Minutes of meeting between Commissioner Malmström's Cabinet members and Goldman Sachs

Interne Prüfung durch Generaldirektion Handel wird erwartet.

Dear DG Trade (TRADE),

Under the right of access to documents in the EU treaties, as developed in Regulation 1049/2001, I am requesting the following document:

The minutes of the meeting between Christian Burgsmueller and Maria Asenius (Cabinet members of EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström) with representatives of Goldman Sachs, which took place on 17/12/2014 in Brussels.

The meeting is listed on the following website: http://ec.europa.eu/transparencyinitiati...

Yours faithfully,

Olivier Hoedeman
on behalf of Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO)
Rue d'Edimbourg 26,
1050 Brussels, Belgium

Generaldirektion Handel

Dear Mr Hoedeman,

I hereby acknowledge the receipt of your email of 07/01/2015 registered on 07/01/2015 under the reference number GESTDEM 2014/0106.

In accordance with Regulation 1049/2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents, you will receive a response to your request within 15 working days: 28/01/2015. If this deadline needs to be extended, you will be informed in due course.

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.

Best regards,

DG Trade

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Generaldirektion Handel

Dear Mr Hoedeman,

Subject: Your application for access to documents – Ref GestDem No 2015/0106

We refer to your e-mail dated 07/01/2015 in which you make a request for access to documents, registered on 07/01/2015 under the above mentioned reference number.

Your application is currently being finalized and we are hoping to be able to send you the document tomorrow 28/01/2015 which is the deadline.
However, in case we are not in a position to complete the handling of your application by tomorrow, we would like to extend the time limit with 15 working days in accordance with Article 7(3) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding public access to documents.

Thank you for your understanding.

Yours faithfully,

DG Trade

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Generaldirektion Handel

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Hoedeman,

With reference to your request submitted on 07/01/2015 and registered as Gestdem 2015/0106, please find enclosed the DG Trade reply letter and the requested document.

The signed copy of the letter will be sent to you by registered mail.

Best regards,
DG TRADE

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Dear DG Trade,

thank you for the reply to my FOI request. I was very surprised to see that the largest part of the text of the minutes of the meeting between Commissioner Malmström's Cabinet and Goldman Sachs (91 words) have been removed, with the argument that "disclosure of this part of the document would reveal specific positions taken by this company on international trade and investment matters and could hence undermine the protection of its commercial interests". This argumentation means that it is not possible to see what Goldman Sachs lobbied for at this meeting with the Commission. This argumentation seems at odds with Regulation 1049/2001. The meeting focused on international trade and investment negotiations, which is clearly an area of major public concern. I would strongly argue there is an overriding public interest: enabling citizens to know what Goldman Sachs was lobbying for and how the Commission responded.

Yours faithfully,

Olivier Hoedeman
Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO)