Dutch parliament members about the informal discussions held between the Commission and the Netherlands. The letter can be found here: https://www.tweedekamer.nl/kamerstukken/...

In answers 11 and 13, Kaag confirms what I argued in my confirmatory applications:

"Het is gebruikelijk dat Europese lidstaten conceptplannen informeel toetsen bij de Europese Commissie. De HVF-verordening is voor alle Europese lidstaten een nieuw proces, vandaar dat informeel en ambtelijk bij de experts van de Europese Commissie getoetst is of bepaalde zaken voldoen aan de eisen van de verordening. Er is hiermee geen officiële procedure omzeild. De officiële procedure met de Europese Commissie gaat van start op het moment dat wij het plan indienen bij de Commissie, cf. preambule lid 38 van de HVF-verordening."

and

"De gesprekken vormen echter geen onderdeel van het beoordelingsproces, maar worden ingezet ter voorziening van benodigde informatie ten aanzien van de HVF-verordening. De Commissie velt in deze gesprekken dan ook geen oordeel over de samenhang van het plan, maar geeft slechts toelichting bij de technische vereisten. Dit blijkt ook uit de openbaargemaakte stukken d.d. 1 november 2021."

- The documents which constitute "correspondence between the Commission and the Dutch Government" can in no way qualify as internal considerations. By definition, correspondence occurs between two parties. If the Commission is able to share information with the Dutch government without undermining the Commission's decision-making process, disclosure of that information to a wider public equally cannot undermine the Commission's decision-making process.

- Even if the Commission maintains that Article 4(3) applies, please note that you should make an assessment of any overriding public interest. When considering that public interest, please also take into account what the Commission president Von der Leyen has written to the European Ombudsman in a 15 October 2021 letter: ‘You can rest assured of our commitment to ensuring the transparency of the Recovery and Resilience Facility as we share your assessment that full ownership by EU citizens is a prerequisite to ensure its success.’

Since I also asked the Commission to make an assessment of any overriding public interest in the case of GESTDEM 2022/0654, and the Commission ignored that request, let me repeat and emphasize: PLEASE MAKE AN ASSESSMENT OF ANY OVERRIDING PUBLIC INTEREST.

I apologize for the heavy use of capital letters in this request, but I do not know what else I can do to ensure the Commission does not ignore my requests.

Sincerely,
Peter Teffer
Follow the Money
Overtoom 197
1054 HT Amsterdam
The Netherlands

Sg-Acc-Doc@ec.europa.eu, Secrétariat général de la Commission européenne

Your message has been received by the Transparency Unit of the
Secretariat-General of the European Commission.
Requests for public access to documents are treated on the basis of
[1]Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 of 30 May 2001 regarding public access to
European Parliament, Council and Commission documents.
The Secretariat-General will reply to your request within 15 working days
upon registration of your request and will duly inform you of the
registration of the request (or of any additional information to be
provided in view of its registration and/or treatment).
 
 
L’unité «Transparence» du secrétariat général de la Commission européenne
a bien reçu votre message.
Les demandes d’accès du public aux documents sont traitées sur la base du
[2]règlement (CE) n° 1049/2001 du 30 mai 2001 relatif à l’accès du public
aux documents du Parlement européen, du Conseil et de la Commission.
Le secrétariat général répondra à votre demande dans un délai de 15 jours
ouvrables à compter de la date d’enregistrement de votre demande, et vous
informera de cet enregistrement (ou vous indiquera toute information
supplémentaire à fournir en vue de l'enregistrement et/ou du traitement de
votre demande).
 
 
Ihre Nachricht ist beim Referat „Transparenz“ des Generalsekretariats der
Europäischen Kommission eingegangen.
Anträge auf Zugang zu Dokumenten werden auf der Grundlage der
[3]Verordnung (EG) Nr. 1049/2001 vom 30. Mai 2001 über den Zugang der
Öffentlichkeit zu Dokumenten des Europäischen Parlaments, des Rates und
der Kommission behandelt.
Das Generalsekretariat beantwortet Ihre Anfrage innerhalb von
15 Arbeitstagen nach deren Registrierung und wird Sie über die
Registrierung Ihres Antrags (oder die Notwendigkeit weiterer Informationen
im Hinblick auf dessen Registrierung und/oder Bearbeitung) unterrichten.
 
 

References

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

SG ACCES DOCUMENTS, Secrétariat général de la Commission européenne

Dear Sir,

Thank you for your e-mail of 01/06/2022. We hereby acknowledge receipt of
your application for access to documents, which was registered on
01/06/2022 under reference number GESTDEM 2022/3170.

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 22/06/2022. In case this time limit needs to
be extended, you will be informed in due course.

You have lodged your application via 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.

Please note that the private third party running the AsktheEU.org website
is responsible and accountable for the processing of your personal data
via that website, and not the Commission.
For further information on your rights, please refer to the third party’s
privacy policy.

We understand that the third party running the AsktheEU.org website
usually publishes the content of applicants’ correspondence with the
Commission on that website. This includes the personal data that you may
have communicated to the Commission (e.g. your private postal address).

Similarly, the third party publishes on that website any reply that the
Commission will send to the email address of the applicants generated by
the AsktheEU.org website.

If you do not wish that your correspondence with the Commission is
published on a private third-party website such as AsktheEU.org, you can
provide us with an alternative, private e-mail address for further
correspondence. In that case, the Commission will send all future
electronic correspondence addressed to you only to that private address,
and it will use only that private address to reply to your request. You
should still remain responsible to inform the private third-party website
about this change of how you wish to communicate with, and receive a reply
from, the Commission.

For information on how we process your personal data visit our page
Privacy statement – access to documents.

Yours faithfully,

Access to documents team (cr)
SG.C.1
Transparency

Afficher les sections citées

SG RECOVER ATD, Secrétariat général de la Commission européenne

1 Attachment

Link: [1]File-List
Link: [2]Edit-Time-Data
Link: [3]themeData
Link: [4]colorSchemeMapping

[5]Your application for access to documents – GESTDEM 2022/3170 -
Ares(2022)4611563  (Please use this link only if you are an Ares user –
Svp, utilisez ce lien exclusivement si vous êtes un(e) utilisateur d’Ares)

Dear Mr Teffer,

 

Subject:          Your application for access to documents – GESTDEM
2022/3170

 

We refer to your e-mail of 1 June 2022 in which you make a request for
access to documents, registered on the same day under the above mentioned
reference number.

 

Your application is currently being handled. However, we will not be in a
position to complete the handling of your application within the time
limit of 15 working days, which expires on 23 June 2022.

 

An extended time limit is needed as (part of) the documents requested
originate from third parties, which have to be consulted.

 

Therefore, we have to extend the time limit with 15 working days in
accordance with Article 7(3) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding
public access to documents. The new time limit expires on 14 July 2022.

 

We apologise for this delay and for any inconvenience this may cause.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

 

CARLUCCI Francesco Felice

Deputy Head of Unit

European Commission

Recovery and Resilience Task Force - SG.RECOVER.A.4

 

 

 

 

References

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1. file:///tmp/cid:filelist.xml@01D88705.7C5C9C60
2. file:///tmp/cid:editdata.mso
3. file:///tmp/~~themedata~~
4. file:///tmp/~~colorschememapping~~
5. https://webgate.ec.testa.eu/Ares/documen...

Dear Madam, Sir,

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

I refer to my application for access to documents, registered under GESTDEM 2022/3170, and the decision on 23 June 2022 to extend the time limit by 15 working days.

The reason for the delay provided is not in line with Regulation 1049/2001. Therefore I interpret the decision to extend the time limit as a "failure by the institution to reply within the prescribed time-limit" (article 7.4).

Article 7.3 says: "In exceptional cases, for example in the event of an application relating to a very long document or to a very large number of documents, the time-limit provided for in paragraph 1 may be extended by 15 working days, provided that the applicant is notified in advance and that detailed reasons are given."

An extended time limit is thus only possible in "exceptional cases" and when "detailed reasons are given". The Commission has neither demonstrated why this is an exceptional case, nor provided detailed reasons.

The only (not very detailed) reason given for the need to extend the time limit is that "(part of) the documents requested originate from third parties, which have to be consulted".

The European Commission regularly receives requests for documents which originate from third parties, and they always need to be consulted. There is thus no exceptional case.

The Commission should have in place a system that allows it to consult third parties within the normal time limit. But it seems that the Commission itself does not consult third parties on time. This became evident in relation to my confirmatory application (GESTDEM 2021/7168). This is another access to documents request which also required consultation with a third party, i.e. the Dutch finance ministry.

My confirmatory application was registered on 14 January 2022. Yet in the context of the complaint I put to the European Ombudsman (Complaint 676/2022/DL), I was informed by the Dutch finance ministry that it received the consultation request from the Commission on 5 April 2022. This would mean that the Commission did not start the consultation process with the Netherlands until 57 (!) working days *after* my confirmatory application was registered on 14 January 2022.

The Commission cannot claim that it is forced to extend the time limit to reply because of the need to consult third parties, when it itself postpones the first step in this process of contacting those third parties, until far beyond the time limits. The notion that the Commission is unable to consult third parties within the time limit, suggests that it does not take the letter and spirit of Regulation 1049/2001 seriously.

Sincerely,
Peter Teffer

SG RECOVER ATD, Secrétariat général de la Commission européenne

1 Attachment

Link: [1]File-List
Link: [2]Edit-Time-Data
Link: [3]themeData
Link: [4]colorSchemeMapping

[5]Your application for access to documents – GESTDEM 2022/3170 -
Ares(2022)5142323  (Please use this link only if you are an Ares user –
Svp, utilisez ce lien exclusivement si vous êtes un(e) utilisateur d’Ares)

Dear Mr Teffer,

Subject:             Your application for access to documents – GESTDEM
2022/3170

We are writing to you with respect to your request for access to documents
of 1 June 2022 registered on the same date under the above mentioned
reference number.

As indicated in our e-mail of 23 June 2022, we were obliged to extend the
time limit by 15 working days in accordance with Article 7(3) of
Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding public access to documents. An
extended time limit was needed as parts of the documents requested
originate from Member States, which need to be consulted in line with the
rules of the Regulation. Furthermore, the processing of your application
concerns a very large number of documents that have to be individually
assessed.

With this message, we regret to inform you that we will not be in a
position to complete the handling of your application within the
prescribed deadline of 14 July 2022. Given the resources constraints, and
the other ongoing tasks for the teams working on your request, the
processing of the different steps of your request is unfortunately taking
longer than expected.

Please be assured that we are doing our utmost to provide you with a reply
as soon as possible.

Please accept our sincere apologies for this delay and for any
inconvenience this may cause.

Thank you for your understanding,

 

CARLUCCI Francesco Felice

Deputy Head of Unit

European Commission

Recovery and Resilience Task Force - SG.RECOVER.A.4

 

References

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2. file:///tmp/cid:editdata.mso
3. file:///tmp/~~themedata~~
4. file:///tmp/~~colorschememapping~~
5. https://webgate.ec.testa.eu/Ares/documen...

Dear Mr Carlucci,

I refer to my application for access to documents, registered under GESTDEM 2022/3170, my e-mail from 24 June 2022, and your e-mail from 14 July 2022.

In my e-mail from 24 June 2022, I requested that that e-mail would be passed on to the person who reviews confirmatory applications.

Your e-mail from 14 July 2022 does not acknowledge this request, nor have I received a confirmation that my confirmatory application had been registered.

Do I understand correctly that you have ignored my request from 24 June 2022 for a confirmatory application?

Sincerely
Peter Teffer

SG ACCES DOCUMENTS, Secrétariat général de la Commission européenne

1 Attachment

Link: [1]File-List
Link: [2]Edit-Time-Data
Link: [3]themeData
Link: [4]colorSchemeMapping

Dear Sir,

 

Thank you for your email dated 24 June 2022 by which you request, pursuant
to Regulation No 1049/2001 regarding public access to European Parliament,
Council and Commission documents, a review of the position taken by SG
RECOVER in reply to your initial application GESTDEM 2022/3170.

 

We hereby acknowledge receipt of your confirmatory application for access
to documents which was registered on 20 July 2022 ([5]Ares(2022)5273678).
Please accept our apologies for the late registration of your confirmatory
request which failed to be registered on time due to a clerical error.

 

Your application will be handled within 15 working days (11/08/2022). In
case this time limit needs to be extended, you will be informed in due
course.

 

Please be informed that the answer to your confirmatory application is a
formal Commission decision that will be notified to you by express
delivery. Thank you for providing your contact phone number, so that the
external delivery service can contact you in case of absence.

 

Please note that the Commission will not use your phone number for any
other purpose than for informing the delivery service, and that it will
delete it immediately thereafter.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

 

 

 

ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS TEAM (IC)

 

 

European Commission

Secretariat-General

SG.C1 (Transparency, Document Management and Access to Documents)

[6][email address]

 

 

 

 

Afficher les sections citées

Dear Mrs Daca,

I refer to my confirmatory application for access to documents which was registered on 24/06/2022 (Ares(2022)4632376), and the Commission's inability to reply within the time-limit. I also refer to my e-mail from 15 July 2022, and your e-mail from 4 August 2022.

In that e-mail you tell me:

"In this case, the review includes the assessment of your confirmatory request, the identification of possible documents falling under the scope of your requests and, as the case may be, the assessment of those. Furthermore, the procedure until the adoption of the confirmatory decision requires the consultation of the services, including of the Legal Service, in order to be signed by the Secretary General. Therefore, more time is required for finalising the procedure."

But this description of events is not specific to my case. ALL confirmatory applications require the assessment of the confirmatory request, the identification of possible documents falling under the scope of your requests and, as the case may be, the assessment of those, as well as consultation of the services and a signature.

You cannot argue that my case is an exceptional cases, by describing a regular case. You have thus not provided me with "detailed reasons" to show my application is an "exceptional" case.

Sincerely
Peter Teffer

Sg-Acc-Doc@ec.europa.eu, Secrétariat général de la Commission européenne

Your message has been received by the Transparency Unit of the
Secretariat-General of the European Commission.
Requests for public access to documents are treated on the basis of
[1]Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 of 30 May 2001 regarding public access to
European Parliament, Council and Commission documents.
The Secretariat-General will reply to your request within 15 working days
upon registration of your request and will duly inform you of the
registration of the request (or of any additional information to be
provided in view of its registration and/or treatment).
 
 
L’unité «Transparence» du secrétariat général de la Commission européenne
a bien reçu votre message.
Les demandes d’accès du public aux documents sont traitées sur la base du
[2]règlement (CE) n° 1049/2001 du 30 mai 2001 relatif à l’accès du public
aux documents du Parlement européen, du Conseil et de la Commission.
Le secrétariat général répondra à votre demande dans un délai de 15 jours
ouvrables à compter de la date d’enregistrement de votre demande, et vous
informera de cet enregistrement (ou vous indiquera toute information
supplémentaire à fournir en vue de l'enregistrement et/ou du traitement de
votre demande).
 
 
Ihre Nachricht ist beim Referat „Transparenz“ des Generalsekretariats der
Europäischen Kommission eingegangen.
Anträge auf Zugang zu Dokumenten werden auf der Grundlage der
[3]Verordnung (EG) Nr. 1049/2001 vom 30. Mai 2001 über den Zugang der
Öffentlichkeit zu Dokumenten des Europäischen Parlaments, des Rates und
der Kommission behandelt.
Das Generalsekretariat beantwortet Ihre Anfrage innerhalb von
15 Arbeitstagen nach deren Registrierung und wird Sie über die
Registrierung Ihres Antrags (oder die Notwendigkeit weiterer Informationen
im Hinblick auf dessen Registrierung und/oder Bearbeitung) unterrichten.
 
 

References

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

Dear Madam, Sir,

Please ignore the previous e-mail. It does not relate to my confirmatory application to GESTDEM 2022/3170.

I have sent the e-mail to the correct address.

best
Peter Teffer

SG ACCES DOCUMENTS, Secrétariat général de la Commission européenne

1 Attachment

Link: [1]File-List
Link: [2]Edit-Time-Data
Link: [3]themeData
Link: [4]colorSchemeMapping

[5]Your confirmatory application for access to documents under Regulation
(EC) No 1049/2001 - GESTDEM 2022/3170 - 1st holding letter -
Ares(2022)5720374  (Please use this link only if you are an Ares user –
Svp, utilisez ce lien exclusivement si vous êtes un(e) utilisateur d’Ares)

Dear Mr Teffer,

 

I refer to your email of 24 June 2022, registered on 20 July 2022, by
which you submitted a confirmatory application in accordance with Article
7(2) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding public access to European
Parliament, Council and Commission documents ("Regulation (EC) No
1049/2001"), registered under reference number above.

 

Your confirmatory application is currently being handled. Unfortunately,
we have not yet been able to gather all the elements needed to carry out a
full analysis of your request and to take a final decision. Therefore, we
are not in a position to reply to your confirmatory request within the
prescribed time limit which expired on 11 August 2022. Consequently, we
have to extend this period by another 15 working days. The new deadline
expires on 2 September 2022. However, I can assure you that we are doing
our utmost to provide you with a final reply within the next 15 working
days.

 

I regret this additional delay and sincerely apologise for any
inconvenience this may cause.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

 

Mariusz Daca, Ph.D.
Deputy Head of Unit

European Commission

Secretariat General

Unit C.1 (Transparency, Document Management and Access to Documents)

 

 

References

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1. file:///tmp/cid:filelist.xml@01D8AE3C.8C02E3A0
2. file:///tmp/cid:editdata.mso
3. file:///tmp/~~themedata~~
4. file:///tmp/~~colorschememapping~~
5. https://webgate.ec.testa.eu/Ares/documen...

SG-RECOVER-ATD@ec.europa.eu, Secrétariat général de la Commission européenne

5 Attachments

Dear Sir,

 

Subject:              Your access to document request - GESTDEM 2022/3170

 

Please find attached a reply to your request for access to documents of
01/06/2022, registered on the same day under the above mentioned reference
number.

 

Please acknowledge receipt by replying to this e-mail and confirming that
you could open the transmitted documents.

 

Kind regards,

 

SG RECOVER ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS TEAM

[1]cid:image001.png@01D31AA3.9A26C5A0
European Commission

 

 

References

Visible links

Sg-Acc-Doc@ec.europa.eu, Secrétariat général de la Commission européenne

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Teffer,

 

Please find attached an advance copy of the reply to your confirmatory
application registered under Ref. GESTDEM 2022/3170.

 

The letter will also be sent by post.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

 

ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS TEAM (IC)

 

 

European Commission

Secretariat-General

SG.C1 (Transparency, Document Management and Access to Documents)

[1][email address]

 

 

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]

Dear Madam, Sir

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, registered on 01/06/2022 under reference number GESTDEM 2022/3170.

Access to the documents in Annex 2 is denied, because the disclosure of “some of the documents listed in Annex 2” would reveal sensitive information on public security and defence of the Netherlands; detailed and sensitive information related to the Netherlands’ financial and economic policy; sensitive costing information that could undermine commercial interests; and would “undermine the ongoing decision-making process”. I have issue which each of the exceptions, to varying degrees.

Sensitive information on public security and defence of the Netherlands: it is unclear why this exception applies to (some of) the documents. It is also unclear why information in the documents would release sensitive information that is not already public. At the time of the Commission’s decision, the Dutch Recovery and Resilience Plan had been submitted and published online. It included measures on improving the IT system of the Dutch defense ministry (GrIT). Bad actors wanting to exploit this, are thus already informed that the IT system currently is in need of an update. The question is what additional information in the undisclosed documents that would provide such openings. Additionally, it also raises the question how the sensitive information was guarded. The list of documents in Annex 2 show that only one document is not disclosed because of the 2nd indent of 4(1)a, the attachment “Technical meeting on the NL draft RRP – GrIT 8 April 2022, 15h30-16h30, WebEx”. An attachment is sent by e-mail. Has the Commission and the Dutch authorities secured additional security measures to make sure that this attachment is protected?

Financial and economic policy; the Commission claims that the Netherlands financial and economic policy will be harmed by disclosure, but it has not explained why. The Commission did the same in the confirmatory application regarding two of my previous access to documents request. In that decision, the Commission outlined that the documents from that request specified ‘an extensive set of reinforcing reforms and crucial investment projects, concrete distribution of disbursements of grants, and other specific details about financial planning and policy of the Netherlands. These documents also specify details about the initially suggested milestones and targets, as well as details about the background for the foreseen costs and other specific details about financial planning and policy of the Netherlands’.

It also said for example: ‘The disclosure of these (parts of the) documents would reveal sensitive information about reforms and investments in the Netherlands and the Commission’s feedback on the proposed measures expressed during the preparation of the plan, which, given the size of the allocation in relation to the Gross Domestic Product, could negatively impact the economic policy of the Netherlands.’

But it never explained why revealing the information could harm the country’s, or the EU’s economic policy. Just because the documents include ‘sensitive information about reforms and investments’, does not prove that revealing that information would ‘negatively impact the economic policy of the Netherlands.’ I do not understand how it could.

I also did not understand the mention ‘given the size of the allocation in relation to the Gross Domestic Product’, because the Commission gave the exact same reason in relation to a similar request from a French journalist. The size in relation to the GDP in the Netherlands is relatively low when compared to that in France. The Commission cannot arguing that ‘the size of the allocation in relation to the Gross Domestic Product’ is a factor in negatively impacting both an economy where this allocation is relatively large and an economy where this allocation is relatively small.

I also find the use of the clause ‘decision-making process’ disputable. The Commission is arguing that publishing documents ‘would strain the working relations between the European Commission and the Dutch national authorities at a moment where assessment of the Dutch recovery and resilience plan is ongoing’. But it does not sufficiently explain why that is the case. Why would transparency strain the working relations between professional executives?

I also would like a clearer explanation of the fear that transparency “would generate unjustified pressure on the Commission, undermine the independence and objectivity of the decision-making process and the European Commission would be deprived of the possibility to explore all available paths for decision-making”.
From whom does the Commission fear pressure, and why would this be unjustified? Transparency could lead to a democractic debate, to MPs or citizens involving them in the discussion. Is that something which the Commission fears? On what grounds does the Commission claim that any pressure on the Commission would be “unjustified”?
I repeat my objection for the use of the claim that transparency would “undermine the independence and objectivity of the decision-making process”.

The independence and objectivity of the decision-making processes in the European Commission should be guaranteed regardless of the release of whichever documents.

Article 17 (3) of the Treaty on European Union determines that:
"[..]The members of the Commission shall be chosen on the ground of their general competence and European commitment from persons whose independence is beyond doubt. In carrying out its responsibilities, the Commission shall be completely independent. Without prejudice to Article 18(2), the members of the Commission shall neither seek nor take instructions from any Government or other institution, body, office or entity. They shall refrain from any action incompatible with their duties or the performance of their tasks."
The independence and objectivity of Commission’s decision-making process is a function of many factors, but one factor which cannot influence the independence or objectivity of the Commission’s decision-making process, is whether specific documents are released or not.

Independence and objectivity are binary attributes of that decision-making process. The decision-making process is either independent, or it is not. It is objective or it is subjective.

But even if we view independence and objectivity on a scale, the argument lacks any logic. As a thought experiment, let’s assume that the independence and objectivity of the Commission’s decision-making process each can be determined by a number from 1 to 10, whereby 10 would mean the decision-making process is fully independent/objective.

How on Earth could the release of documents negatively affect the independence or objectivity of the decision-making process? Is the Commission seriously arguing that the mere existence of the documents in the outside world would reduce the score in this thought experiment?

It would truly be worrying if “the independence and objectivity” of a decision-making process in the Commission could be undermined by transparency.

Sincerely
Peter Teffer

Sg-Acc-Doc@ec.europa.eu, Secrétariat général de la Commission européenne

Your message has been received by the Transparency Unit of the
Secretariat-General of the European Commission.
Requests for public access to documents are treated on the basis of
[1]Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 of 30 May 2001 regarding public access to
European Parliament, Council and Commission documents.
The Secretariat-General will reply to your request within 15 working days
upon registration of your request and will duly inform you of the
registration of the request (or of any additional information to be
provided in view of its registration and/or treatment).
 
 
L’unité «Transparence» du secrétariat général de la Commission européenne
a bien reçu votre message.
Les demandes d’accès du public aux documents sont traitées sur la base du
[2]règlement (CE) n° 1049/2001 du 30 mai 2001 relatif à l’accès du public
aux documents du Parlement européen, du Conseil et de la Commission.
Le secrétariat général répondra à votre demande dans un délai de 15 jours
ouvrables à compter de la date d’enregistrement de votre demande, et vous
informera de cet enregistrement (ou vous indiquera toute information
supplémentaire à fournir en vue de l'enregistrement et/ou du traitement de
votre demande).
 
 
Ihre Nachricht ist beim Referat „Transparenz“ des Generalsekretariats der
Europäischen Kommission eingegangen.
Anträge auf Zugang zu Dokumenten werden auf der Grundlage der
[3]Verordnung (EG) Nr. 1049/2001 vom 30. Mai 2001 über den Zugang der
Öffentlichkeit zu Dokumenten des Europäischen Parlaments, des Rates und
der Kommission behandelt.
Das Generalsekretariat beantwortet Ihre Anfrage innerhalb von
15 Arbeitstagen nach deren Registrierung und wird Sie über die
Registrierung Ihres Antrags (oder die Notwendigkeit weiterer Informationen
im Hinblick auf dessen Registrierung und/oder Bearbeitung) unterrichten.
 
 

References

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

SG-DOSSIERS-ACCES@ec.europa.eu,

Dear Sir or Madam,

We hereby acknowledge the receipt of your confirmatory request for case
2022/3170, sent on 03/10/2022 and registered on 13/10/2022.

We will handle your confirmatory request within 15 working days as of the
date of registration. The time-limit expires on 07/11/2022. 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 2022/3170 registered on 13/10/2022.

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 07/11/2022.

This delay is caused by a complex nature of your request, i.e. a large
number of documents concerned and a necessity to hold multiple
consultations with regard to their content.

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 28/11/2022.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Kind regards,

ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS TEAM

References

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

Dear Madam, Sir,

I refer to my confirmatory request for access to documents for case 2022/3170 registered on 13/10/2022. This is a friendly reminder that the extended time limit to reply expires today, and that Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 does not foresee any further delay beyond the 2 x 15 working days.

Sincerely
Peter Teffer

Sg-Acc-Doc@ec.europa.eu, Secrétariat général de la Commission européenne

Your message has been received by the Transparency Unit of the
Secretariat-General of the European Commission.
Requests for public access to documents are treated on the basis of
[1]Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 of 30 May 2001 regarding public access to
European Parliament, Council and Commission documents.
The Secretariat-General will reply to your request within 15 working days
upon registration of your request and will duly inform you of the
registration of the request (or of any additional information to be
provided in view of its registration and/or treatment).
 
 
L’unité «Transparence» du secrétariat général de la Commission européenne
a bien reçu votre message.
Les demandes d’accès du public aux documents sont traitées sur la base du
[2]règlement (CE) n° 1049/2001 du 30 mai 2001 relatif à l’accès du public
aux documents du Parlement européen, du Conseil et de la Commission.
Le secrétariat général répondra à votre demande dans un délai de 15 jours
ouvrables à compter de la date d’enregistrement de votre demande, et vous
informera de cet enregistrement (ou vous indiquera toute information
supplémentaire à fournir en vue de l'enregistrement et/ou du traitement de
votre demande).
 
 
Ihre Nachricht ist beim Referat „Transparenz“ des Generalsekretariats der
Europäischen Kommission eingegangen.
Anträge auf Zugang zu Dokumenten werden auf der Grundlage der
[3]Verordnung (EG) Nr. 1049/2001 vom 30. Mai 2001 über den Zugang der
Öffentlichkeit zu Dokumenten des Europäischen Parlaments, des Rates und
der Kommission behandelt.
Das Generalsekretariat beantwortet Ihre Anfrage innerhalb von
15 Arbeitstagen nach deren Registrierung und wird Sie über die
Registrierung Ihres Antrags (oder die Notwendigkeit weiterer Informationen
im Hinblick auf dessen Registrierung und/oder Bearbeitung) unterrichten.
 
 

References

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

Dear Madam, Sir,

I refer to my access to documents registered on 1 June 2022 under reference number GESTDEM 2022/3170, and my confirmatory application registered on 13 October 2022.

Although the extended time limit to reply has already passed, and I am thus entitled to institute court proceedings against the Commission and/or make a complaint to the Ombudsman, I am willing to give the Commission 10 more working days to handle my request. However, I would like to ask the Commission something in return.

On 29 November 2022, the European Ombudsman gave a suggestion for improvement, in the context of case 925/2022/LDS. This case, like the one on which I filed a confirmatory application, deals with documents about Recovery & Resilience Plans (RRPs).

The Ombudsman said: "The Commission should deal with future public access requests covering the negotiations that took place on the RRPs or on the exchanges that will take place as the Commission evaluates Member States’ performance on milestones and targets, bearing in mind the assessment set out above." That assessment included that the Ombudsman "considered that the Commission did not satisfactorily explain how disclosing them would undermine financial, monetary or economic policy". The Ombudsman said the arguments presented by the Commission "were vague and general in nature". The Ombudsman "also found that the Commission had not convincingly explained how the exception for protecting an ongoing decision-making process applied".

I would like to avoid that the Commission takes a decision that will lead to similar criticism from the Ombudsman and thus want to provide the Commission the opportunity to prevent this by taking the Ombudsman's comments on case 925/2022/LDS into account when dealing with my confirmatory application.

Sincerely
Peter Teffer

Sg-Acc-Doc@ec.europa.eu, Secrétariat général de la Commission européenne

Your message has been received by the Transparency Unit of the
Secretariat-General of the European Commission.
Requests for public access to documents are treated on the basis of
[1]Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 of 30 May 2001 regarding public access to
European Parliament, Council and Commission documents.
The Secretariat-General will reply to your request within 15 working days
upon registration of your request and will duly inform you of the
registration of the request (or of any additional information to be
provided in view of its registration and/or treatment).
 
 
L’unité «Transparence» du secrétariat général de la Commission européenne
a bien reçu votre message.
Les demandes d’accès du public aux documents sont traitées sur la base du
[2]règlement (CE) n° 1049/2001 du 30 mai 2001 relatif à l’accès du public
aux documents du Parlement européen, du Conseil et de la Commission.
Le secrétariat général répondra à votre demande dans un délai de 15 jours
ouvrables à compter de la date d’enregistrement de votre demande, et vous
informera de cet enregistrement (ou vous indiquera toute information
supplémentaire à fournir en vue de l'enregistrement et/ou du traitement de
votre demande).
 
 
Ihre Nachricht ist beim Referat „Transparenz“ des Generalsekretariats der
Europäischen Kommission eingegangen.
Anträge auf Zugang zu Dokumenten werden auf der Grundlage der
[3]Verordnung (EG) Nr. 1049/2001 vom 30. Mai 2001 über den Zugang der
Öffentlichkeit zu Dokumenten des Europäischen Parlaments, des Rates und
der Kommission behandelt.
Das Generalsekretariat beantwortet Ihre Anfrage innerhalb von
15 Arbeitstagen nach deren Registrierung und wird Sie über die
Registrierung Ihres Antrags (oder die Notwendigkeit weiterer Informationen
im Hinblick auf dessen Registrierung und/oder Bearbeitung) unterrichten.
 
 

References

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

SG-GREFFE-CERTIFICATION@ec.europa.eu, Secrétariat général de la Commission européenne

8 Attachments

Dear Mr. Peter Teffer,

 

Please find attached the electronic version of Commission Decision
C(2022)9585 as adopted by the European Commission on 12.12.2022.

 

The formal notification of the decision under Article 297 TFEU is being
made only in electronic form.

 

Could you please confirm receipt of the attached documents, by return
e-mail?

 

Many thanks in advance.

 

Kind regards,

 

Oana Boldis

Post-adoption actions coordination support

 

European Commission
Secretariat General
SG.B.2 - Written, Empowerment & Delegation Procedures
( +32 2 29 71829
: [1][email address]

 

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]

SG-GREFFE-CERTIFICATION@ec.europa.eu, Secrétariat général de la Commission européenne

8 Attachments

Dear Mr. Peter Teffer,

 

Unless we are mistaken, and while checking our records, we have not
received your confirmation of receipt regarding the message below.

 

Could you please confirm having received the message and also of the
documents enclosed?

 

Kind regards,

Oana Boldis

 

 

European Commission
Secretariat General
SG.B.2 - Written, Empowerment & Delegation Procedures
( +32 2 29 71829
: [1][email address]

 

From: SG GREFFE CERTIFICATION
Sent: Tuesday, December 13, 2022 5:56 PM
To: [FOI #11370 email]
Cc: BEVIERE Chantal (SG) <[email address]>
Subject: C(2022) 9585 final

 

Dear Mr. Peter Teffer,

 

Please find attached the electronic version of Commission Decision
C(2022)9585 as adopted by the European Commission on 12.12.2022.

 

The formal notification of the decision under Article 297 TFEU is being
made only in electronic form.

 

Could you please confirm receipt of the attached documents, by return
e-mail?

 

Many thanks in advance.

 

Kind regards,

 

Oana Boldis

Post-adoption actions coordination support

 

European Commission
Secretariat General
SG.B.2 - Written, Empowerment & Delegation Procedures
( +32 2 29 71829
: [2][email address]

 

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. mailto:[email address]

Dear Madam, Sir,

I refer to my access to documents registered on 1 June 2022 under reference number GESTDEM 2022/3170, and my confirmatory application registered on 13 October 2022.

On 6 December 2022 - when the extended time limit to reply was already passed - I informed the Commission I was fine with providing the Commission 10 more working days to handle my request, if the Commission would take the European Ombudsman's comments on case 925/2022/LDS into account when dealing with my confirmatory application.

Unfortunately, I still have not received a reply. I have now waited 73 working days. If the Commission does not reply by the end of this week, I will file (once again) a complaint to the European Ombudsman.

Sincerely
Peter Teffer

SG-GREFFE-CERTIFICATION@ec.europa.eu, Secrétariat général de la Commission européenne

5 Attachments

Dear Mr Peter Teffer,

 

Please find attached the electronic version of the Commission Decision
C(2023)752 as adopted by the European Commission on 25.1.2023.

 

The formal notification of the decision under Article 297 TFEU is being
made only in electronic form.

 

Could you please confirm receipt of the attached documents by return
e-mail?

 

Many thanks in advance.

 

Kind regards,

 

Dimitra PROTOPSALTI

SG.B2 Procédures écrites, habilitation, délégation

 

European Commission
Secretariat-General

 

BERL 005/155
B-1049 Brussels, Belgium
Tél: (+32) 2 29 56750

 

Peter a laissé une remarque ()

Still waiting. Reply above is from different request (Poland RRP)

SG-GREFFE-CERTIFICATION@ec.europa.eu, Secrétariat général de la Commission européenne

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Peter Teffer,

 

Unless we are mistaken, and while checking our records, we have not
received your confirmation of receipt regarding the message below.

 

Could you please acknowledge the receipt of the document enclosed in the
message addressed to you, by return email?

 

Kind regards,

 

Dimitra PROTOPSALTI

SG.B2 Procédures écrites, habilitation, délégation

 

European Commission
Secretariat-General

 

BERL 005/155
B-1049 Brussels, Belgium
Tél: (+32) 2 29 56750

 

 

From: SG GREFFE CERTIFICATION <[email address]>
Sent: Thursday, January 26, 2023 2:12 PM
To: [FOI #11370 email]
Cc: WADHWANIA Nadia (SG) <[email address]>
Subject: C(2023)752 final addressed to Peter Teffer

 

Dear Mr Peter Teffer,

 

Please find attached the electronic version of the Commission Decision
C(2023)752 as adopted by the European Commission on 25.1.2023.

 

The formal notification of the decision under Article 297 TFEU is being
made only in electronic form.

 

Could you please confirm receipt of the attached documents by return
e-mail?

 

Many thanks in advance.

 

Kind regards,

 

Dimitra PROTOPSALTI

SG.B2 Procédures écrites, habilitation, délégation

 

European Commission
Secretariat-General

 

BERL 005/155
B-1049 Brussels, Belgium
Tél: (+32) 2 29 56750

 

Peter a laissé une remarque ()

On 27 February complaint to Ombudsman about lack of timely reply to confirmatory application.

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

Hello, 

We are writing to you concerning your confirmatory request for access to
Commission documents for case 2022/3170, registered on 13/10/2022.

Please be informed that you confirmatory application is still being
processed by the Secretariat-General. The persisting delay in its
processing has been caused by a large number of documents identified as
falling within its scope and the necessity to consult authorities of the
Member State from which some of those documents originate as to their
possible disclosure. Please be informed that this consultation is still
ongoing. However, as soon as it is completed, the Secretariat-General will
obtain all the elements necessary to finalise the processing of your
application and reply to it as soon as possible.

We regret this additional delay and sincerely apologise for any
inconvenience this may cause.

Kind regards,

SG ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS TEAM

Dear Madam, Sir,

Unless I am mistaken, the last time I received a message from the European Commission about my confirmatory request for access to Commission documents case 2022/3170 was on 28 April 2023. This is a full three months ago.

"The persisting delay" in handling my request was according to the Commission "caused by a large number of documents identified as falling within its scope and the necessity to consult authorities of the Member State from which some of those documents originate as to their possible disclosure".

I find it difficult to understand why the Commission is allowing the delay to continue to occur because consultations with the Dutch authorities are still ongoing. Ultimately, it is up to the Commission to say to the Dutch authorities that the consultations are taking too long, and that the Commission needs to take a decision.

Please inform me of the status of the request, and handle it without any more of this unnecessary delay.

Sincerely
Peter Teffer