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:

bussiness trip is OLAF Dr Bianchi stay in the hotel Vinepearl Ha Long Bay Resort, room 317 between 7/10/19-10/10/19 in touristic area Reu Island, Bai Chay, Viet Nam. The place is touristic and doesn't correspond to location of any relevant public authorities or any investigative activities. It is not confidential since it resulted in public information about the meeting as the result of the activities, mentioned already by press.
https://www.vinpearl.com/resort-spa-ha-l...
I am looking for documents that contain the following information:
- Place of origin and destination, and the amount spent on travel or transportation;
- Exact dates and duration of the trip;
- Amount spent on accommodation;
- Amount spent on subsistence;
- Other information, such as possible miscellaneous costs.

If the travel was by air taxi and a team of people were travelling, please also provide documents with details on the other travellers (at a minimum, names and job titles).

With respect to personal information contained in any documents that you might have, I note that the only information being sought here is the name and surname of the persons mentioned above, something which is already in the public domain. This request does not seek access to any other personal information such as bank account details. Nor am I requesting data such as the office addresses, signatures or telephone numbers of the staff members.

I remain at your disposition to answer any questions or clarifications you might have related to this request.

Thank you in advance.

Yours faithfully,

Veronica Quaix

Ressources humaines et sécurité

Dear Mrs Veronica Quaix,

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.
You may, of course, use directly the electronic form for entering your request:
http://ec.europa.eu/transparency/regdoc/...

Best regards,

HR Access to Documents

European Commission
DG Human Resources and Security

Afficher les sections citées

Dear Human Resources and Security,

Veronica QuaixVeronica Quaix
Van Den Wildenberglaan 1
2100 Antwerpen

Ressources humaines et sécurité

Dear Madam,

Thank you for your e-mail dated 8/2/20. We hereby acknowledge receipt of your application for access to documents, which was registered today under reference number GestDem 2020/0836.

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 dd Month yyyy. 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 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. 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 on that website. This includes the personal data that you may have communicated to the European 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 your correspondence with the European Commission to be published on the AsktheEU.org website, you can provide us with an alternative, private e-mail address for further correspondence. In that case, the European Commission will send all future electronic correspondence addressed to you only to that private address.

Yours faithfully,

HR Access to Documents

European Commission
DG Human Resources and Security

Afficher les sections citées

Dear Human Resources and Security,

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 'Mission cost'.
I did not received any reply after the deadline had expired.

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

Yours faithfully,

Veronica Quaix

Ressources humaines et sécurité

2 Attachments

Dear Mrs Quaix,

 

We refer to your request for access to documents of 8.02.2020, registered
under the above-mentioned reference number. Your request has been
addressed to the Office for Administration and payment of individual
entitlements (PMO). Our services replied to your request on the 28^th of
February. Unfortunately, due to a technical problem, the reply was sent
out to a wrong email address ([1][email address] ).
As a consequence, you did not receive the reply to your request, although
the PMO has done all the necessary steps to reply. Our response was
registered on 28^th of February under our reference number
[2]Ares(2020)1268173.

In order to correct the situation, please find attached the reply that
should have reached you in due time. We do understand that you submitted a
confirmatory request due to the lack of response from our services. The
Secretariat General will follow up on your confirmatory request according
to the administrative rules.

We do apologize for any inconvenience that this may have caused.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

PMO.2

 

[3]cid:image001.png@01CF104D.3F68C230

European Commission

PMO 2 - Missions, laissez-passer et Visas

BRU-MERO 03/P100

B-1049 Brussels/Belgium

[email address]

 

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. https://webgate.ec.testa.eu/Ares/documen...

ve_sg.accessdoc (SG), Ressources humaines et sécurité

2 Attachments

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

[5]Ares(2020)1522258 - Confirmatory application GestDem 2020/0836

Sent by ve_sg.accessdoc (SG) <[email address]>. All responses have
to be sent to this email address.
Envoyé par ve_sg.accessdoc (SG) <[email address]>. Toutes les
réponses doivent être effectuées à cette adresse électronique.

Dear Ms Quaix,

 

Thank you for your email of 10/03/2020in which you lodged a confirmatory
application for access to documents - GESTDEM 2020/836.

 

In the meantime, we have been informed by DG HR that the initial reply has
been be sent to you on 11/03/2020 – see attach..

 

In view of this, we would like to inform you that the Secretariat General
will not register your confirmatory application at this stage.

 

However, upon receipt of the initial reply, if you wish to submit a
confirmatory request in accordance with Article 7 of the Regulation (EC)
No 1049/2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and
Commission documents, you remain free to do so.

 

Best regards,

 

Access to documents team - cr
SG.C.1
Transparency

[6]cid:image004.gif@01D4F9CD.7B22B0F0

 

 

Afficher les sections citées

Cher Ressources humaines et sécurité,

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 'Mission cost'.
https://www.asktheeu.org/fr/request/miss...
This Confirmatory application is submitted as set out in Article 7(2) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001, to challenge the refusal by PMO and the European Commissiin to provide access to documents which contain information on the travel expenses of the Director B at OLAF Mr Ernesto Bianchi during his mission to Vietnam between 7 to 11 October 2019

In this context I will follow relevant and applicable arguments developed by a civil society organisation, Access Info Europe at the present website and its reasoning cited below, analogous to requests published by it on the present website .

I asked for documents that contain the following information:
- Place of origin and destination, and the amount spent on travel or transportation;
- Exact dates and duration of the trip;
- Amount spent on accommodation;
- Amount spent on subsistence;
- Other information, such as possible miscellaneous costs.

I also requested that, if the travel was by air taxi and a team of people were travelling, to be provided with documents containing details on the other travellers (at a minimum, names and job titles).
My request was registered by PMO and European Commission with GESTDEM 2020/0836/. The refusal decision was received on 28 February 2020.

PMOstates in the refusal decision that it has identified the Mission Summary Fiches relating to the travel of this person but that access to these documents is refused as it is personal data in the meaning of Article 3(1) of Regulation 2018/1725” and that, given the exception for the protection of privacy and the integrity of the individual which is laid down in Article 4(1)(b) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001, the request must be examined under the personal data protection regulation and not the access to documents regulation.
With this confirmatory application, I request to re-evaluate this decision, taking into account the following:

1. Audit and control by the European Commission do not substitute transparency
. The fact that such internal oversight takes place at European Commision and PMO does not in any way remove the need for transparency.

It should not be only in cases of suspected wrongdoing that transparency is needed, as open government has multiple other benefits, delivering an increased understanding of how the European Union works, improved participation, and higher levels of trust.

The fact that there is such oversight, auditing and control, which, it can be presumed, ensures the probity in spending of public funds, should make it easier to release this data as there will be no possible harm to or undermining of the individuals whose names are associated with it.

2. Regulation 1049/2001 applies and the requested information would not undermine the privacy and integrity of the individual

In its refusal PMO asserts “[p]ursuant to Article 4(1)(b) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001, access to a document has to be refused if its disclosure would undermine the protection of privacy and the integrity of the individual, in particular in accordance with European Union legislation regarding the protection of personal data.

It is indeed the case that, when assessing whether or not to disclose personal data, “the authority concerned must assess whether the disclosure requested might have a specific and actual adverse effect on the interest protected”.[1] However, your allegation that the privacy and integrity of the person would be undermined is a very general conclusion, one which you do not support with any evidence. As we have seen in ClientEarth v. European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) this general application of this exception did not hold up:

The “allegation that the disclosure of the information at issue would have been likely to undermine the privacy and integrity of the experts concerned is a consideration of a general nature which is not otherwise supported by any factor which is specific to this case.”[2]

Since PMO did not put forward any specific arguments that there is a risk of an actual adverse effect that would undermine the privacy and integrity of the senior Commission official whose mission expenses we seek, the exception in Article 4(1)(b) cannot be applied in this case.
Given that no other exceptions have been invoked, we hereby urge the European Commission and PMO to review the refusal decision and to consider that, as no exception applies in this case, the documents can be made available to the public.

3. Regulation 1049/2001 applies and the requested document does not, at least not in its entirety, contain personal data and that at least partial access could have been granted
The European Commission argues that the fact that the mission cost data of a Director General and/or Director B in Olaf of the Commission is “information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person”, means that all the documents that fall within the scope of this request come under personal data in the sense of Article 3(1) of Regulation 2018/1725.

Now, PMO identified that the documents that relate to this request are the mission fiches of OLAF Director B and seems to conclude that the mere fact that the names of people are contained in the documents means that the document in their entirety constitute personal data.

The case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union has established that the characteristics of documents must be identified in order to extend some exception to a group of documents. In this case, European Commission applied an exception (Article 4.1.b) of Regulation 1049/2001) without clearly identifying the full characteristics of the documents and whether they contain information that is evidently not personal data.

It should be o asserted that the documents do contain other data apart from personal data and that PMO erred in concluding that the requested document(s) contain personal data to the extent that they are protected in their entirety. Specifically, these documents will contain data on mission destinations, mission dates, modes of transport, and of course, data on the costs of travel, accommodation, daily allowances and miscellaneous costs. There may also be other data, such as notes about the processing of the claim by the PMO.

In addition, the data on expenditure is most likely to have been entered into the Mission Processing System (MiPS), which we understand is a requirement for the processing of expenses of Commission staff. In which case, it should have been possible, in response to this request, to provide a document – extracted from the MiPS system in an excel sheet or in another format – either with no personal data included and/or with the personal data (the name and surname of any persons) redacted. excel sheets from other Commission agencies appear to be extracted from a computer system and that do indeed itemise miscellaneous costs by type.

Notwithstanding, as we argue above and below, PMO should provide us with full access to the documents that fall under the scope of this request, along with the names of these very senior European Commission officials, it is clear that it would have been possible for PMO to provide partial access to these documents and that it failed to correctly apply Regulation 1049/2001 in its refusal of any access whatsoever.

4. Presumption of Publication of the Names of Senior Commission Management
Supporting the argument that the privacy and integrity of the individuals to whose mission expenses we are seeking access, is the document entitled “ACCESS TO NAMES AND FUNCTIONS OF COMMISSION STAFF GUIDANCE NOTE” with reference Ares(2019)4352523, dated 8 July 2019, that was provided to Access Info as a result of access to documents request GESTDEM 2019/3250.

This same text was made public a second time on 15 July in response to access to documents request GESTDEM 2019/3899,

This Guidance Note states that it was developed with the aim “to strike a fair balance between the right of access to documents and the right to personal data protection” in order to determine whether the names of public officials should be provided or redacted in responses to access to documents requests. The document concludes that the names of Commissioners, their Cabinet Members, and staff in senior positions, namely Secretary-General, Directors-General, Directors, can be provided to the public unless very specific circumstances apply.
For these people (in contrast to other officials), it is not necessary to require that requesters establish, either at the initial and at confirmatory stage, the need for a public interest in transmitting the personal data (the names). In other words, there is no need to apply the tests set out in Regulation 2018/1725.

To arrive at this Guidance Note, the Commission appears to have carried out an examination of proportionality between the public interest of transparency versus the privacy of senior public officials, concluding that the balance weighs more heavily in favour of transparency. It also appears that the Commission has carried an assessment of harm and found that it is so minimal or non-existent that the names of these persons in documents relating to their professional activities may be made public.

Based on this Guidance Note, it therefore seems that PMO erred in concluding that OLAF Director B is not public office holder. I therefore urge thePMO and the Europen Commission to take its own Guidance Note into account when reviewing refusal decision and to conclude that the names of these officials can be released along with the details of their mission expenses.

5. The Commission has failed to consider the specific public interest put forward in the request, namely the exercise of the right of access to documents

Without prejudice to the arguments set out in Point 3 above, Access Info here sets out why it believes that the Commission failed to properly and fully apply Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2018 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data by the Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies and on the free movement of such data.

With respect to Article 5 Regulation 2018/1725, which establishes the principles relating to the lawfulness of processing, Access Info believes that it is clear that both the collection of the data at issue and its potential transfer is lawful in the sense that the data was collected to fulfil various tasks established by law. These include the financial management, control, and auditing of the expenses, and also the proactive publication of the expenses as required by the Code of Conduct with the aim of ensuring transparency and accountability to the European public.] Responding to access to documents requests could well be determined to constitute either (a) performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the Union institution or body, or (b) processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which the controller is subject.

The Commission then considers Article 9 on Transmissions of personal data to recipients established in the Union other than Union institutions and bodies. In its examination of Article 9(1)(b) of Regulation 2018/1725, the Commission concludes that I did not convincingly assert, or indeed even omit to put forward, arguments to establish the necessity to have the data transmitted for a specific purpose in the public interest.

It should be argued that it is a failure to apply Regulation 2018/1725 correctly. It is clear from Paragraph 28 of the Preamble to Regulation 2018/1725 that “The specific purpose in the public interest could relate to the transparency of Union institutions and bodies.” Therefore, a request for access to information, which would result in greater transparency of a Union institution – PMO as part of the Commission in this case – is in and of itself a specific purpose in the public interest.

The requests clearly stated that they were presented in exercise of “the right of access to documents in the EU treaties.” As such it in no way failed to put forward one of the most relevant arguments possible: the public’s right of access to Union documents and the multiple benefits in the public interest that flow from transparency. The Commission, rather, has failed in its decision to consider this compelling and specific purpose for processing of personal data.
We believe that the new legal framework established by Regulation 2018/1725, means that the Commission should no longer rely heavily on previous case law, such as Volker und Markus Schecke and Eifert and Psara which established that mere invocation of the principle of transparency is not sufficient in and of itself to justify the disclosure of a document.

And even if, with the new legal framework, it might be possible to require requesters seeking some types of documents that contain personal data to demonstrate the specific purpose, we argue that this should not apply with respect to requests relating to the spending of public funds. The treaties, the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union, and the decisions of the European Ombudsman clearly point to the principle of maximum possible transparency in the spending of public funds. This includes transparency about details of the use of public funds, which is what the request at issue is about. Hence these provisions establish a prima facie necessity to process and transfer this data.

Hence, when it comes to a request of the nature of the one at issue here, which seeks access to information about the spending of public funds, exercise of the right of access to documents should be considered as a specific purpose in the public interest. There should then be a consideration of the prejudice to legitimate interests. Wherever such prejudices cannot be identified, or where the public interest in transparency outweighs them, then the documents should be disclosed.

6. There is a strong and specific public interest in requestor receiving the requested document(s).
In the event that would be held not to be sufficient to invoke the principle of transparency and the fundamental right of access to European Union documents in a case such as this, the request establishes an even more specific purpose, which we set out here.

pursuance of transparency of travel expenses has the specific goal to ensure that there is public scrutiny of the spending of public funds, that there can be a fully-informed, evidence-based public debate about how such funds are used, and that the public can be confident that public bodies are exercising public power and spending public funds in a responsible and appropriate manner.

Even more specifically, the request is designed to permit us and others, including anti-corruption civil society organisations and investigative journalists, to act as public watchdogs. This is something that Access Info has pursued and achieved over the course of the past five years of work on EU-level travel expenses, in addition to our wider track record during well over 13 years promoting transparency as a tool for defending human rights, fighting corruption, and promoting participation.

Furthermore, requests such as this one made via the AsktheEU.org website, the data becomes available to all members of the European (and indeed the global) public for them to exercise their rights to participation, to engage in public debate, and to hold public bodies accountable.

Such transparency is particularly in the public interest at the present time, in a political context of rising Euroscepticism and with it an ongoing debate about the role and functions of those in the Commission, as well as more broadly about the salaries and expenses payments made by European taxpayers to public officials in Brussels. Basic information such as the spending of public funds, with details on how the funds are used, is essential to ensure an informed and accurate debate about the way in which Brussels functions. This request aims to contribute directly and specifically to that public debate, sharing, as we have done in the past, such information in order to broaden and deepen understanding of the use of public funds in Brussels, and hence to provide greater legitimacy to the work of the European Commission.

As a civil society organisation, Access Info Europe (that maintain present website) plays a watchdog role akin to that of journalists in line with the European Court of Human Rights jurisprudence on access to information.[7] There is therefore a legitimate interest in publishing information about the use of public funds – this request forms part of that line of enquiry – and we warrant similar protection as the press.[8]

The denial of this request would adversely affect ability to exercise this role as a public watchdog, subsequently breaching not only the right of access to documents (Article 15 of the TFEU and Article 42 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union) but also our right to freedom of expression and information in Article 11 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU, which is analogous to Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The European Court of Human Rights has established, through a series of judgments, that the right of access to information is particularly strong for public watchdogs such as journalists and civil society human rights organisations.

Denying us this information is impeding us in carrying out this important watchdog function, something that the European Court of Human Rights has established is an interference with freedom of expression and information:

“As the applicant was obviously involved in the legitimate gathering of information of public interest with the intention of imparting that information to the public and thereby contributing to the public debate, there has been an interference with its right to freedom of expression”[9]

The Strasbourg Court has stated that public bodies cannot “allow arbitrary restrictions which may become a form of indirect censorship”.[10] Given that the data that we are requesting warrants no special protection, and that there is a public interest to disclosure, in denying us access to this information, the Commission is creating barriers to the exercise of freedom of expression and information. The European Court of Human Rights has made clear that there is a positive obligation to eliminate such obstacles:

“The State’s obligations in matters of freedom of the press include the elimination of barriers to the exercise of press functions where, in issues of public interest, such barriers exist solely because of an information monopoly held by the authorities”. [11]
In conclusion, given that transparency is needed for us to carry out our watchdog activities, to contribute to public debate, and be able to make informed decisions on our elected representatives, there is a strong and specific purpose to transparency of the spending by public officials of public funds.

7. The Commission failed to establish that any data subject’s legitimate interests might be prejudiced

Once the public interest has been established, PMO is obliged to apply the balancing test ensuring that the principle of proportionality is taken into account, to determine whether release of the data would indeed prejudice legitimate interest.

There is nothing in the refusal decision to demonstrate thatPMO did indeed carry out such balancing. Nor is there any evidence in your decision that you have examined in detail the nature or scale of the harm that would be caused to the person whose private personal data you assert that you are protecting.

The Court of Justice has ruled that the assessment of harm to a protected interest should be done so as to demonstrate how the protected interest would be actually and specifically undermined by release of the documents.

The Court of Justice has also established that, given the need for accountability and transparency of public authorities, there exists some expectation of disclosure of personal data among public officials:
public figures have generally already accepted that some of their personal data will be disclosed to the public, and may even have encouraged or made such disclosure themselves. It is necessary therefore to take that environment into account when assessing the risk of the legitimate interests of public figures being prejudiced in the context of the application of Article 8(b) of Regulation No 45/2001, and in weighing those interests against the necessity of transferring the personal data requested.[12]

The Court has furthermore made a distinction between the “public sphere” of a political or public person and his or her “private sphere”:
in weighing up the interests engaged, the legitimate interests of the MEPs who are members of the additional pension scheme, which fall into the public sphere of those MEPs, must be subject to a lesser degree of protection than that which, following the logic of Regulation No 45/2001, would be enjoyed by the interests falling into their private sphere.[13]

As previously noted, given the Code of Conduct and multiple other transparency initiatives by the Commission (such as publicity of information about meetings between senior officials and interest groups), the Director General and Deputy Director Generals will have a high expectation that their personal data (meaning in this case only their names, no more) will be made public associated with their public activities.

The Court has further made clear that even in the old regime or Regulation 45/2001, and without full balancing being given to the right of access to documents, it is not permissible to operate on a presumption in favour of protection of personal data:

While Regulation No 1049/2001 does indeed provide for an exception to the right of access to documents where disclosure would risk undermining the privacy or the integrity of the individual, thus making Regulation No 45/2001 applicable, that does not have the effect of creating a presumption in favour of the legitimate interests of persons whose personal data are protected by the latter regulation.[14]

8. The Commission failed to apply Article 9(3) of Regulation 2018/1725
Article 9(3) of Regulation 2018/1725 requires that “Union institutions and bodies shall reconcile the right to the protection of personal data with the right of access to documents in accordance with Union law.”

This is an important provision which goes somewhat to redressing the balance between the right of access to information and the right to personal data protection. It should be recalled that Regulation 1049/2001 on access to documents was adopted in 2001, some years before the Lisbon treaty came into force, and hence prior to the full recognition of a right of access to European Union documents, as set out in Article 15 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and Article 42 of the Charter of the Fundamental Rights of the European Union (the Charter).

Article 15 of the TFEU establishes a legally binding obligation on the Union bodies to conduct their work as “openly as possible” and be transparent in order to promote “good governance and ensure the participation of civil society”. This Article also establishes that European citizens and residents “shall have a right of access to documents of the Union's institutions, bodies, offices and agencies.”

Regulation 1049/2001, adopted as it was in 2001, defers to privacy and data protection which, at the time, were seen as stronger rights. Since 2001 all the international human rights bodies, including the European Court of Human Rights (from 2009 onwards), the UN Human Rights Committee (in 2011), the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (in 2006) as well as an increasing number of constitutions around European and globally, recognise the right of access to information as a fundamental right – not an absolute right, but a fundamental one.

The Commission should therefore have taken Article 9(3) of Regulation 2018/1725 into consideration, including when assessing the legitimacy of processing and the public interest in its consideration of Article 5 and 9(1)(b), as we set out above. We now respectfully urge the Commission to give due consideration to Article 9(3).

In conclusion, the Commission should review the refusal to provide the requested documents, full and adequately taking into account as applicable to present request, the above arguments developed by a civil society organisation, Access Info Europe at the present website and its reasoning cited above, analogous to requests published by it on the present website
Veronica Quaix

ECher Ressources humaines et sécurité,

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 'Mission cost'.
https://www.asktheeu.org/fr/request/miss...
This Confirmatory application is submitted as set out in Article 7(2) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001, to challenge the refusal by PMO and the European Commissiin to provide access to documents which contain information on the travel expenses of the Director B at OLAF Mr Ernesto Bianchi during his mission to Vietnam between 7 to 11 October 2019

In this context I will follow relevant and applicable arguments developed by a civil society organisation, Access Info Europe at the present website and its reasoning cited below, analogous to requests published by it on the present website .

I asked for documents that contain the following information:
- Place of origin and destination, and the amount spent on travel or transportation;
- Exact dates and duration of the trip;
- Amount spent on accommodation;
- Amount spent on subsistence;
- Other information, such as possible miscellaneous costs.

I also requested that, if the travel was by air taxi and a team of people were travelling, to be provided with documents containing details on the other travellers (at a minimum, names and job titles).
My request was registered by PMO and European Commission with GESTDEM 2020/0836/. The refusal decision was received on 28 February 2020.

PMOstates in the refusal decision that it has identified the Mission Summary Fiches relating to the travel of this person but that access to these documents is refused as it is personal data in the meaning of Article 3(1) of Regulation 2018/1725” and that, given the exception for the protection of privacy and the integrity of the individual which is laid down in Article 4(1)(b) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001, the request must be examined under the personal data protection regulation and not the access to documents regulation.
With this confirmatory application, I request to re-evaluate this decision, taking into account the following:

1. Audit and control by the European Commission do not substitute transparency
. The fact that such internal oversight takes place at European Commision and PMO does not in any way remove the need for transparency.

It should not be only in cases of suspected wrongdoing that transparency is needed, as open government has multiple other benefits, delivering an increased understanding of how the European Union works, improved participation, and higher levels of trust.

The fact that there is such oversight, auditing and control, which, it can be presumed, ensures the probity in spending of public funds, should make it easier to release this data as there will be no possible harm to or undermining of the individuals whose names are associated with it.

2. Regulation 1049/2001 applies and the requested information would not undermine the privacy and integrity of the individual

In its refusal PMO asserts “[p]ursuant to Article 4(1)(b) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001, access to a document has to be refused if its disclosure would undermine the protection of privacy and the integrity of the individual, in particular in accordance with European Union legislation regarding the protection of personal data.

It is indeed the case that, when assessing whether or not to disclose personal data, “the authority concerned must assess whether the disclosure requested might have a specific and actual adverse effect on the interest protected”.[1] However, your allegation that the privacy and integrity of the person would be undermined is a very general conclusion, one which you do not support with any evidence. As we have seen in ClientEarth v. European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) this general application of this exception did not hold up:

The “allegation that the disclosure of the information at issue would have been likely to undermine the privacy and integrity of the experts concerned is a consideration of a general nature which is not otherwise supported by any factor which is specific to this case.”[2]

Since PMO did not put forward any specific arguments that there is a risk of an actual adverse effect that would undermine the privacy and integrity of the senior Commission official whose mission expenses we seek, the exception in Article 4(1)(b) cannot be applied in this case.
Given that no other exceptions have been invoked, we hereby urge the European Commission and PMO to review the refusal decision and to consider that, as no exception applies in this case, the documents can be made available to the public.

3. Regulation 1049/2001 applies and the requested document does not, at least not in its entirety, contain personal data and that at least partial access could have been granted
The European Commission argues that the fact that the mission cost data of a Director General and/or Director B in Olaf of the Commission is “information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person”, means that all the documents that fall within the scope of this request come under personal data in the sense of Article 3(1) of Regulation 2018/1725.

Now, PMO identified that the documents that relate to this request are the mission fiches of OLAF Director B and seems to conclude that the mere fact that the names of people are contained in the documents means that the document in their entirety constitute personal data.

The case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union has established that the characteristics of documents must be identified in order to extend some exception to a group of documents. In this case, European Commission applied an exception (Article 4.1.b) of Regulation 1049/2001) without clearly identifying the full characteristics of the documents and whether they contain information that is evidently not personal data.

It should be o asserted that the documents do contain other data apart from personal data and that PMO erred in concluding that the requested document(s) contain personal data to the extent that they are protected in their entirety. Specifically, these documents will contain data on mission destinations, mission dates, modes of transport, and of course, data on the costs of travel, accommodation, daily allowances and miscellaneous costs. There may also be other data, such as notes about the processing of the claim by the PMO.

In addition, the data on expenditure is most likely to have been entered into the Mission Processing System (MiPS), which we understand is a requirement for the processing of expenses of Commission staff. In which case, it should have been possible, in response to this request, to provide a document – extracted from the MiPS system in an excel sheet or in another format – either with no personal data included and/or with the personal data (the name and surname of any persons) redacted. excel sheets from other Commission agencies appear to be extracted from a computer system and that do indeed itemise miscellaneous costs by type.

Notwithstanding, as we argue above and below, PMO should provide us with full access to the documents that fall under the scope of this request, along with the names of these very senior European Commission officials, it is clear that it would have been possible for PMO to provide partial access to these documents and that it failed to correctly apply Regulation 1049/2001 in its refusal of any access whatsoever.

4. Presumption of Publication of the Names of Senior Commission Management
Supporting the argument that the privacy and integrity of the individuals to whose mission expenses we are seeking access, is the document entitled “ACCESS TO NAMES AND FUNCTIONS OF COMMISSION STAFF GUIDANCE NOTE” with reference Ares(2019)4352523, dated 8 July 2019, that was provided to Access Info as a result of access to documents request GESTDEM 2019/3250.

This same text was made public a second time on 15 July in response to access to documents request GESTDEM 2019/3899,

This Guidance Note states that it was developed with the aim “to strike a fair balance between the right of access to documents and the right to personal data protection” in order to determine whether the names of public officials should be provided or redacted in responses to access to documents requests. The document concludes that the names of Commissioners, their Cabinet Members, and staff in senior positions, namely Secretary-General, Directors-General, Directors, can be provided to the public unless very specific circumstances apply.
For these people (in contrast to other officials), it is not necessary to require that requesters establish, either at the initial and at confirmatory stage, the need for a public interest in transmitting the personal data (the names). In other words, there is no need to apply the tests set out in Regulation 2018/1725.

To arrive at this Guidance Note, the Commission appears to have carried out an examination of proportionality between the public interest of transparency versus the privacy of senior public officials, concluding that the balance weighs more heavily in favour of transparency. It also appears that the Commission has carried an assessment of harm and found that it is so minimal or non-existent that the names of these persons in documents relating to their professional activities may be made public.

Based on this Guidance Note, it therefore seems that PMO erred in concluding that OLAF Director B is not public office holder. I therefore urge thePMO and the Europen Commission to take its own Guidance Note into account when reviewing refusal decision and to conclude that the names of these officials can be released along with the details of their mission expenses.

5. The Commission has failed to consider the specific public interest put forward in the request, namely the exercise of the right of access to documents

Without prejudice to the arguments set out in Point 3 above, Access Info here sets out why it believes that the Commission failed to properly and fully apply Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2018 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data by the Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies and on the free movement of such data.

With respect to Article 5 Regulation 2018/1725, which establishes the principles relating to the lawfulness of processing, Access Info believes that it is clear that both the collection of the data at issue and its potential transfer is lawful in the sense that the data was collected to fulfil various tasks established by law. These include the financial management, control, and auditing of the expenses, and also the proactive publication of the expenses as required by the Code of Conduct with the aim of ensuring transparency and accountability to the European public.] Responding to access to documents requests could well be determined to constitute either (a) performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the Union institution or body, or (b) processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which the controller is subject.

The Commission then considers Article 9 on Transmissions of personal data to recipients established in the Union other than Union institutions and bodies. In its examination of Article 9(1)(b) of Regulation 2018/1725, the Commission concludes that I did not convincingly assert, or indeed even omit to put forward, arguments to establish the necessity to have the data transmitted for a specific purpose in the public interest.

It should be argued that it is a failure to apply Regulation 2018/1725 correctly. It is clear from Paragraph 28 of the Preamble to Regulation 2018/1725 that “The specific purpose in the public interest could relate to the transparency of Union institutions and bodies.” Therefore, a request for access to information, which would result in greater transparency of a Union institution – PMO as part of the Commission in this case – is in and of itself a specific purpose in the public interest.

The requests clearly stated that they were presented in exercise of “the right of access to documents in the EU treaties.” As such it in no way failed to put forward one of the most relevant arguments possible: the public’s right of access to Union documents and the multiple benefits in the public interest that flow from transparency. The Commission, rather, has failed in its decision to consider this compelling and specific purpose for processing of personal data.
We believe that the new legal framework established by Regulation 2018/1725, means that the Commission should no longer rely heavily on previous case law, such as Volker und Markus Schecke and Eifert and Psara which established that mere invocation of the principle of transparency is not sufficient in and of itself to justify the disclosure of a document.

And even if, with the new legal framework, it might be possible to require requesters seeking some types of documents that contain personal data to demonstrate the specific purpose, we argue that this should not apply with respect to requests relating to the spending of public funds. The treaties, the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union, and the decisions of the European Ombudsman clearly point to the principle of maximum possible transparency in the spending of public funds. This includes transparency about details of the use of public funds, which is what the request at issue is about. Hence these provisions establish a prima facie necessity to process and transfer this data.

Hence, when it comes to a request of the nature of the one at issue here, which seeks access to information about the spending of public funds, exercise of the right of access to documents should be considered as a specific purpose in the public interest. There should then be a consideration of the prejudice to legitimate interests. Wherever such prejudices cannot be identified, or where the public interest in transparency outweighs them, then the documents should be disclosed.

6. There is a strong and specific public interest in requestor receiving the requested document(s).
In the event that would be held not to be sufficient to invoke the principle of transparency and the fundamental right of access to European Union documents in a case such as this, the request establishes an even more specific purpose, which we set out here.

pursuance of transparency of travel expenses has the specific goal to ensure that there is public scrutiny of the spending of public funds, that there can be a fully-informed, evidence-based public debate about how such funds are used, and that the public can be confident that public bodies are exercising public power and spending public funds in a responsible and appropriate manner.

Even more specifically, the request is designed to permit us and others, including anti-corruption civil society organisations and investigative journalists, to act as public watchdogs. This is something that Access Info has pursued and achieved over the course of the past five years of work on EU-level travel expenses, in addition to our wider track record during well over 13 years promoting transparency as a tool for defending human rights, fighting corruption, and promoting participation.

Furthermore, requests such as this one made via the AsktheEU.org website, the data becomes available to all members of the European (and indeed the global) public for them to exercise their rights to participation, to engage in public debate, and to hold public bodies accountable.

Such transparency is particularly in the public interest at the present time, in a political context of rising Euroscepticism and with it an ongoing debate about the role and functions of those in the Commission, as well as more broadly about the salaries and expenses payments made by European taxpayers to public officials in Brussels. Basic information such as the spending of public funds, with details on how the funds are used, is essential to ensure an informed and accurate debate about the way in which Brussels functions. This request aims to contribute directly and specifically to that public debate, sharing, as we have done in the past, such information in order to broaden and deepen understanding of the use of public funds in Brussels, and hence to provide greater legitimacy to the work of the European Commission.

As a civil society organisation, Access Info Europe (that maintain present website) plays a watchdog role akin to that of journalists in line with the European Court of Human Rights jurisprudence on access to information.[7] There is therefore a legitimate interest in publishing information about the use of public funds – this request forms part of that line of enquiry – and we warrant similar protection as the press.[8]

The denial of this request would adversely affect ability to exercise this role as a public watchdog, subsequently breaching not only the right of access to documents (Article 15 of the TFEU and Article 42 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union) but also our right to freedom of expression and information in Article 11 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU, which is analogous to Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The European Court of Human Rights has established, through a series of judgments, that the right of access to information is particularly strong for public watchdogs such as journalists and civil society human rights organisations.

Denying us this information is impeding us in carrying out this important watchdog function, something that the European Court of Human Rights has established is an interference with freedom of expression and information:

“As the applicant was obviously involved in the legitimate gathering of information of public interest with the intention of imparting that information to the public and thereby contributing to the public debate, there has been an interference with its right to freedom of expression”[9]

The Strasbourg Court has stated that public bodies cannot “allow arbitrary restrictions which may become a form of indirect censorship”.[10] Given that the data that we are requesting warrants no special protection, and that there is a public interest to disclosure, in denying us access to this information, the Commission is creating barriers to the exercise of freedom of expression and information. The European Court of Human Rights has made clear that there is a positive obligation to eliminate such obstacles:

“The State’s obligations in matters of freedom of the press include the elimination of barriers to the exercise of press functions where, in issues of public interest, such barriers exist solely because of an information monopoly held by the authorities”. [11]
In conclusion, given that transparency is needed for us to carry out our watchdog activities, to contribute to public debate, and be able to make informed decisions on our elected representatives, there is a strong and specific purpose to transparency of the spending by public officials of public funds.

7. The Commission failed to establish that any data subject’s legitimate interests might be prejudiced

Once the public interest has been established, PMO is obliged to apply the balancing test ensuring that the principle of proportionality is taken into account, to determine whether release of the data would indeed prejudice legitimate interest.

There is nothing in the refusal decision to demonstrate thatPMO did indeed carry out such balancing. Nor is there any evidence in your decision that you have examined in detail the nature or scale of the harm that would be caused to the person whose private personal data you assert that you are protecting.

The Court of Justice has ruled that the assessment of harm to a protected interest should be done so as to demonstrate how the protected interest would be actually and specifically undermined by release of the documents.

The Court of Justice has also established that, given the need for accountability and transparency of public authorities, there exists some expectation of disclosure of personal data among public officials:
public figures have generally already accepted that some of their personal data will be disclosed to the public, and may even have encouraged or made such disclosure themselves. It is necessary therefore to take that environment into account when assessing the risk of the legitimate interests of public figures being prejudiced in the context of the application of Article 8(b) of Regulation No 45/2001, and in weighing those interests against the necessity of transferring the personal data requested.[12]

The Court has furthermore made a distinction between the “public sphere” of a political or public person and his or her “private sphere”:
in weighing up the interests engaged, the legitimate interests of the MEPs who are members of the additional pension scheme, which fall into the public sphere of those MEPs, must be subject to a lesser degree of protection than that which, following the logic of Regulation No 45/2001, would be enjoyed by the interests falling into their private sphere.[13]

As previously noted, given the Code of Conduct and multiple other transparency initiatives by the Commission (such as publicity of information about meetings between senior officials and interest groups), the Director General and Deputy Director Generals will have a high expectation that their personal data (meaning in this case only their names, no more) will be made public associated with their public activities.

The Court has further made clear that even in the old regime or Regulation 45/2001, and without full balancing being given to the right of access to documents, it is not permissible to operate on a presumption in favour of protection of personal data:

While Regulation No 1049/2001 does indeed provide for an exception to the right of access to documents where disclosure would risk undermining the privacy or the integrity of the individual, thus making Regulation No 45/2001 applicable, that does not have the effect of creating a presumption in favour of the legitimate interests of persons whose personal data are protected by the latter regulation.[14]

8. The Commission failed to apply Article 9(3) of Regulation 2018/1725
Article 9(3) of Regulation 2018/1725 requires that “Union institutions and bodies shall reconcile the right to the protection of personal data with the right of access to documents in accordance with Union law.”

This is an important provision which goes somewhat to redressing the balance between the right of access to information and the right to personal data protection. It should be recalled that Regulation 1049/2001 on access to documents was adopted in 2001, some years before the Lisbon treaty came into force, and hence prior to the full recognition of a right of access to European Union documents, as set out in Article 15 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and Article 42 of the Charter of the Fundamental Rights of the European Union (the Charter).

Article 15 of the TFEU establishes a legally binding obligation on the Union bodies to conduct their work as “openly as possible” and be transparent in order to promote “good governance and ensure the participation of civil society”. This Article also establishes that European citizens and residents “shall have a right of access to documents of the Union's institutions, bodies, offices and agencies.”

Regulation 1049/2001, adopted as it was in 2001, defers to privacy and data protection which, at the time, were seen as stronger rights. Since 2001 all the international human rights bodies, including the European Court of Human Rights (from 2009 onwards), the UN Human Rights Committee (in 2011), the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (in 2006) as well as an increasing number of constitutions around European and globally, recognise the right of access to information as a fundamental right – not an absolute right, but a fundamental one.

The Commission should therefore have taken Article 9(3) of Regulation 2018/1725 into consideration, including when assessing the legitimacy of processing and the public interest in its consideration of Article 5 and 9(1)(b), as we set out above. We now respectfully urge the Commission to give due consideration to Article 9(3).

In conclusion, the Commission should review the refusal to provide the requested documents, full and adequately taking into account as applicable to present request, the above arguments developed by a civil society organisation, Access Info Europe at the present website and its reasoning cited above, analogous to requests published by it on the present website
Veronica Quaix

[1] Case C 615/13 P. ClientEarth v. European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) ECLI:EU:C:2015:489 para 69
[2] Case C 615/13 P. ClientEarth v. European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) ECLI:EU:C:2015:489 para 69
[3] Judgment of the Court of 20 May 2003 in joined cases C-465/00, C-138/01 and C-139/01, preliminary rulings in proceedings between Rechnungshof and Österreichischer Rundfunk, paragraph 73.
[4] This Guidance Note is in line with the type of guidance that can be found at the national level across Europe. For instance, the UK Information Commissioner has established that the seniority of the people involved lends itself to a higher level of accountability and responsibility. “Requests for personal data about public authority employees”
https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisatio...
[5] It is noted that, while the Code of Conduct refers to publication of an “overview” of the mission expenses, it does not specify what such an overview might contain. There is nothing to prevent the breakdown of miscellaneous costs by type being part of such an overview.
[6] Access Info Europe was established on 2 October 2006 as a human rights organisation, registered as an association with the Ministry of Interior in Spain, with the mission to promote transparency, in particular to defend other human rights, to permit public participation, and to promote accountability, and to support the fight against corruption.
[7] See, inter alia, the case of Társaság a Szabadságjogokért v. Hungary, App. No. 37374/05, ECHR, 14 April 2009
[8] Youth Initiative for Human Rights v. Serbia, App. No. 48135/06, ECHR , 25 June 2013, para 20
[9] Youth Initiative for Human Rights v. Serbia, App. No. 48135/06, ECHR , 25 June 2013, para 24
[10] Társaság a Szabadságjogokért v. Hungary, App. No. 37374/05, ECHR, 14 April 2009, para 27
[11] Társaság a Szabadságjogokért v. Hungary, App. No. 37374/05, ECHR, 14 April 2009, para 36
[12] Case T-115/13 Dennekamp v European Parliament (Dennekamp II) EU:T:2015:497, para 119
[13] Case T-115/13 Dennekamp v European Parliament (Dennekamp II) EU:T:2015:497, para 124
[14] Case T-115/13 Dennekamp v European Parliament (Dennekamp II) EU:T:2015:497, para 127

Ressources humaines et sécurité

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.
 
 

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Ressources humaines et sécurité

Dear Madam,

Thank you for your message.

Should we consider by this one that you maintain your confirmatory request - Gestdem 2020/836?

Many thanks in advance.

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

Afficher les sections citées

ve_sg.accessdoc (SG), Ressources humaines et sécurité

[1]Ares(2020)1595860 - FW: Revue interne de Accès à l'information demande
- Mission cost

Sent by ve_sg.accessdoc (SG) <[email address]>. All responses have
to be sent to this email address.
Envoyé par ve_sg.accessdoc (SG) <[email address]>. Toutes les
réponses doivent être effectuées à cette adresse électronique.

Dear Madam,

Thank you for your email dated 15/03/2020 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 the
TaDG HR/PMOin reply to your initial application GESTDEM 2020/836.

We hereby acknowledge receipt of your confirmatory application for access
to documents which was registered on 16/03/2020 (Ares(2020)1595809.

Your application will be handled within 15 working days (06/04/2020). 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 (RC)
SG.C.1
Transparency

Afficher les sections citées

Dear ve_sg.accessdoc (SG),

I confirm that I introduced confirmatory application in accordance with my last correspondence

Yours sincerely,

Veronica Quaix

Ressources humaines et sécurité

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.
 
 

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ve_sg.accessdoc (SG), Ressources humaines et sécurité

1 Attachment

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

[5]Ares(2020)1950143 - Your confirmatory application for access to
documents under Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 - GESTDEM 2020/0836

Sent by ve_sg.accessdoc (SG) <[email address]>. All responses have
to be sent to this email address.
Envoyé par ve_sg.accessdoc (SG) <[email address]>. Toutes les
réponses doivent être effectuées à cette adresse électronique.

Dear Ms Quaix,

We refer to your email of  15 March 2020, registered on the next day, by
which you submit 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[6]^[1] ("Regulation (EC) No
1049/2001").

 

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 expires on 6 April 2020. Consequently, we have
to extend this period by another 15 working days in accordance with
Article 8(2) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001.

 

However, we can assure you that we are doing our utmost to provide you
with a final reply within the next 15 working days. We regret this
additional delay and sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this may
cause.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

María OLIVÁN AVILÉS
Head of Unit

[7]cid:image001.gif@01D13362.41D673C0

European Commission

Secretariat General

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

 

 

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

[8][1]               Official Journal L 145 of 31.5.2001, p. 43.

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...
6. file:///tmp/foiextract20200406-16165-t7qaei#_ftn1
8. file:///tmp/foiextract20200406-16165-t7qaei#_ftnref1

ve_sg.accessdoc (SG), Ressources humaines et sécurité

1 Attachment

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

[5]Ares(2020)2308346 - Your confirmatory application for access to
documents under Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 – GESTDEM 2020/0836

Sent by ve_sg.accessdoc (SG) <[email address]>. All responses have
to be sent to this email address.
Envoyé par ve_sg.accessdoc (SG) <[email address]>. Toutes les
réponses doivent être effectuées à cette adresse électronique.

Dear Ms Quaix,

We refer to your email of  15 March 2020, registered on the next day, 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[6]^[1] ("Regulation (EC) No
1049/2001"). We also refer to our first holding letter of 6 April 2020 by
which the time limit for replying to your confirmatory application was
extended by 15 working days, pursuant to Article 8(2) of the Regulation.
This extended time limit expires on 30 April 2020.

 

We regret to have to inform you that we will not be able to respond within
the extended time-limit. We have finalized our assessment regarding your
application, but the decision still needs to be approved by our hierarchy.
 

 

However, we can assure you that we are doing our utmost to provide you
with a final reply as soon as possible. We regret this additional delay
and sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Yours sincerely,

 

María OLIVÁN AVILÉS
Head of Unit

[7]cid:image001.gif@01D13362.41D673C0

European Commission

Secretariat General

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

 

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

[8][1]               Official Journal L 145 of 31.5.2001, p. 43.

References

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3. file:///tmp/~~themedata~~
4. file:///tmp/~~colorschememapping~~
5. https://webgate.ec.testa.eu/Ares/documen...
6. file:///tmp/foiextract20200430-16546-1hban9h#_ftn1
8. file:///tmp/foiextract20200430-16546-1hban9h#_ftnref1

Ressources humaines et sécurité

4 Attachments

Dear Ms Quaix Veronica,

 

Please find attached the electronic version of Commission Decision
C(2020)3652 as adopted by the European Commission on 29.5.2020.

 

Given the exceptional circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the
formal notification of the decision under Article 297 TFEU is being made
only in electronic form.

 

Please confirm receipt of the attached document by return e-mail.

 

Kind regards,

 

 

 

MARTIN GALAN MARIA SERENA

Secrétariat général de la Commission – Greffe B-2
Procédures écrites, habilitations, délégations et transmissions externes

BERL 5/155
'   +32-2-299.59.48
7    +32-2-296.72.43

[1]cid:image016.jpg@01D041FE.EC4221C0[2]cid:image017.jpg@01D041FE.EC4221C0[3]cid:image018.jpg@01D041FE.EC4221C0

   Your tool  | Our help

 

 

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3 Attachments

Dear Ms / Dear Mr,

It is very important for us.

Please, could you please acknowledge the receipt of the document enclosed
in the message addressed to you ?

 

 

MARTIN GALAN MARIA SERENA

Secrétariat général de la Commission – Greffe B-2
Procédures écrites, habilitations, délégations et transmissions externes

BERL 5/155
'   +32-2-299.59.48
7    +32-2-296.72.43

[1]cid:image016.jpg@01D041FE.EC4221C0[2]cid:image017.jpg@01D041FE.EC4221C0[3]cid:image018.jpg@01D041FE.EC4221C0

   Your tool  | Our help

 

 

From: SG GREFFE CERTIFICATION
Sent: Tuesday, June 2, 2020 12:02 PM
To: '[FOI #7648 email]'
<[FOI #7648 email]>
Cc: PASCUAL IBANEZ Noelia (SG) <[email address]>
Subject: C(2020) 3652 addressed to QUAIX Veronica

 

Dear Ms Quaix Veronica,

 

Please find attached the electronic version of Commission Decision
C(2020)3652 as adopted by the European Commission on 29.5.2020.

 

Given the exceptional circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the
formal notification of the decision under Article 297 TFEU is being made
only in electronic form.

 

Please confirm receipt of the attached document by return e-mail.

 

Kind regards,

 

 

 

MARTIN GALAN MARIA SERENA

Secrétariat général de la Commission – Greffe B-2
Procédures écrites, habilitations, délégations et transmissions externes

BERL 5/155
'   +32-2-299.59.48
7    +32-2-296.72.43

[4]cid:image016.jpg@01D041FE.EC4221C0[5]cid:image017.jpg@01D041FE.EC4221C0[6]cid:image018.jpg@01D041FE.EC4221C0

   Your tool  | Our help

 

 

References

Visible links
1. https://intragate.ec.europa.eu/decide/sep
3. https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/fpfis/wikis...
4. https://intragate.ec.europa.eu/decide/sep
6. https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/fpfis/wikis...

Ressources humaines et sécurité

3 Attachments

Dear Ms / Dear Mr,

It is very important for us.

Please, could you please acknowledge the receipt of the document enclosed
in the message addressed to you ?

MARTIN GALAN MARIA SERENA

Secrétariat général de la Commission – Greffe B-2
Procédures écrites, habilitations, délégations et transmissions externes

BERL 5/155
'   +32-2-299.59.48
7    +32-2-296.72.43

[1]cid:image016.jpg@01D041FE.EC4221C0[2]cid:image017.jpg@01D041FE.EC4221C0[3]cid:image018.jpg@01D041FE.EC4221C0

   Your tool  | Our help

 

 

From: SG GREFFE CERTIFICATION
Sent: Wednesday, June 3, 2020 5:39 PM
To: '[FOI #7648 email]'
<[FOI #7648 email]>
Cc: PASCUAL IBANEZ Noelia (SG) <[email address]>
Subject: RE: C(2020) 3652 addressed to QUAIX Veronica

 

Dear Ms / Dear Mr,

It is very important for us.

Please, could you please acknowledge the receipt of the document enclosed
in the message addressed to you ?

 

 

MARTIN GALAN MARIA SERENA

Secrétariat général de la Commission – Greffe B-2
Procédures écrites, habilitations, délégations et transmissions externes

BERL 5/155
'   +32-2-299.59.48
7    +32-2-296.72.43

[4]cid:image016.jpg@01D041FE.EC4221C0[5]cid:image017.jpg@01D041FE.EC4221C0[6]cid:image018.jpg@01D041FE.EC4221C0

   Your tool  | Our help

 

 

From: SG GREFFE CERTIFICATION
Sent: Tuesday, June 2, 2020 12:02 PM
To: '[FOI #7648 email]'
<[7][FOI #7648 email]>
Cc: PASCUAL IBANEZ Noelia (SG) <[8][email address]>
Subject: C(2020) 3652 addressed to QUAIX Veronica

 

Dear Ms Quaix Veronica,

 

Please find attached the electronic version of Commission Decision
C(2020)3652 as adopted by the European Commission on 29.5.2020.

 

Given the exceptional circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the
formal notification of the decision under Article 297 TFEU is being made
only in electronic form.

 

Please confirm receipt of the attached document by return e-mail.

 

Kind regards,

 

 

 

MARTIN GALAN MARIA SERENA

Secrétariat général de la Commission – Greffe B-2
Procédures écrites, habilitations, délégations et transmissions externes

BERL 5/155
'   +32-2-299.59.48
7    +32-2-296.72.43

[9]cid:image016.jpg@01D041FE.EC4221C0[10]cid:image017.jpg@01D041FE.EC4221C0[11]cid:image018.jpg@01D041FE.EC4221C0

   Your tool  | Our help

 

 

References

Visible links
1. https://intragate.ec.europa.eu/decide/sep
3. https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/fpfis/wikis...
4. https://intragate.ec.europa.eu/decide/sep
6. https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/fpfis/wikis...
7. mailto:[FOI #7648 email]
8. mailto:[email address]
9. https://intragate.ec.europa.eu/decide/sep
11. https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/fpfis/wikis...

Ressources humaines et sécurité

3 Attachments

Dear Ms / Dear Mr,

It is very important for us.

Please, could you please acknowledge the receipt of the document enclosed
in the message addressed to you ?

 

 

MARTIN GALAN MARIA SERENA

Secrétariat général de la Commission – Greffe B-2
Procédures écrites, habilitations, délégations et transmissions externes

BERL 5/155
'   +32-2-299.59.48
7    +32-2-296.72.43

[1]cid:image016.jpg@01D041FE.EC4221C0[2]cid:image017.jpg@01D041FE.EC4221C0[3]cid:image018.jpg@01D041FE.EC4221C0

   Your tool  | Our help

 

 

From: SG GREFFE CERTIFICATION
Sent: Tuesday, June 9, 2020 6:06 PM
To: '[FOI #7648 email]'
<[FOI #7648 email]>
Cc: MARTIN GALAN Maria Serena (SG)
<[email address]>
Subject: RE: C(2020) 3652 addressed to QUAIX Veronica

 

Dear Ms / Dear Mr,

It is very important for us.

Please, could you please acknowledge the receipt of the document enclosed
in the message addressed to you ?

MARTIN GALAN MARIA SERENA

Secrétariat général de la Commission – Greffe B-2
Procédures écrites, habilitations, délégations et transmissions externes

BERL 5/155
'   +32-2-299.59.48
7    +32-2-296.72.43

[4]cid:image016.jpg@01D041FE.EC4221C0[5]cid:image017.jpg@01D041FE.EC4221C0[6]cid:image018.jpg@01D041FE.EC4221C0

   Your tool  | Our help

 

 

From: SG GREFFE CERTIFICATION
Sent: Wednesday, June 3, 2020 5:39 PM
To: '[FOI #7648 email]'
<[7][FOI #7648 email]>
Cc: PASCUAL IBANEZ Noelia (SG) <[8][email address]>
Subject: RE: C(2020) 3652 addressed to QUAIX Veronica

 

Dear Ms / Dear Mr,

It is very important for us.

Please, could you please acknowledge the receipt of the document enclosed
in the message addressed to you ?

 

 

MARTIN GALAN MARIA SERENA

Secrétariat général de la Commission – Greffe B-2
Procédures écrites, habilitations, délégations et transmissions externes

BERL 5/155
'   +32-2-299.59.48
7    +32-2-296.72.43

[9]cid:image016.jpg@01D041FE.EC4221C0[10]cid:image017.jpg@01D041FE.EC4221C0[11]cid:image018.jpg@01D041FE.EC4221C0

   Your tool  | Our help

 

 

From: SG GREFFE CERTIFICATION
Sent: Tuesday, June 2, 2020 12:02 PM
To: '[FOI #7648 email]'
<[12][FOI #7648 email]>
Cc: PASCUAL IBANEZ Noelia (SG) <[13][email address]>
Subject: C(2020) 3652 addressed to QUAIX Veronica

 

Dear Ms Quaix Veronica,

 

Please find attached the electronic version of Commission Decision
C(2020)3652 as adopted by the European Commission on 29.5.2020.

 

Given the exceptional circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the
formal notification of the decision under Article 297 TFEU is being made
only in electronic form.

 

Please confirm receipt of the attached document by return e-mail.

 

Kind regards,

 

 

 

MARTIN GALAN MARIA SERENA

Secrétariat général de la Commission – Greffe B-2
Procédures écrites, habilitations, délégations et transmissions externes

BERL 5/155
'   +32-2-299.59.48
7    +32-2-296.72.43

[14]cid:image016.jpg@01D041FE.EC4221C0[15]cid:image017.jpg@01D041FE.EC4221C0[16]cid:image018.jpg@01D041FE.EC4221C0

   Your tool  | Our help

 

 

References

Visible links
1. https://intragate.ec.europa.eu/decide/sep
3. https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/fpfis/wikis...
4. https://intragate.ec.europa.eu/decide/sep
6. https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/fpfis/wikis...
7. mailto:[FOI #7648 email]
8. mailto:[email address]
9. https://intragate.ec.europa.eu/decide/sep
11. https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/fpfis/wikis...
12. mailto:[FOI #7648 email]
13. mailto:[email address]
14. https://intragate.ec.europa.eu/decide/sep
16. https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/fpfis/wikis...

Dear Human Resources and Security,

I havent received any answer to confirmatory appliation; could you reply to it?

Yours faithfully,

Veronica Quaix

Ressources humaines et sécurité

5 Attachments

Dear Ms Quaix Veronica,

 

Please be informed that the electronic version of Commission Decision
C(2020)3652 related with your confirmatory application for access to
documents – Gestdem 2020/836 - has been sent to you on 02/06/2020 – see
below.

 

Could you please confirm receipt of the attached document by return
e-mail.

 

Yours faithfully,

Access to documents team – Carlos Remis
SG.C.1
Transparency
[1]cid:image004.gif@01D4F9CD.7B22B0F0

 

From: SG GREFFE CERTIFICATION
Sent: Tuesday, June 2, 2020 12:01 PM
To: '[FOI #7648 email]'
<[2][FOI #7648 email]>
Cc: PASCUAL IBANEZ Noelia (SG) <[3][email address]>
Subject: C(2020) 3652 addressed to QUAIX Veronica

 

Dear Ms Quaix Veronica,

 

Please find attached the electronic version of Commission Decision
C(2020)3652 as adopted by the European Commission on 29.5.2020.

 

Given the exceptional circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the
formal notification of the decision under Article 297 TFEU is being made
only in electronic form.

 

Please confirm receipt of the attached document by return e-mail.

 

Kind regards,

 

 

 

MARTIN GALAN MARIA SERENA

Secrétariat général de la Commission – Greffe B-2
Procédures écrites, habilitations, délégations et transmissions externes

BERL 5/155
'   +32-2-299.59.48
7    +32-2-296.72.43

[4]cid:image016.jpg@01D041FE.EC4221C0[5]cid:image017.jpg@01D041FE.EC4221C0[6]cid:image018.jpg@01D041FE.EC4221C0

   Your tool  | Our help

 

 

References

Visible links
2. mailto:[FOI #7648 email]
3. mailto:[email address]
4. https://intragate.ec.europa.eu/decide/sep
6. https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/fpfis/wikis...

Ressources humaines et sécurité

3 Attachments

Dear Ms / Dear Mr,

It is very important for us.

Please, could you please acknowledge the receipt of the document enclosed
in the message addressed to you ?

 

 

MARTIN GALAN MARIA SERENA

Secrétariat général de la Commission – Greffe B-2
Procédures écrites, habilitations, délégations et transmissions externes

BERL 5/155
'   +32-2-299.59.48
7    +32-2-296.72.43

[1]cid:image016.jpg@01D041FE.EC4221C0[2]cid:image017.jpg@01D041FE.EC4221C0[3]cid:image018.jpg@01D041FE.EC4221C0

   Your tool  | Our help

 

 

From: SG GREFFE CERTIFICATION <[email address]>
Sent: Tuesday, June 16, 2020 12:29 PM
To: [FOI #7648 email]
Cc: MARTIN GALAN Maria Serena (SG)
<[email address]>
Subject: RE: C(2020) 3652 addressed to QUAIX Veronica

 

Dear Ms / Dear Mr,

It is very important for us.

Please, could you please acknowledge the receipt of the document enclosed
in the message addressed to you ?

 

 

MARTIN GALAN MARIA SERENA

Secrétariat général de la Commission – Greffe B-2
Procédures écrites, habilitations, délégations et transmissions externes

BERL 5/155
'   +32-2-299.59.48
7    +32-2-296.72.43

[4]cid:image016.jpg@01D041FE.EC4221C0[5]cid:image017.jpg@01D041FE.EC4221C0[6]cid:image018.jpg@01D041FE.EC4221C0

   Your tool  | Our help

 

 

From: SG GREFFE CERTIFICATION
Sent: Tuesday, June 9, 2020 6:06 PM
To: '[FOI #7648 email]'
<[7][FOI #7648 email]>
Cc: MARTIN GALAN Maria Serena (SG)
<[8][email address]>
Subject: RE: C(2020) 3652 addressed to QUAIX Veronica

 

Dear Ms / Dear Mr,

It is very important for us.

Please, could you please acknowledge the receipt of the document enclosed
in the message addressed to you ?

MARTIN GALAN MARIA SERENA

Secrétariat général de la Commission – Greffe B-2
Procédures écrites, habilitations, délégations et transmissions externes

BERL 5/155
'   +32-2-299.59.48
7    +32-2-296.72.43

[9]cid:image016.jpg@01D041FE.EC4221C0[10]cid:image017.jpg@01D041FE.EC4221C0[11]cid:image018.jpg@01D041FE.EC4221C0

   Your tool  | Our help

 

 

From: SG GREFFE CERTIFICATION
Sent: Wednesday, June 3, 2020 5:39 PM
To: '[FOI #7648 email]'
<[12][FOI #7648 email]>
Cc: PASCUAL IBANEZ Noelia (SG) <[13][email address]>
Subject: RE: C(2020) 3652 addressed to QUAIX Veronica

 

Dear Ms / Dear Mr,

It is very important for us.

Please, could you please acknowledge the receipt of the document enclosed
in the message addressed to you ?

 

 

MARTIN GALAN MARIA SERENA

Secrétariat général de la Commission – Greffe B-2
Procédures écrites, habilitations, délégations et transmissions externes

BERL 5/155
'   +32-2-299.59.48
7    +32-2-296.72.43

[14]cid:image016.jpg@01D041FE.EC4221C0[15]cid:image017.jpg@01D041FE.EC4221C0[16]cid:image018.jpg@01D041FE.EC4221C0

   Your tool  | Our help

 

 

From: SG GREFFE CERTIFICATION
Sent: Tuesday, June 2, 2020 12:02 PM
To: '[FOI #7648 email]'
<[17][FOI #7648 email]>
Cc: PASCUAL IBANEZ Noelia (SG) <[18][email address]>
Subject: C(2020) 3652 addressed to QUAIX Veronica

 

Dear Ms Quaix Veronica,

 

Please find attached the electronic version of Commission Decision
C(2020)3652 as adopted by the European Commission on 29.5.2020.

 

Given the exceptional circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the
formal notification of the decision under Article 297 TFEU is being made
only in electronic form.

 

Please confirm receipt of the attached document by return e-mail.

 

Kind regards,

 

 

 

MARTIN GALAN MARIA SERENA

Secrétariat général de la Commission – Greffe B-2
Procédures écrites, habilitations, délégations et transmissions externes

BERL 5/155
'   +32-2-299.59.48
7    +32-2-296.72.43

[19]cid:image016.jpg@01D041FE.EC4221C0[20]cid:image017.jpg@01D041FE.EC4221C0[21]cid:image018.jpg@01D041FE.EC4221C0

   Your tool  | Our help

 

 

References

Visible links
1. https://intragate.ec.europa.eu/decide/sep
3. https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/fpfis/wikis...
4. https://intragate.ec.europa.eu/decide/sep
6. https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/fpfis/wikis...
7. mailto:[FOI #7648 email]
8. mailto:[email address]
9. https://intragate.ec.europa.eu/decide/sep
11. https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/fpfis/wikis...
12. mailto:[FOI #7648 email]
13. mailto:[email address]
14. https://intragate.ec.europa.eu/decide/sep
16. https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/fpfis/wikis...
17. mailto:[FOI #7648 email]
18. mailto:[email address]
19. https://intragate.ec.europa.eu/decide/sep
21. https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/fpfis/wikis...