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AsktheEU.org Guide for Public Officials
- AsktheEU.org Guide for Public Officials
- How AsktheEU.org works
- Are the people making requests real people?
- How do I answer the request?
- How can I send a large file, which won't go by email?
- Which information about EU public officials do you publish?
- What do I do if I accidentally released personal data?
- How do you calculate the deadline shown on request pages?
AsktheEU.org Guide for Public Officials
If you are an EU official and you reached this page following a link in an email you received, here is some information for you about AsktheEU.org and how it works...
The goal of AsktheEU.org is to make it easier for the European public to make requests for documents.
It is also a way to ensure that any documents released into the public domain to one requester are available to everyone. We hope that this will encourage the public to be more interested and involved in the work of the European Union.
If you are an EU public official, AsktheEU.org also makes life easier you, because you will be less likely to have to answer repeated requests about the same subject.
AsktheEU.org is a website run by non-governmental organisations, Access Info Europe and mySociety. It helps ordinary members of the public make requests for documents and information to EU bodies and shares the responses with the wider public.
How AsktheEU.org works
Requesters sign up to the AsktheEU.org website and then use it to make requests.
Each request generates a unique email. You need to answer the email for that request. Just like you would for any other documents request. The only difference is that your response will be automatically published on AsktheEU.org.
Are the people making requests real people?
Yes, each request is submitted by a person who has created an account on AsktheEU.org and who has gone through a two-step process to verify the email he or she is using. In this way we help to protect AsktheEU.org against spammers.
You can search this site and find a list of all requests that each person has made.
How do I answer the request?
Just reply to the email in the normal way to the unique email address for the request. The request will be delivered to the requester as well as being published on the AsktheEU.org website.
How can I send a large file, which won't go by email?
If you have a very large file to send (bigger than about 50 MB), please contact us and we will help you upload it.
Which information about EU public officials do you publish?
We publish all information included in responses to access to documents requests.
The one exception to that is that, to prevent spam, emails and mobile numbers are automatically removed from responses to requests. If you need access to any of this automatically-redacted information, please get in contact with us.
Apart from that, all information in the answer to an access to documents request is public. The basic principle here is that if one person can receive the information, it is public and so is available to everyone.
This is consistent with the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights which has confirmed the intrinsic link between right of access to information to the right to freedom of expression.
What do I do if I accidentally released personal data?
If you accidentally released personal data or information that should not be public, please contact us immediately. Please note that they best way to do this is by telephone or email. You can also send a certified letter, but please bear in mind that this can take a few days to reach our office in Madrid.
We may ask for a formal written confirming the request to take down the data, but if there is really an accidental release of personal data, then it is best to phone: that's faster and more effective.
How do you calculate the deadline shown on request pages?
The AsktheEU.org system automatically calculates 15 working days in line with Regulation 1049/2001 for most EU institutions.
We start calculating days on the first working day after the delivery of the request. If the request is sent on a working day, we start counting the next working day.
We programme into the system the EU institutional holidays. If your EU body or agency has different holidays from those based in Brussels, please do kindly let us know.