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Correspondance about environmental standards in relation to TTIP

We're waiting for Thibault Devoldere to read recent responses and update the status.

Thibault Devoldere

Dear 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:’

-all correspondence (including emails), agendas, minutes of meetings and any other reports of such meetings between officials of DG Trade (including the Commissioner and his/her Cabinet) and representatives of NGOs, companies, business associations and law firms with whom environmental and food safety standards were discussed in relation to TTIP (The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership). Environmental and food safety standards include, but are not limited to, rules on the use of growth hormones in livestock farming; on pesticide residues; on chlorine-washed chicken; on endocrine disrupting chemicals; on tar sand oil, and on genetic engineering (GMOs).

-all documents held by DG TRADE (including minutes/memos/notes/reports for internal use) and all correspondences (including emails) relating discussions within the World Trade Organization (WTO) on maximum residue levels (MRLs) and/or crop protection product residues in general.

-all correspondence (including emails), agendas, minutes of meetings and any other reports of such meetings between officials of DG Trade (including the Commissioner and his/her Cabinet) where maximum residue levels (MRLs) and/or crop protection product residues in general were discussed.

I am requesting all documents within the time frame January 2012 till November 2016.

I would prefer you to produce the documents on a rolling basis, rather than waiting until the full response is ready, and I would be pleased to receive an initial list of all documents as soon as possible.

Do not hesitate to get back to me should you need any further information which could facilitate your research.

Kind regards,

Thibault Devoldere
Renaat de Rudderlaan 6
8500 Kortrijk, BELGIUM

Generaldirektion Handel

Dear Mr Devoldere,

 

Thank you for your e-mail.  We hereby acknowledge receipt of your
application for access to documents, which was registered on 03/11/2016
under reference number GestDem 2016/6180. 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.

 

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
24/11/2016. In case this time limit needs to be extended, you will be
informed in due course.

 

Your request covers many different topics and almost a period of 5 years.
Based on a first estimate, it would appear that the treatment of your
request would constitute a disproportionate workload. The handling of your
request involves the assessment of a very large number of documents. The
analysis of these documents cannot be expected to be completed within the
normal time limits set out in Article 7 of Regulation 1049/2001.

 

However, the Regulation also provides for a 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. Article
6(3) provides that in the event of an application relating to a very long
document or to very large number of documents, the institution concerned
may confer with the applicant informally, with a view to finding a fair
solution. 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 (Judgment of the Court of Justice of 2
October 2014 in case C-127/13, Guido Strack v Commission, paragraphs
26-28). 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. In this sense, please find here two possibilities:

 

-          Based on article 6(3) of Regulation 1049/2001, 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 and/or timeframe
covered) so as to reduce it to a more manageable amount of documents,
including the preparation of the redacted versions thereof.

 

-          If that is not possible and if you maintain your request for
access to all documents concerned by your application, we propose to
handle your application in successive batches, one for each subject matter
(contacts with third parties on rules on: the use of growth hormones in
livestock farming; pesticide residues; chlorine-washed chicken; endocrine
disrupting chemicals; tar sand oil; GMOs; discussions within WTO on
maximum residue levels and or crop protection product residues in general)
and each one for a limited time period (1 year).

 

o   If you accept this proposal, you could indicate an order of priority,
which we would try to follow as much as possible in handling your
application. This means that parts of your application would be considered
to have been introduced in successive stages and will be dealt with within
the corresponding new time-limits. You would in that case receive, at
regular intervals, batches of documents which have been cleared for full
or partial release and/or a reasoned reply explaining why some (parts of
the) documents cannot be disclosed.

 

o   Alternatively, you can formally withdraw those parts of your request
that cannot be handled within the extended (30 working days, counting from
the date of registration of your application) deadline of Regulation
1049/2001, and re-introduce applications for access to these parts in
successive stages.

 

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, counting from the
registration of your application (03/11/2016).

 

Moreover, on the third bullet point of your request, we note that the
scope of your request is not sufficiently precise. Do we understand
 correctly that you seek to obtain "correspondence (including emails),
agendas, minutes of meetings and any other reports of such meetings
between officials of DG Trade (including the Commissioner and his/her
Cabinet) where maximum residue levels (MRLs) and/or crop protection
product residues in general were discussed" with representatives of NGOs,
companies, business associations and law firms? Please note that in
accordance with Article 2 of Commission Decision 2001/937/EC, if an
application is imprecise as referred to in Article 6(2) of Regulation
1049/2001, the time limit for handling such application will start running
only from the time the Commission has received the requested
clarification.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

 

 

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Thibault Devoldere

Dear Trade,

Thank you for your message. In response to your comments, I would like to propose to narrow down the time frame of (a part of) my request. To do this I would like to limit the time frame of the documents that are requested with the first bullet point, but only limited to this bullet point. To be clear, this is the bullet point that reads:

-all correspondence (including emails), agendas, minutes of meetings and any other reports of such meetings between officials of DG Trade (including the Commissioner and his/her Cabinet) and representatives of NGOs, companies, business associations and law firms with whom environmental and food safety standards were discussed in relation to TTIP (The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership). Environmental and food safety standards include, but are not limited to, rules on the use of growth hormones in livestock farming; on pesticide residues; on chlorine-washed chicken; on endocrine disrupting chemicals; on tar sand oil, and on genetic engineering (GMOs).

I would like to limit the time frame of this specific part of my request to the period January 2012 till December 2013.

Concerning the third bullet point: Apologies for no being clear enough. What I am requesting here are all communications (as specified in the original request) between officials of DG TRADE (including the Commissioner and his/her Cabinet); in other words all internal communications. Does this answer your question?

Thanks for your efforts.

Kind regards,
Yours faithfully,

Thibault Devoldere

Dear Trade,

Thank you for your message. In response to your comments, I would like to propose to narrow down the time frame of (a part of) my request. To do this I would like to limit the time frame of the documents that are requested with the first bullet point, but only limited to this bullet point. To be clear, this is the bullet point that reads:

-all correspondence (including emails), agendas, minutes of meetings and any other reports of such meetings between officials of DG Trade (including the Commissioner and his/her Cabinet) and representatives of NGOs, companies, business associations and law firms with whom environmental and food safety standards were discussed in relation to TTIP (The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership). Environmental and food safety standards include, but are not limited to, rules on the use of growth hormones in livestock farming; on pesticide residues; on chlorine-washed chicken; on endocrine disrupting chemicals; on tar sand oil, and on genetic engineering (GMOs).

I would like to limit the time frame of this specific part of my request to the period January 2012 till December 2013.

Concerning the third bullet point: Apologies for no being clear enough. What I am requesting here are all communications (as specified in the original request) between officials of DG TRADE (including the Commissioner and his/her Cabinet); in other words all internal communications. Does this answer your question?

Thanks for your efforts.

Yours faithfully,

Thibault Devoldere

Generaldirektion Handel

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Devoldere,

 

Thank you for your email. We are consulting the relevant units and we will
come back to you as soon as possible.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Access to Documents Team

[1]http://ec.europa.eu/trade/images/ec-logo...
European Commission
DG TRADE

 

 

 

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Generaldirektion Handel

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Devoldere,

 

Thank you again for your email of 9 November in which you narrow down the
first part of your request and you clarify the third bullet point. After
the clarification, the new deadline is 30/11/2016.

 

However, you have narrowed down only the first part of your request.
Therefore, handling your application in the time-limit would involve an
inappropriate administrative burden and would be disproportionate.

 

As you explained in your initial request, you would prefer us to produce
the documents on a rolling basis, rather than waiting until the full
response is ready. In that sense, and after having consulted the relevant
units in DG Trade for the subjects of your request, we would like to
propose you to handle your request in the following categories to be dealt
with within 30 working days counting from the day of your clarification
(30/11/2016):

 

1)      First batch of documents: the first bullet point of your
application, on pesticide residues and GMOs; the second bullet point of
your application; and the third bullet point of your application.

2)      Second batch of documents: the first bullet point of your
application, on growth hormones in livestock farming and chlorine-washed
chicken.

Regarding this topic, we would like to inform you that the relevant expert
is out of office until the end of November, so we will be able to give you
an estimation of the number of documents that would fall under the scope
of your request after that date.

3)      Third batch of documents: the first bullet point of your
application, on endocrine disrupting chemicals.

 

We inform you that for the first bullet point of your application, on tar
sand oil, we are already preparing a no-documents found reply that you
should receive shortly.

 

We would be very grateful to know by Monday 21 November whether you agree
with this course of action.

 

Thank you for your cooperation.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Access to Documents Team

[1]http://ec.europa.eu/trade/images/ec-logo...
European Commission
DG TRADE

 

From: TRADE ACCES DOCUMENTS
Sent: Monday, November 14, 2016 5:24 PM
To: 'Thibault Devoldere'
Cc: TRADE ACCES DOCUMENTS
Subject: RE: access to documents request - Correspondance about
environmental standards in relation to TTIP - GestDem 2016/6180

 

Dear Mr Devoldere,

 

Thank you for your email. We are consulting the relevant units and we will
come back to you as soon as possible.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Access to Documents Team

[2]http://ec.europa.eu/trade/images/ec-logo...
European Commission
DG TRADE

 

 

 

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Dear Trade,

I see the problem, and I agree with your proposal.

Thanks in advance.

Yours faithfully,

Thibault Devoldere

EC ARES NOREPLY, Generaldirektion Handel

1 Attachment

Veuillez trouver ci-joint le document Ares(2016)6673301 concernant "Reply to Mr Devoldere - Access to document request - Ref. GestDem 2016/6180" envoyé par M DEMARTY Jean-Luc le 29/11/2016.

Please find attached document Ares(2016)6673301 regarding "Reply to Mr Devoldere - Access to document request - Ref. GestDem 2016/6180" sent by Mr DEMARTY Jean-Luc on 29/11/2016.

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Note: This e-mail was automatically generated by the European Commission's central mail registration system.
Replies by e-mail must be addressed to the original sender DEMARTY Jean-Luc (mailto:[email address]).
Remarque : Cet e-mail a été généré automatiquement par le système d'enregistrement central du courrier de la Commission européenne.
Toute réponse éventuelle par e-mail doit être adressée à l'expéditeur en personne, à savoir DEMARTY Jean-Luc (mailto:[email address]).

Dear Trade,

I would like to know whether some documents will be available by tomorrow, or not. We don't mind to get some documents on a rolling basis.

Thanks in advance.

Yours faithfully,

Thibault Devoldere

Generaldirektion Handel

Dear Mr Devoldere,

The current batch of documents and the accompanying letter are ready and waiting for the signature of the Director General who is today on mission. We will send you the reply tomorrow.

Apologies for the delay.

Best regards,
DG TRADE

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Generaldirektion Handel

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Devoldere,

Please find enclosed our reply letter and the documents you have requested under 2016/6180.

We will send you the letter also by registered mail.

Best regards,
DG TRADE

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Generaldirektion Handel

1 Attachment

Generaldirektion Handel

ROGER Isabelle (TRADE) would like to recall the message, "Reply to GestDem No 2016/6180".

EC ARES NOREPLY, Generaldirektion Handel

11 Attachments

Dear Mr Devoldere,

Please find attached document Ares(2017)805972 regarding "Access to document request - Ref. GestDem N° 2016/6180 - Correspondance about environmental standards in relation to TTIP - Chlorine hormones" sent by Mr DEMARTY Jean-Luc.

Yours sincerely,

Access to Documents Team
DG Trade
[Dirección de correo del organismo DG TRADE]

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: This e-mail was automatically generated by the European Commission's central mail registration system.
Replies by e-mail must be addressed to the original sender DEMARTY Jean-Luc (mailto:[correo electrónico]).
Remarque : Cet e-mail a été généré automatiquement par le système d'enregistrement central du courrier de la Commission européenne.
Toute réponse éventuelle par e-mail doit être adressée à l'expéditeur en personne, à savoir DEMARTY Jean-Luc (mailto:[correo electrónico]).

EC ARES NOREPLY, Generaldirektion Handel

1 Attachment

Veuillez trouver ci-joint le document Ares(2017)2739148 concernant "Reply to Mr Devoldere - Access to document request - Ref. GestDem 2016/6180" envoyé par M DEMARTY Jean-Luc le 31/05/2017.

Please find attached document Ares(2017)2739148 regarding "Reply to Mr Devoldere - Access to document request - Ref. GestDem 2016/6180" sent by Mr DEMARTY Jean-Luc on 31/05/2017.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: This e-mail was automatically generated by the European Commission's central mail registration system.
Replies by e-mail must be addressed to the original sender DEMARTY Jean-Luc (mailto:[email address]).
Remarque : Cet e-mail a été généré automatiquement par le système d'enregistrement central du courrier de la Commission européenne.
Toute réponse éventuelle par e-mail doit être adressée à l'expéditeur en personne, à savoir DEMARTY Jean-Luc (mailto:[email address]).

Wir sind nicht sicher, ob die letzte Antwort auf diese Anfrage Informationen enthält – »falls Sie Thibault Devoldere sind, bitte melden Sich an und lassen es uns wissen.