Dear Madam, Sir,

The European Parliament resolution of 26 March 2019 on fundamental rights of people of African descent in Europe (2018/2899(RSP)) called for "the European institutions to adopt a workforce diversity and inclusion strategy that establishes a strategic plan for the participation of ethnic and racial minorities in their workforce that complements existing efforts to this end".

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:

- The European Parliament's workforce diversity and inclusion strategy
- All internal communication about the establishment of a workforce diversity and inclusion strategy
- Reports about the implementation of a workforce diversity and inclusion strategy

Sincerely,
Peter Teffer

postal address:
Peter Teffer
Ekko Voorkamer
Bemuurde Weerd WZ 3
3513 BH Utrecht
The Netherlands

AccesDocs, Parlement européen

1 Attachment

Our reference: EP(2021)014429

 

 

Dear Mr Teffer,

 

The European Parliament hereby acknowledges receipt of your application
for public access to documents, which was registered on 20/05/2021.

 

All requests for public access to documents are treated in compliance with
[1]Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 of 30 May 2001 regarding public access to
European Parliament, Council and Commission documents.

 

In accordance with the above-mentioned Regulation, your application will
be handled within 15 working days upon registration of your request.

 

Your personal data will be processed in accordance with [2]Regulation (EU)
2018/1725 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.

 

The European Parliament reserves the right to ask for additional
information regarding your identity in order to verify compliance with
Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 and the European Parliament’s implementing
measures.

 

Your attention is drawn to the fact that you have lodged your application
via the AsktheEU.org website, which is a private website not officially
related to the European Parliament. Therefore, the European Parliament
cannot be held accountable for any technical issues or problems linked to
the use of this system.

 

In addition, please note that any personal data that you provide by using
AsktheEU.org website may be disclosed to the general public and visible on
this private website. The European Parliament cannot be held responsible
for such disclosure. Should you need to communicate directly to Parliament
any personal data and would like to avoid public disclosure, you may do so
from your private email address by using the following functional mailbox
address: AccesDocs(at)europarl.europa.eu  

 

Kind regards,

 

 

TRANSPARENCY UNIT

 
European Parliament
Directorate-General for the Presidency
Directorate for Interinstitutional Affairs and Legislative Coordination
[3][European Parliament request email]
[4]www.europarl.europa.eu/RegistreWeb

 

 

 

References

Visible links
1. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/...
2. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/...
3. mailto:[European Parliament request email]
4. http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegistreWeb

AccesDocs, Parlement européen

1 Attachment

Our reference: EP(2021)014429

 

 

Dear Mr Teffer,

 

The deadline for replying to your application concerning public access to
documents under [1]Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 expires tomorrow, on
11/06/2021.

 

However, due to the fact that the internal consultation in order to
identify documents falling within the scope of your application is taking
longer than expected since it has to be coordinated with several services,
Parliament exceptionally needs to extend the time-limit provided for in
Article 7(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 by a further 15 working days
in order to reply to your application, in accordance with Article 7(3) of
the same regulation.

 

Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience. We thank you for your
understanding.

 

Kind regards,

 

 

TRANSPARENCY UNIT

 
European Parliament
Directorate-General for the Presidency
Directorate for Interinstitutional Affairs and Legislative Coordination
[2][European Parliament request email]
[3]www.europarl.europa.eu/RegistreWeb

 

 

 

References

Visible links
1. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/...
2. mailto:[European Parliament request email]
3. http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegistreWeb

Dear Madam, Sir,

I write to you in reference to my access to documents request, which was registered on 20/05/2021 with reference number EP(2021)014429, and your message from 10 June 2021.

In that message you informed me that "due to the fact that the internal consultation in order to identify documents falling within the scope of your application is taking longer than expected since it has to be coordinated with several services, Parliament exceptionally needs to extend the time-limit provided for in Article 7(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 by a further 15 working days".

I challenge the understanding that a wrong initial assessment of how long consultations will take, is a valid argument for an extension of the deadline.

An extended time limit is allowed under Regulation 1049/2001 in "exceptional cases, for example in the event of an application relating to a very long document or to a very large number of documents" and if the applicant is given "detailed reasons". I believe that these criteria are not fulfilled.

The EU institution alone is responsible for its internal consultations. If it is not able to finish such consultations within the required time limit, it should speed up its consultation process - not use that as an excuse to extend the deadline. Failing to adequately assess how long such consultations will take cannot be a valid reason for a delay.

Moreover, the Parliament has used the required time for "internal consultations" as a reason to extend the deadline on numerous occassions in the past, including initial applications such as A(2020)8557, A(2020)10506 and A(2020)8243, and confirmatory applications A(2021)832C, and EP(2021)003425C. It even used this exact excuse in a recent confirmatory application I submitted. It is therefore not exceptional.

It is not credible that the expected time period required for internal consultations was wrongly predicted every single time. It is more likely that the Parliament knows that its consultation process takes more time than the 15 working days period, but that it is not informing the applicant of this so that it can use the "longer than expected" excuse as an argument for its extension.

I therefore challenge the notion that there is a legal basis in Regulation 1049/2001 for the current delay. Subsequently, I expect a reply within the 15 working days, i.e. on 11 June the latest.

Sincerely
Peter Teffer

AccesDocs, Parlement européen

1 Attachment

Our reference: EP(2021)014429

 

 

Dear Mr Teffer,

 

Further to your e-mail of today in which you state that you do not think
there is enough cause for the delay that has led Parliament to extend the
time-limit for a reply to your request, please allow us to point out that
with your application with reference number EP(2021)014429, you have not
requested access to specifically identified documents, but rather to an
indefinite number of documents comprising information on three topics:

 

- The European Parliament's workforce diversity and inclusion strategy;

- All internal communication about the establishment of a workforce
diversity and inclusion strategy;

- Reports about the implementation of a workforce diversity and inclusion
strategy.

 

In such situations, many different Parliament services are likely to hold
relevant documents, and many different services need to be consulted. In
addition, for the sake of completeness, each consulted service needs to
extensively assess the documents it is responsible for in order to
identify the documents relevant to the topics of interest of the
applicant.

 

Concerning your application, one service has already identified one
document that may fall within the scope of your application, but there are
other services that are still working on identifying whether there are
relevant documents falling within the scope of your application. Also,
please note that several documents concerning gender diversity have been
identified but they have been considered as not relevant to your
application since Parliament understands your application as referring to
"the participation of ethnic and racial minorities" in its workforce as
stated in the European Parliament resolution of 26 March 2019 on
fundamental rights of people of African descent in Europe that you mention
in your application. However, if this understanding is not correct and you
are also interested in documents dealing with gender diversity, please let
us know and those documents could also be assessed for possible
disclosure.

 

The time-limit has thus been extended in order to give you a reply as
extensive and complete as possible. Therefore, Parliament will come back
to you, with a final reply in due time.

 

Kind regards,

 

 

TRANSPARENCY UNIT

 
European Parliament
Directorate-General for the Presidency
Directorate for Interinstitutional Affairs and Legislative Coordination
[1][European Parliament request email]
[2]www.europarl.europa.eu/RegistreWeb

 

 

 

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[European Parliament request email]
2. http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegistreWeb

Dear Madam, Sir,

Thanks for your reply and for providing a more detailed description of why an extension of the deadline is needed. As I mentioned, an extended time limit is allowed under Regulation 1049/2001 if the applicant is given "detailed reasons" - this was initially missing.

best
Peter Teffer

AccesDocs, Parlement européen

4 Attachments

Our reference: EP(2021)014429

 

 

Dear Mr Teffer,

 

Further to your application submitted under [1]Regulation (EC) No
1049/2001 requesting public access to Parliament documents concerning the
participation of ethnic and racial minorities in Parliament's workforce,
Parliament has identified the following documents as falling within the
scope of your application:

 

You can find attached the report to the Bureau on "Diversities other than
gender in the European Parliament’s Secretariat" adopted by the High-Level
Group on Gender Equality and Diversity on 3 April 2019. For your
information, the High-Level Group is currently working on a second report
on diversity which will focus on, among other, specific measures regarding
the topic of racism.

 

Following this report, Parliament has created a contact point on racial
discrimination issues. Staff members can send their questions in
confidence on racial discrimination issues to the contact point which will
be in charge of handling all enquiries, endeavouring to help staff members
directly or direct them to the relevant service(s). Enclosed please find
the article that appeared in Parliament's intranet informing staff of the
creation of this contact point.

 

Parliament has organised as well an on-line event on the topic of
combating racism. A on-line roundtable discussion on combating racism took
place on 23 March 2021, as you can see in the attached intranet's article.
Please note that personal data have been erased in both attached articles
in order to comply with the current legislation on the protection of
personal data.

 

Furthermore, Parliament has also adopted a "Glossary of Sensitive Language
for Internal and External Communications". The aim of this glossary is to
help Parliament staff to communicate correctly in the areas of disability,
LGBTI+ issues and matters pertaining to race, ethnicity and religion. You
may find the glossary in the following website (please click on "The
Glossary of Sensitive Language"):

[2]https://termcoord.eu/terminology-for-ext...

 

Parliament invites you as well to visit its website via the following link
where you can find further information about EU legislation and policies
to fight racial and ethnic discrimination:

[3]https://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank...

 

And more in particular Parliament's briefing on this topic:

[4]https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/e...

 

Information on the EU anti-racism action plan 2020-2025 can also be found
in Parliament's website "Legislative Train" here:

[5]https://www.europarl.europa.eu/legislati...

 

You can also search Parliament's Public Register of Documents using, among
other criteria, keywords. For your convenience, and as an example,
Parliament has carried out a search with the keyword "Racism". You can see
the results obtained here:

[6]https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegistreW...

 

Finally, Parliament also draws your attention to the European Parliament
Anti-Racism and Diversity Intergroup (ARDI) which promotes racial
equality, counters racism, and educates about non-discrimination in the
work of the European Parliament. You are invited to visit its website
here:

[7]https://www.ardi-ep.eu/

 

On this basis, Parliament considers your application as handled and the
file closed. Should you have any new requests for specific Parliament
documents, please do not hesitate to come back to us.

 

Kind regards,

 

 

TRANSPARENCY UNIT

 
European Parliament
Directorate-General for the Presidency
Directorate for Interinstitutional Affairs and Legislative Coordination
[8][European Parliament request email]
[9]www.europarl.europa.eu/RegistreWeb

 

 

 

References

Visible links
1. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/...
2. https://termcoord.eu/terminology-for-ext...
3. https://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank...
4. https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/e...
5. https://www.europarl.europa.eu/legislati...
6. https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegistreW...
7. https://www.ardi-ep.eu/
8. mailto:[European Parliament request email]
9. http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegistreWeb