Stakeholder contacts and internal communication on the EU-Indonesia Free Trade Agreement

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Bart-Jaap Verbeek

Dear DG Trade,

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:

1) a list of meetings between DG Trade officials and/or representatives (including the Commissioner and the Cabinet) and stakeholders, including trade unions, civil society groups, as well as representatives of individual companies, industry associations, law firms, academics, public consultancies and think tanks in which the EU-Indonesia Free Trade Agreement was discussed (between January 2016 and today);

2) minutes and other reports of these meetings;

3) all correspondence (including emails, letters, faxes) between DG Trade officials and/or representatives (including the Commissioner and the Cabinet) and stakeholders, including trade unions, civil society groups, as well as representatives of individual companies, industry associations, law firms, academics, public consultancies as well as think tanks regarding the EU-Indonesia Free Trade Agreement (between January 2016 and today);

4) all correspondence (including emails, letters, faxes) and documents (including briefings, memo's, non-papers) shared between DG Trade officials and/or the Commissioner and the Cabinet in which the EU-Indonesia Free Trade Agreement was discussed (between January 2016 and today).

Yours faithfully,

Bart-Jaap Verbeek
Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO)
Sarphatistraat 30
1018 GL Amsterdam
The Netherlands

Direction générale du commerce

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Verbeek,

 

Thank you for your email dated 06/08/2018.  We hereby acknowledge receipt
of your application for access to documents which was registered today
under reference number GestDem 2018/4306.

 

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
31/08/2018. 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 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 also that the European Commission is not responsible for any
possible processing of personal data by the private organisation running
the AsktheEU.org website, through which you have channelled your request.
Please refer to their privacy policy.

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Access to Documents team

 

 

 

European Commission 

DG TRADE

               

 

Direction générale du commerce

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Verbeek,

 

We refer to your request for access to documents registered on 09/08/2018
under the reference number GestDem 2018/4306.

 

Your application is currently being handled. However, due to the heavy
workload on a large number of requests, we will not be in a position to
complete the handling of your application within the time limit of 15
working days, which expires on 31/08/2018.

 

Therefore, we have to extend the time limit with 15 working days in
accordance with Article 7(3) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding
public access to documents. The new time limit expires on 21/09/2018.

 

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

 

Yours sincerely,

Access to Documents Team

[1]cid:image001.png@01D3781C.27834C90
European Commission
DG TRADE

 

 

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Direction générale du commerce

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Verbeek,

 

We refer to your application for access to documents registered by DG
TRADE on 6 August 2018 with reference number GestDem 2018/4306.

 

Having gone in more detail through the relevant files, we have established
that your application concerns a very large number of documents (nearly
230), 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 1049/2001.

 

However, Article 6(3) of Regulation 1049/2001 also provides for the
possibility to confer with applicants in order to find a fair solution
when an application relates to a very long document or concerns a very
large number of documents.

 

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.  This means that the scope of the request must be
reduced in a way that would enable its treatment within the extended
deadline of 15 + 15 working days.

 

Based on the above-mentioned provision, we would kindly ask you to specify
in more detail the objective of your request and your specific interest in
the documents requested, and whether you could narrow down the scope of
your request, so as to reduce it to a more manageable amount of documents.
In order to help you to narrow down your request, we would like to inform
you that we have identified 229 documents (9 briefings, 93 meeting
reports, 52 notes and 75 other documents which could be considered as
correspondence ). We would like to invite you to reduce the scope to 25 of
them by narrowing for example the period you are interested in, specifying
the type of document which is more relevant than the other or a type of
stakeholder.

 

To give you an idea of the overall timeline, and taking into account other
applications for access to documents and other tasks that the staff
concerned are likely to have to deal with during the same period, we would
expect to be able to process up to 25 documents within 30 working days.
This includes:

-              assessment of the content of the documents in light of the
exceptions of Article 4 of Regulation 1049/2001;

-              third-party consultations under Article 4(4) of Regulation
1049/2001;

-              final assessment of the documents in light of the comments
received;

-              drafting of the reply;

-              redaction of those parts of the documents to which one or
several exceptions apply(ies);

-              internal approval of the draft decision on your request;

-              preparation of the reply and the documents for dispatch.

 

We would kindly ask you for a swift reply to our invitation for a fair
solution. In the absence of a reply within five 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.

 

Thank you in advance for your cooperation and understanding.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Access to Documents team

 

[1]cid:image001.png@01D44AB6.FC35E200

European Commission 

DG TRADE

 

 

 

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Dear Trade,

Thank you for your message. I acknowledge the administrative burden of the access to documents request and dearly appreciate the work done so far. With regard to the invitation for a fair solution, however, I do not agree with the proposal to reduce the scope of the request. The suggestion to choose 25 documents from a list of 229 identified documents runs counter to the spirit of public access to documents and transparency in EU decision-making processes in general. Since no additional information (e.g. on dates, counterparts, type of documents) is given, it is impossible for me to determine priorities and pick and choose 25 documents. The purpose of the request is precisely to gain more insights in the kind of contacts with external stakeholders and their role in the formulation and implementation of EU policy proposals. Such openness strengthens the principles of democracy and would also enhance the necessary legitimacy. Moreover, the response to the request is already long overdue.

Nevertheless, in the light of reaching a fair solution, it would be helpful to receive a list of the 229 identified documents on the basis of which I could determine priorities. The remaining documents could then be prepared and delivered in successive batches, as frequently done by DG Trade in similar access to documents requests.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation and understanding.

Yours faithfully,

Bart-Jaap Verbeek

Direction générale du commerce

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Verbeek,

 

Thank you for your email. Creating an elaborate list of all identified
documents only for the purpose of this request is administratively
burdensome. We had therefore hoped that the indications we gave you would
be sufficiently helpful. We take note, however, that you wish further
indications and therefore hope that the attached raw list provides you
with enough elements to indicate to us your suggestion for a fair
solution. You will see that the list may include initials, acronyms,
abbreviations, and/or any typos – hopefully this will nevertheless enable
you to determine your priorities as soon as possible.

 

As explained in our previous email, we would kindly ask you to specify the
objective of your request and your specific interest in the documents
requested, and whether you could narrow down the scope of your request
(i.e. the subject matter(s) and/or timeframe covered), so as to reduce it
to a more manageable amount of documents, up to 25. Please note that we
will not be able to deliver a second batch of documents under this request
(which, as you have rightly pointed out, was our practice in the past but
based on relevant case law it has changed).

 

We would ask you for a swift reply to our invitation to propose a fair
solution by Wednesday 26 September. In the absence of a reply, we will
unilaterally restrict the scope of your application to 25 documents.

 

Thank you in advance for your understanding.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Access to Documents Team

[1]http://ec.europa.eu/trade/images/ec-logo...
European Commission
Directorate-General for Trade

[2][DG TRADE request email] 

 

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Dear Trade,

Thank you very much for elaborating this list of identified documents. This is already more insightful. However, it remains difficult to make a selection on the basis of the given descriptions. As explained in my previous email, the idea of limiting the scope of the request and to select only a few documents while many more have been identified runs counter to the idea of public accessibility to and transparency of important policy-making processes.

In order to reach a fair solution, I would like to give priority to the meeting reports. Therefore, I would like to select documents 85 to 110 of the list of identified documents. I will then ask for the remaining documents under separate requests.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Yours faithfully,

Bart-Jaap Verbeek

Bart-Jaap Verbeek

Dear Trade,

Since I received no reaction to my request to the first 25 documents listed in my previous email of 24 September, I was wondering if you could a time indication by when I can expect these documents.

Yours faithfully,

Bart-Jaap Verbeek

Direction générale du commerce

Dear Mr Verbeek,

Thank you for your email. The reply to your request is being prepared. Our colleagues in charge of its preparation have been involved in the negotiations in Indonesia, what unfortunately has had an impact in other tasks.

We are currently doing our best to finalise the reply to your request as soon as possible. We will keep you informed.

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

Yours sincerely,

Access to Documents Team

European Commission
Directorate-General for Trade
[DG TRADE request email]

Afficher les sections citées

Dear Trade,

I was wondering if you could a time indication by when I can expect these documents.

Yours faithfully,

Bart-Jaap Verbeek

Direction générale du commerce

Dear Mr Verbeek,

Thank you for your email. We apologise for the delay. We inform you that we are currently finalising the reply to your request and that we aim at sending it to you during the next week.

Thank you very much in advance for your patience and understanding.

Yours sincerely,

Access to Documents Team

European Commission
Directorate-General for Trade
[DG TRADE request email]

Afficher les sections citées

EC ARES NOREPLY,

32 Attachments

Veuillez trouver ci-joint le document Ares(2018)6630700 concernant "[Re] GESTDEM 2018/4306 - Initial request" envoyé par M/Mme DEMARTY Jean-Luc le 21/12/2018.

Please find attached document Ares(2018)6630700 regarding "[Re] GESTDEM 2018/4306 - Initial request" sent by Mr/Ms DEMARTY Jean-Luc on 21/12/2018.

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