Dear Research Executive Agency,

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 concerning the FOLDOUT project (“Through-foliage detection, including in the outermost regions of the EU”, grant agreement no. 787021):

1. All deliverable documents so far produced in regards to the FOLDOUT project, and a list of all document titles and reference numbers of these deliverables.
2. In particular the FOLDOUT Early Demonstrator Evaluation (mentioned here: https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/7870...).
3. Minutes of all meetings concerning FOLDOUT. In particular the meeting that took place in Brussels on January 28th, 2020 (mentioned here: https://di.mod.bg/en/news/bulgarian-defe...).
4. Any presentation slides produced by FOLDOUT project partners for use at meetings.
5. Any ethical assessments of the FOLDOUT proposal held by REA.

Yours faithfully,

Hanna Rullmann

Agence exécutive pour la recherche

Dear Ms. Hanna Rullman,

 

Thank you for your request for access to documents.

Unfortunately you have not indicated your postal address that is required 
for registering and handling your request in line with the procedural 
requirements. Please send us your full postal address at your earliest 
convenience. Pending your reply, we reserve the right to refuse
the registration of your request.

 Kind regards,

 

REA ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS

 

ve_rea.rea access documents (REA), Agence exécutive pour la recherche

Link: [1]File-List
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[4]Ares(2020)4509393 - access to documents request - Documents related to
FOLDOUT, H2020 project- your postal address

Sent by ve_rea.rea access documents (REA)
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email address.
Envoyé par ve_rea.rea access documents (REA)
<[email address]>. Toutes les réponses doivent être
effectuées à cette adresse électronique.

Dear Ms. Hanna Rullman,

 

Thank you for your request for access to documents.

Unfortunately you have not indicated your postal address that is required 
for registering and handling your request in line with the procedural 
requirements. Please send us your full postal address at your earliest 
convenience. Pending your reply, we reserve the right to refuse
the registration of your request.

 Kind regards,

 

REA ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS

 

References

Visible links
1. file:///tmp/cid:filelist.xml@01D67FAE.696DF820
2. file:///tmp/~~themedata~~
3. file:///tmp/~~colorschememapping~~
4. https://webgate.ec.testa.eu/Ares/documen...

Dear REA,

Apologies, see below:
[ADDRESS REDACTED]
[ADDRESS REDACTED]

Yours sincerely,

Hanna Rullmann

ve_rea.rea access documents (REA), Agence exécutive pour la recherche

Link: [1]File-List
Link: [2]themeData
Link: [3]colorSchemeMapping

[4]Ares(2020)4532095 - AOR- access to documents request - Ms Hanna
Rullmann- Documents related to FOLDOUT

Sent by ve_rea.rea access documents (REA)
<[email address]>. All responses have to be sent to this
email address.
Envoyé par ve_rea.rea access documents (REA)
<[email address]>. Toutes les réponses doivent être
effectuées à cette adresse électronique.

Dear Ms. Hanna Rullmann,

 

We refer to your Access to Documents request submitted to the Research
Executive Agency on 28/08/2020 via the website AskTheEU.org and registered
on 31/08/2020 under reference number Ares(2020)4505232.

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
21/09/2020. In case this time limit needs to be extended, you will be
informed in due course.

You have lodged your application 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 or
REA 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 European Commission or REA. For further
information on your rights, please refer to the third party’s privacy
policy.

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

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

If you do not wish your correspondence with REA to be published on the
AsktheEU.org website, you can provide us with an alternative, private
e-mail address for further correspondence. In that case, REA will send all
future electronic correspondence addressed to you only to that private
address.

Yours faithfully,

REA ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS

References

Visible links
1. file:///tmp/cid:filelist.xml@01D68067.E3D80420
2. file:///tmp/~~themedata~~
3. file:///tmp/~~colorschememapping~~
4. https://webgate.ec.testa.eu/Ares/documen...

ve_rea.rea access documents (REA), Agence exécutive pour la recherche

1 Attachment

Link: [1]File-List
Link: [2]themeData
Link: [3]colorSchemeMapping

[4]Ares(2020)4751993 - RE: Ares(2020)4532095 - AOR- access to documents
request - Ms Hanna Rullmann- Documents related to FOLDOUT

Sent by ve_rea.rea access documents (REA)
<[email address]>. All responses have to be sent to this
email address.
Envoyé par ve_rea.rea access documents (REA)
<[email address]>. Toutes les réponses doivent être
effectuées à cette adresse électronique.

Dear Ms Rullmann,

We refer to your access to documents request submitted to the Research
Executive Agency on 28/08/2020 via the website AskTheEU.org and registered
on 31/08/2020 under reference number Ares(2020)4505232.

Your application concerns a very large number of documents, which need to
be assessed individually. Such a detailed analysis cannot be carried out
within the normal time limits set out in Article 7 of Regulation (EC) No
1049/2001 (the Regulation). Moreover, the handling of your request
involves the assessment of a very large number of documents originating
from third parties. The analysis of these documents, together with the
need to consult the concerned third parties in accordance with Article
4(4) of the Regulation, cannot be expected to be completed within the
normal time limits set out in Article 7 of the Regulation.

However, the Regulation also provides for a possibility to confer with
applicants in order to find a fair solution when an application concerns a
very large number of documents. Article 6(3) of the Regulation provides
that, in the event of an application relating to very large number of
documents, the institution concerned may confer with the applicant
informally with a view to finding a fair solution.

In accordance with the case law of the EU Courts, such a solution can only
concern the content or the number of documents applied for, not the
deadline for replying[5][1]. This means that the scope of the request must
be reduced in a way that would enable its treatment by REA within the
extended deadline of 15 + 15 working days.

Based on the above-mentioned provision, we would kindly ask you to specify
the objective of your request, your specific interest in the requested
documents[6][2], and whether you could narrow down the scope of your
request (i.e. the subject matters and/or timeframe covered), to reduce it
to a more manageable amount of documents.

In order to help you narrow down your request, please note that the
following categories of documents with the following number of documents
have been identified as falling within the scope of your request:

Deliverables: 28

Minutes: 2

Presentations: 39

Reports: 2

The length of these documents varies widely, from 1 to more than 150
pages. A reasonable estimate would be that the requested documents would
be more than 70 documents and represent at least 1756 pages.

According to our first estimates and taking into account the other tasks
that the concerned staff are likely to have to deal with during the same
period (including other applications for access to documents), the
handling of your request would take around 50 working days, broken down as
follows: retrieval and establishment of a complete list of the identified
documents; assessment of the content of the documents in light of the
exceptions of Article 4 of the Regulation; third-party consultations under
Article 4(4) of the Regulation; final assessment of the documents in light
of the received comments; redaction of those parts of the documents to
which one or several exceptions apply; drafting of the reply; internal
approval of the draft decision on your request; preparation of the reply
and of the documents for dispatch (scanning of the redacted versions,
administrative treatment,…).

It follows that, according to our estimates, a maximum of 15 documents
could possibly be dealt with within the remaining days from the extended
deadline of 30 working days counting from the date of registration of you
application (12/10/2020).

In order to enable us to respect the time-limits of the Regulation
1049/2001, we would like to ask you for a swift reply by email to this
invitation to propose a fair solution, within three working days at the
latest.

In the absence of a reply within three working days, we will unilaterally
restrict the scope of your application to those parts that can be dealt
with within the extended deadline of 30 working days counting from the
registration of your application.

Thank you in advance for your understanding.

Yours sincerely,

REA ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS

[1] Judgment of the Court of Justice of 2 October 2014 in case C-127/13,
Guido Strack v Commission, paragraphs 26-28.

[1] Ibid, paragraph 28; Judgment of the General Court (then 'Court of
First Instance') of 22 May 2012 in case T-344/08, EnBW Energie
Baden-Württemberg v Commission, paragraph 105.

From: ve_rea.rea access documents (REA)
<[email address]>
Sent: Tuesday, September 1, 2020 1:59 PM
To: [FOI #8490 email]
Cc: REA ACCESS DOCUMENTS <[REA request email]>
Subject: Ares(2020)4532095 - AOR- access to documents request - Ms Hanna
Rullmann- Documents related to FOLDOUT

 

[7]Ares(2020)4532095 - AOR- access to documents request - Ms Hanna
Rullmann- Documents related to FOLDOUT

 

Sent by ve_rea.rea access documents (REA)
<[8][email address]>. All responses have to be sent to
this email address.

Envoyé par ve_rea.rea access documents (REA)
<[9][email address]>. Toutes les réponses doivent être
effectuées à cette adresse électronique.

 

Dear Ms. Hanna Rullmann,

 

We refer to your Access to Documents request submitted to the Research
Executive Agency on 28/08/2020 via the website AskTheEU.org and registered
on 31/08/2020 under reference number Ares(2020)4505232.

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
21/09/2020. In case this time limit needs to be extended, you will be
informed in due course.

You have lodged your application 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 or
REA 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 European Commission or REA. For further
information on your rights, please refer to the third party’s privacy
policy.

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

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

If you do not wish your correspondence with REA to be published on the
AsktheEU.org website, you can provide us with an alternative, private
e-mail address for further correspondence. In that case, REA will send all
future electronic correspondence addressed to you only to that private
address.

Yours faithfully,

REA ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS

------------------------

[10][1] Judgment of the Court of Justice of 2 October 2014 in case
C-127/13, Guido Strack v Commission, paragraphs 26-28.

[11][2] Ibid, paragraph 28; Judgment of the General Court (then 'Court of
First Instance') of 22 May 2012 in case T-344/08, EnBW Energie
Baden-Württemberg v Commission, paragraph 105.

References

Visible links
1. file:///tmp/cid:filelist.xml@01D6881A.A2E28610
2. file:///tmp/~~themedata~~
3. file:///tmp/~~colorschememapping~~
4. https://webgate.ec.testa.eu/Ares/documen...
5. file:///tmp/foiextract20201020-31391-1e118gq#_ftn1
6. file:///tmp/foiextract20201020-31391-1e118gq#_ftn2
7. https://webgate.ec.testa.eu/Ares/documen...
8. mailto:[email address]
9. mailto:[email address]
10. file:///tmp/foiextract20201020-31391-1e118gq#_ftnref1
11. file:///tmp/foiextract20201020-31391-1e118gq#_ftnref2

Dear REA,

Thank you for your response and providing the list of documents. Having made a selection, I would like to request the following documents:

3 D3.1 Legal and ethical state of the art
5 D4.1 Report on user requirements and operational aspects
6 D4.2 Use cases and scenarios
12 D5.4 FOLDOUT System Architecture Design Report
15 D6.3 Physical communication network hardware/software with documentation for ground-based solutions
19 D10.1 Integration Plan and Test Descriptions
23 D11.4 Exploitation Plan
29 Minutes Kick Off Meeting 03.09.2018
30 Minutes Kick Off Meeting 05.09.2018
31 FOLDOUT OBJ1 status and plan
32 FOLDOUT OBJ2 status and plan
33 FOLDOUT OBJ6 Improve situational awareness through fusion Status and plans
34 FOLDOUT OBJ7 status and plan
35 "FOLDOUT OB8 Demonstrate effectiveness of FOLDOUT concept in realistic operational scenarios"
36 FOLDOUT OB9 status and plan
37 FOLDOUT OB11 Ensure that the FOLDOUT developments are in line with EU Legal-Ethical-Privacy rules
46 FOLDOUT_PartnerPresentation_Practicioners_KEMEA

Given the relatively small page count of three of these documents (3, 4 and 5 pages), I hope you will accept this selection of 17 documents.

Thank you for your time.
Yours sincerely,

Hanna Rullmann

ve_rea.rea access documents (REA), Agence exécutive pour la recherche

[1]Ares(2020)4853323 - RE: Ares(2020)4751993 - RE: Ares(2020)4532095 -
AOR- access to documents request - Ms Hanna Rullmann- Documents related to
FOLDOUT

Sent by ve_rea.rea access documents (REA)
<[email address]>. All responses have to be sent to this
email address.
Envoyé par ve_rea.rea access documents (REA)
<[email address]>. Toutes les réponses doivent être
effectuées à cette adresse électronique.

Dear Ms Rullmann,

Many thanks for your reply.

We do accept your selection of 17 documents mentioned in your last e-mail.

Therefore, we consider that the fair solution has been reached.

Please note that we are processing your request and we will reply to you
by the 12/10/2020 eob.

Kind regards,

REA ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS

Afficher les sections citées

ve_rea.rea access documents(REA), Agence exécutive pour la recherche

2 Attachments

Dear Ms Rullmann,

Please find attached REA reply (Ares(2020)5414834) to your request for access to documents submitted to the Research Executive Agency (REA) on 28 August 2020 via the website AskTheEU.org and registered on 31 August 2020 under reference number Ares(2020)4505232.

Due to the size of the documents, you will receive them in a separate e-mail.

Please acknowledge receipt of this e-mail by replying to [REA request email]

According to standard operational procedure, the reply could also be sent to you by registered post. Please note, however, that due to the extraordinary health and security measures currently in force during to the COVID-19 epidemics, which include the requirement for all Commission non-critical staff to telework, we are unfortunately not in a position to follow this procedure until further notice.

Best regards,

REA ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS

ve_rea.rea access documents (REA), Agence exécutive pour la recherche

1 Attachment

  • Attachment

    Redacted documents for partial disclosure.7z

    5.5M Download

[1]Ares(2020)5424480 - RE: Ares(2020)5414834 - [Re] REA reply to your
access to documents request - Documents related to FOLDOUT, H2020 project
_ DOCUMENTS

Sent by ve_rea.rea access documents (REA)
<[email address]>. All responses have to be sent to this
email address.
Envoyé par ve_rea.rea access documents (REA)
<[email address]>. Toutes les réponses doivent être
effectuées à cette adresse électronique.

Dear Ms Rullmann,
Please find attached the relevant documents.
Best regards,
REA ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS

Afficher les sections citées

Dear ve_rea.rea access documents (REA),

Dear Mr. Tachalet,

This letter is to make a confirmatory application in relation to my request for access to documents concerning FOLDOUT, reference number Ares(2020)4505232. A copy of this letter has been sent directly to Mr. Tachalet, however, for the sake of transparency I respond through the Asktheeu.org website as well.

In the response I received from REA on 12/10/2020 three principle arguments were made for the redaction of certain information in the documents requested. The first concerns the protection of personal data, which I do not wish to contest. The second puts forward the protection of commercial interest of companies and institutions, and the third concerns “Article 4(1) (a), first indent, of Regulation 1049/2001 provides that “[t]he institutions shall refuse access to a document where disclosure would undermine the protection of the public interest as regards public security”.”

In addition, REA points out that in my original request I have not put forward “any arguments to justify the existence of an overriding public interest in releasing the requested documents.” In this confirmatory application I wish to do so. 

FOLDOUT has received public funding in order to further develop surveillance technologies that aim to penetrate foliage, and building “a system that combines various sensors and technologies and intelligently fuses these into an effective and robust intelligent detection platform.” In addition, “By integrating data, such as vehicle traffic, from outside the immediate border area pre-events can be detected and learned. The events will be analysed with machine learning tools to continuously increase the systems detection and tracking capability.”

Firstly, when it comes to projects that receive public funding, I want to stress the principle of transparency, which “seeks to ensure greater participation by citizens in the decision-making process and to guarantee that the administration enjoys greater legitimacy and is more effective and more accountable to the citizen in a democratic system” (Case T-180/10, para. 142). In addition, as is fundamental to the right of access to documents, the public has a right to seek transparency of the allocation of public funding as well as of the content of the projects it is spent on. 

Secondly, the above mentioned technologies, machine learning in particular, make use of data that concerns the public and deal with the surveillance of the public. This means that the technologies developed within FOLDOUT process sensitive personal data. Given widespread concerns about privacy and data protection, these proceedings need to be subject to debate in the public domain, which, as is stated in Regulation 1049/2001, “contributes to strengthening the principles of democracy”.

Not only is FOLDOUT funded by the public, its subject of surveillance is also the public, consituting an overriding public interest when it comes to both the protection of commercial interests as well as public security. Therefore I argue that REA must strive for the widest possible public access to FOLDOUT’s proceedings.

In regards to “The exception laid down in Article 4(1) (a) first indent of Regulation (EC) No. 1049/2001,” I recognise that there is no “possibility for the exceptions defined therein to be set aside by an overriding public interest.” However, I would like to point out that REA’s response highlights that FOLDOUT concerns a “a collaborative process to explore new ideas and technologies,” and that the research conducted “does not deliver products to the market or enforce their uptake by public authorities.” Therefore, as the project FOLDOUT itself does not define how its technologies might be implemented in actual border security scenarios, and might end up not being implemented at all, I would argue that disclosure of FOLDOUT documents does not consitute a direct threat to public security, as its actual implementation is outside the scope of the project. With this in mind, I would like to stress again the above arguments concerning public funding, privacy and transparency.

Having put forward the above arguments, I ask you to reconsider the initial decision posed by REA and to grant the widest possible access to all the documents reviewed in the initial response.

Yours sincerely,

Hanna Rullmann