Dear European Economic and Social Committee,

Under the right of access to documents in the EU treaties, as developed in Regulation 1049/2001, I am hereby requesting access to the travel expenses of EESC’s President, for the period 1 January 2017 to 31 December 2018 inclusive.

I am looking for documents that contain, for each of the trips, 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, please note that the only information being sought here is the name of EESC’s President, 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 EESC staff members.

Please also note that Access Info made the same request in the past with regard to a different period. You can find it here https://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/trav...

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

Thank you in advance.

Yours faithfully,

Helen Darbishire
Access Info Europe
Calle Cava de San Miguel 8, 4C
28005 Madrid, Spain

CourrierArchivesCESE, Comité économique et social européen

Dear Ms Darbishire,

 

Thank you for your e-mail of 5 July of which we acknowledge receipt. We
are processing it now.

 

Kind regards,

 

Mail/Archives sector

 

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CourrierArchivesCESE, Comité économique et social européen

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Dear Ms Darbishire,

 

Further to your request for access to documents addressed to the European
Economic and Social Committee (EESC) on 5 July 2019, please note the
following:

 

Payments to EESC members by the Committee are subject to Council Decision
2013/471/EU of 23 September 2013 on the granting of daily allowances to
and the reimbursement of travelling expenses of members of the European
Economic and Social Committee and their alternates, as well as to the
Decision of the Bureau of the European Economic and Social Committee of 26
April 2016, adopted on the basis thereof, on the reimbursement of expenses
incurred and the allowances received by Committee members.

 

The EESC members do not receive any form of remuneration from the EU
budget in relation to the performance of their duties.

 

Their travel expenses are calculated solely on the basis of actual costs
and of the most direct route.

The EESC members are also entitled to travel allowances intended to cover
all travel-related expenses, which are calculated taking into account the
distance and the duration to travel from their declared place of residence
to the Committee headquarters in Brussels.

 

Subsistence (or meeting) allowances are similar to those received by the
members of the European Parliament and include the accommodation expenses.
The payment of subsistence allowance (or per diem) is set at € 290 and is
granted for each day's participation of the work of the Committee and its
constituent bodies or of official representation of the EESC.

 

Current EESC President

To respond to your request, the travel costs and allowances paid for M.
Luca JAHIER's activities related to the work of the EESC (current
president of the EESC from 18 April 2018 to 31 December 2018) amounted to
€ 95.171,41.

 

M. JAHIER's travel allowances are calculated considering that his place of
residence is situated in Italy.

 

Please find in attachment an Excel table with information extracted from
the EESC database concerning the list of M. JAHIER's EESC meetings from 18
April 2018 to 31 December 2018.

 

The EESC President did not travel by air taxi, all his travels were made
by means of transport available to all citizens.

 

Former EESC President

The travel costs and allowances paid for M. Georges DASSIS's activities
related to the work of the EESC (former president of the EESC from 1st
January 2017 to 17 April 2018) amounted to € 169,025.16.

 

M. DASSIS's travel allowances are calculated considering that his place of
residence is situated in Greece.

 

Please find in attachment an Excel table with information extracted from
the EESC database concerning the list of M. DASSIS's EESC meetings from
1st January 2017 to 17 April 2018.

 

The former EESC President did not travel by air taxi, all his travels were
made by means of transport available to all citizens.

 

 

Yours faithfully,

 

Mail/Archives sector

 

 

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Dear EESC,

Thank you very much for your response. Please note this is not a confirmatory application as I only intend to clarify my initial request.

As I stated in my access to documents request, submitted on 5 July 2019, what I am seeking to obtain are documents that contain, for each trip, 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.

Although you provided information on the total amounts spent by Mr Jahier and Mr Dassis during the years 2017-2018, I would be interested in receiving this data broken down into different categories, such as travel and accommodation, clearly stating on what and for which reason the money was spent.

Please also note that Access Info already got this information in the past. You can find it here: https://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/trav....

Hope this makes sense but please do not hesitate to come back to me should you have any question related to this request.

Yours faithfully,
Helen Darbishire
Access Info Europe

CourrierArchivesCESE, Comité économique et social européen

Dear Ms Darbishire,

Thank you for your e-mail of 22 July of which we acknowledge receipt. We are processing it now.

Kind regards,

Mail/Archives sector

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CourrierArchivesCESE, Comité économique et social européen

Dear Ms Darbishire,

In response to your request for information addressed to the president of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) on 5 July 2019, on 19 July 2019 you were provided with the list of EESC meetings attended by Mr Jahier and Mr Dassis, as well as general information about the reimbursements and allowances paid to EESC members in accordance with the applicable legal framework.

Further to your email addressed to the EESC on 22 July 2019, I am pleased to provide additional information on the points you raised:

o Place of origin and destination
In its previous letter, the EESC referred to the presidents' country of residence. The destination is the meeting place. In the vast majority of cases, EESC meetings take place in the Committee's headquarters in Brussels.

o Exact dates and duration of the trip
The presidents travelled either on the day of the meeting or on the day before or after the meeting. The flight duration is determined by the airlines, with or without stopovers.

o Amount spent on accommodation/amount spent on subsistence
Subsistence (or meeting) allowances include accommodation expenses. The EESC does not reimburse hotel or any other accommodation costs for meetings in Brussels.

o Total amounts spent by the EESC presidents during the years 2017-2018
The total amount paid for Mr Jahier's participation in EESC meetings (since the beginning of his presidency, 18 April 2018 to 31 December 2018) was EUR 95 171.41.
The breakdown of travel costs and allowances is as follows:
Total travel expenses - EUR 40 552.34
Total allowances (meeting and travel) - EUR 54 619.07
The total amount paid for Mr Dassis's participation in EESC meetings (between 1 January 2017 and 17 April 2018) was EUR 169 025.16.
The breakdown of travel costs and allowances is as follows:
Total travel expenses - EUR 51 284.25
Total allowances (meeting and travel) - EUR 117 740.91

Please note that, owning to their functions, the presidents took part in a large number of meetings in the reference period, including meetings of EESC bodies, hearings and meetings with other institutions and organisations. We can provide a breakdown of travel costs and allowances per meeting day. However, due to the constraints of the holiday period, we are not able to do so quickly. We can send you this information by 2 September at the latest.

Yours sincerely,

Mail/Archives sector

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CourrierArchivesCESE, Comité économique et social européen

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Dear Ms Darbishire,

Further to your requests for information and our recent exchanges, please find attached two documents detailing the travel expenses of Mr Dassis and Mr Jahier.

I trust this is the data you require but please feel free to contact us again if we can be of any further assistance.

Kind regards,

Mail/Archives sector

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