SMS: With your intransparency, the EU sends

The EU Commission does not classify SMS and news about Messenger such as WhatsApp and signal in principle as documents – and assumes it from the freedom of information. Such news did not contain any important information about the Commission’s policy and decisions, writes EU Commission Chief Vera Journal in an answer to a parliamentary request of the Dutch deputies Sophie in ‘t Veld. They should therefore be kept neither in the EU Document Archive of the EU nor issued on request.

The reason for the question offered a contract for 1.8 billion doses vaccine with Pfizer. The billionendent was threaded the bill of commission Ursula von der Leyen in the spring victorious with Pfizer boss Albert Gourley – about calls and text messages, as the New York Times reported. Network Policy.org then introduced a request for the news under the EU transparency law, Regulation 1049/2001 on access to documents.

However, the Commission refuses to publish the news. And that, although numerous deputies and NGOs demand more transparency around vaccine purchases.

Controversy

So far, the Commission walled to a clear statement about SMS

The law text is clear: the EU regulation explicitly speaks in its definition of a document of content regardless of the form of the volume. This applies to documents on paper, but also in electronic form, as well as sound and image documents. Among them, not only text messages, but even TikTok videos fall.

So far, the Commission, however, was a clear announcement to SMS and Messenger messages. In the rejection of our request, it was said: No documents were found that fall into the scope of their request. No wonder if messages are not only classified as documents.

Recently, Commission President Journal has announced new guidelines for document access. Your team work on clear criteria when messages should be considered a document as well as a technical solution to save such messages. But at the same time, Journal said they do not believe that Ursula had ever met by the Lane, or they had made decisions about short messages, which are carved in stone. Rather, it deals with additional communication.

Surfing: All news about the Corona Pandemic can be found in the News Ticker by text messages Online

Especially Merkel made the relevance of mobile phone messages clearly

In general arch four wishes, according to today’s information, only wants documents concerning their work and that are important and not short-lived. Last meeting for text messages. This is exactly where the reasoning becomes thread appearance: because so flatly can not be said. How significantly such messages can be, the EU border protection agency Frontex reveals. She recently gave out WhatsApp news of her officials with the Libyan Coast Guard, in which she signs about boats of refugees in front of the coast.

It also seems significant if the media about the European Commission agreements report on billion hours with vaccines, as mentioned above, or if a bailout for Greece is agreed on SMS at an EU summit.

In Germany, the relevance of mobile phone news nobody makes more clearly than Angela Merkel, whose chancellor seems virtually unthinkable without SMS. But also in Germany, authorities defend their text messages. From the Lanes refusal to hand over the news of their service handy to a parliamentary inquiry committee as Deutsche Defense Minister, even the judiciary employed.

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The Brussels authority sets a dangerous signal

Now becomes clear: The Commission under the Lane wants to limit the transparency in the area drastically. The general refusal to archive mobile news creates a loophole that is even visible from space. Public purchases with billions of volumes, coordination between officials, exchange with lobbyists – all these things can now expire in transparent, without the right of access to the public. The EU Commission is making a step back, far behind the principle of transparency applicable for over two decades. ‘

Also, the Commission ignores the changed communication behavior. Messenger messages are no longer 160 characters long mini-texts, but replace more and more e-mail in the government life. In messengers, you can attach documents, pictures and videos. This now designed to designate worldwide form of message exchange only as additional communication, not only dazzles what has happened in the last ten years. No, she is an auxiliary construction to disguise government trading in the EU and to make in transparent.

The Brussels Authority thus sets a dangerous signal: in times when corneal reals of conspiracies of the mighty fauna, and authoritarian governments in Hungary and Poland distribute billions of euros to EU money, the EU needs more transparency, more public participation, no less. If the medium becomes the threadbare pretext to restrict access to content, the Commission, on the other hand, even provides the authoritarian to the public as the public leads to the public.

This text first appeared at Netzpolitik.org:BOL of the lobbyist, which now still writes e-mails under the license UND Creative Commons by-NC-SA 4.0.

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