This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Freedom of Information request 'TTIP lobbying'.



 
Ref. Ares(2017)1114971 - 02/03/2017
EUROPEAN COMMISSION 
Directorate-General for Trade 
 
 
The Director General 
 
 
 
 
Brussels,  
trade.dga1.b.1(2016) 6982885 
 
By registered letter with acknowledgment 
of receipt 
 
Mr Stefan Knoll 
Greenpeace CEE 
Fernkorngasse 10 
1110 Vienna 
Austria 
 
By email
:  
ask+request-2308-
[email address] 

Subject: 
Your application for access to documents – Ref. GestDem N° 2015/5124 
Dear Mr Knoll, 
I refer to your request for access to documents dated 29 September 2015, under Regulation 
(EC) No 1049/2001 ("Regulation 1049/2001"),1 registered under the above mentioned 
reference number.  
In your request you sought access to lists and reports of meetings with external stakeholders 
related to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) as well as 
correspondence between DG Trade and these stakeholders. We sent you a list of 640 
meetings on 29 August 2016 together with a recap of already released documents. On 20 and 
21 October 2016, and 25 November 2016, we sent you additional batches of documents. 
This reply concerns a further (but not final) batch of documents under your request 
2015/5124, containing in total 74 documents. You will find a list of these documents in 
Annex I. The released documents are enclosed.  
                                                 
1   Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 May 2001 regarding 
public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents, OJ L 145, 31.5.2001, p. 43. 
Commission européenne/Europese Commissie, 1049 Bruxelles/Brussel, BELGIQUE/BELGIË - Tel. +32 22991111 
 
 
 

1. 
ASSESSMENT AND CONCLUSIONS UNDER REGULATION 1049/2001 
In accordance with settled case law2, when an institution is asked to disclose a document, it must 
assess, in each individual case, whether that document falls within the exceptions to the right of 
public access to documents set out in article 4 of Regulation 1049/2001. Such assessment is 
carried out in a multi-step approach: first, the institution must satisfy itself that the document 
relates to one of the exceptions, and if so, decide which parts of it are covered by that exception; 
second, it must examine whether disclosure of the parts of the document in question pose a 
reasonably foreseeable and not purely hypothetical” risk of undermining the protection of the 
interest covered by the exception; third, if it takes the view that disclosure would undermine the 
protection of any of the interests defined under articles 4(2) and 4(3) of Regulation 1049/2001, 
the institution is required "to ascertain whether there is any overriding public interest justifying 
disclosure"
3.  
In view of the objectives pursued by Regulation 1049/2001, notably to give the public the widest 
possible right of access to documents4, "the exceptions to that right […] must be interpreted and 
applied strictly"
5. 
We are pleased to grant you partial access to all 74 documents. Please note that some parts of the 
reports have been removed as they fall out of the scope of your request.  
In all 74 documents the names of the participants to the meetings and correspondence, as well as 
other personal identifiers (e.g. e-mail addresses, telephone numbers, office numbers) have been 
redacted, pursuant to article 4(1)(b) of Regulation 1049/2001 and in accordance with Regulation 
(EC) No 45/2001 ("Regulation 45/2001")6. Hence, the main content of these documents is 
accessible. Moreover, the names of members of Cabinet, senior management of the Commission 
starting from the Director level, and senior representatives of external stakeholder (e.g.   CEO, 
Director) have all been disclosed.  
As regards documents 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 23, 25, 26, 40, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 55, 57, 63, 64, 
67, 72 and 73, in addition to personal data covered by the exception of article 4(1)(b) of 
Regulation 1049/2001, other information has been redacted as it is covered either by the 
exception set out in Article 4(1)(a) third indent of Regulation 1049/2001 (protection of the public 
interest as regards international relations) or by the exception set out in Article 4(2) first indent of 
                                                 
2   Judgment  in  Sweden and Maurizio Turco v Council, Joined cases C-39/05 P and C-52/05 P, 
EU:C:2008:374, paragraph 35. 
 Id., 
paragraphs 37-43. See also judgment in Council v Sophie in ’t Veld, C-350/12 P, EU:C:2014:2039, 
paragraphs 52 and 64. 
4   See Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001, recital (4). 
5   Judgment in Sweden v Commission, C-64/05 P, EU:C:2007:802, paragraph 66. 
6   Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 of the European Parliament and the of the Council of 18 December 2000 on 
the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by the Community institutions 
and bodies and on the free movement of such data, OJ L 8, 12.1.2001, p. 1. 

 
 
 

Regulation 1049/2001 (protection of the commercial interest of a natural or legal person), or by 
both. The annex to document 74 is entirely covered by the exception laid down in Article 4(1)(a) 
third indent of Regulation 1049/2001. 
The reasons justifying the application of the abovementioned exceptions are set out below in 
sections 1.1, 1.2, 1.3. Section 2 provides an assessment of whether there exists an overriding 
public interest in the disclosure. 
1.1. 
Protection of international relations (documents 3, 7, 8, 10, 23, 26, 40, 42, 43, 45, 
46, 47, 55, 57, 63, 67, 72 and the annex to document 74) 

Article 4.1(a) third indent, of Regulation 1049/2001 provides that “[t]he institutions shall refuse 
access to a document where disclosure would undermine the protection of: the public interest as 
regards: […] international relations.” 

According to settled case-law, "the particularly sensitive and essential nature of the interests 
protected by Article 4(1)(a) of Regulation No 1049/2001, combined with the fact that access 
must be refused by the institution, under that provision, if disclosure of a document to the 
public would undermine those interests, confers on the decision which must thus be adopted 
by the institution a complex and delicate nature which calls for the exercise of particular 
care. Such a decision therefore requires a margin of appreciation".
7 In this context, the Court 
of Justice has acknowledged that the institutions enjoy "a wide discretion for the purpose of 
determining whether the disclosure of documents relating to the fields covered by [the] 
exceptions [under Article 4.1(a)] could undermine the public interest"
.8  
The General Court found that "it is possible that the disclosure of European Union positions 
in international negotiations could damage the protection of the public interest as regards 
international relations"
 and "have a negative effect on the negotiating position of the 
European Union"
 as well as "reveal, indirectly, those of other parties to the negotiations".
Moreover, the "the positions taken by the Union are, by definition, subject to change 
depending on the course of those negotiations and on concessions and compromises made in 
that context by the various stakeholders. The formulation of negotiating positions may involve 
a number of tactical considerations on the part of the negotiators, including the Union itself. 
In that context, it cannot be precluded that disclosure by the Union, to the public, of its own 
negotiating positions, when the negotiating positions of the other parties remain secret, 
could, in practice, have a negative effect on the negotiating capacity of the Union".
10   
Documents 3, 7, 8, 10, 23, 26, 40, 42, 43, 45, 46, 47, 57, 63, 67, 72 and 74, are all reports of 
meetings between DG Trade representatives – in a few cases including also members of the 
                                                 
7  
Judgment in Sison v Council, C-266/05 P, EU:C:2007:75, paragraph 36 
8  
Judgment in Council v Sophie in’t Veld, C-350/12 P, EU:C:2014:2039, paragraph 63. 
9  
Judgment in Sophie in’t Veld v Commission, T-301/10, EU:T:2013:135, paragraphs 123-125. 
10  
Id., paragraph 125. 

 
 
 

Cabinet of Commissioner Malmström – with representatives of external stakeholders, such as the 
UK Law Societies (document 3), Standard Chartered (document 7), the European Banking 
Federation (EBF) (document 8), members of the public services community in Germany 
(document 10), the Coalition of Services Industries (CSI) (document 23), Sparkassen and 
Deutscher Sparkassen und Giroverband (DSG) (documents 26 and 40), the Confederation of 
European Security Services, the Spanish Association of Security Service Providers (Aproser) and 
a public affairs consultant, Cambre (document 42), the Association of Social Insurance (AIM) 
(document 43), the EU Association of Ship-owners (ECSA) (document 45), representatives of the 
European dredgers (document 46), BEUC (document 47), Deutsche Gesetzliche Unfall 
Versicherung (DGUV) (document 57), Telefonica (document 63), CCBE International Legal 
Services Committee (document 67), the Danish Shipowners' Association and A2Sea (document 
72) and the British Medical Association (BMA) (document 74). Document 55 is the report of an 
event called "Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP): what does the future hold 
for legal profession?" which was organised by UK law societies. 
The annex to document 74 and selected passages in documents 3, 10, 23, 26, 40, 42, 43, 45, 46, 
55, 57, 67 and 72, were withheld as they reveal the external stakeholders’ main business 
concerns, strategic interests, priorities and their internal assessment and input for the negotiations. 
As such, this information indirectly reveals negotiating priorities, strategic objectives and tactics 
which the EU could consider pursuing in its trade negotiations. In addition, certain passages in 
documents 7, 8, 45, 46, 47 and 63 contain preliminary assessments, internal commentaries, 
opinions and views of individual staff members in relation to certain sensitive matters or 
positions that emerged during the negotiations with the US, as well as internal reflections 
regarding possible strategies and tactics to be pursued in the discussions. 
The information contained in these documents was in general meant for internal use as a basis to 
establish EU positions, strategies, objectives and way forward on specific aspects of the 
negotiations. Even if the information contained in these documents was related to the TTIP 
negotiations, there is a reasonably foreseeable risk that its public disclosure would undermine 
and weaken the position of the EU in its ongoing trade negotiations with other third countries 
in which similar topics are being discussed. Indeed, the information that the EU’s trading 
partners may collect on the basis of the public disclosure of certain detailed positions, 
concerns, views and strategies of the Commission and of individual stakeholders may allow 
them to extract specific concessions from the EU in the context of the ongoing negotiations, 
thus to the disadvantage of the EU’s public interests. Third countries may also anticipate or 
deduce certain negotiating positions of the EU ahead of the trade talks on the basis of the 
information contained in the withheld passages. 
Indeed, the success of trade negotiations depends to a large extent on the protection of 
objectives, tactics and fall-back positions of the parties involved. In order to ensure the best 
possible outcome in the public interest, the EU needs to retain a certain margin of manoeuvre 
to shape and adjust its tactics, options and positions in function of how the discussions evolve 
in its trade negotiations. Exposing internal views and considerations would weaken the 
negotiating capacity of the EU, reduce its margin of manoeuvre and be exploited by our 

 
 
 

trading partners to obtain specific results, thereby undermining the strategic interests of the 
EU and consequently, the protection of the public interest as regards international relations. 
Moreover, the disclosure of internal views, comments and positions of individual staff 
members on issues on which an official position has not been adopted would weaken the 
credibility of the Commission in the ongoing negotiations as well as lead the EU's negotiating 
partners to potential misleading conclusions, thus jeopardising the public interest as regards 
the EU’s international relations.  
Although the TTIP negotiations have now come to a pause while the Commission awaits 
clarity on the priorities of the new US administration as regards a trade agreement between 
the EU and the US,11 preserving the negotiating position of the EU, its margin of manoeuvre 
and tactical approaches is also important in order not to jeopardise the results achieved so far 
in the TTIP negotiations, nor any further discussions which may take place in the future 
between the EU and the US on commercial issues.  
Finally, it should be noted that some of the withheld passages reveal, although indirectly, the 
position of the US. Such disclosure is likely to upset the mutual trust between the EU and the 
US and thus undermine their relations. It would also jeopardise the mutual trust between the 
EU and other trading partners as they may fear that in the future their positions would also be 
exposed and they may as a result refrain from engaging with the EU. Negotiating partners 
need to be able to confide in each other's discretion and to trust that they can engage in open 
and frank exchanges of views without having to fear that that these views and positions may 
in the future be publicly revealed. As the Court recognised in Case T-301/10 in’t Veld v 
Commission
,  “[…] establishing and protecting a sphere of mutual trust in the context of 
international relations is a very delicate exercise"
12.  
1.2. 
Protection of privacy and integrity of the individual (documents 1 to 74) 
Article 4(1) (b) of Regulation 1049/2001 provides that “[t]he institutions shall refuse access 
to a document where disclosure would undermine the protection of: […] privacy and the 
integrity of the individual, in particular in accordance with Community legislation regarding 
the protection of personal data". 

                                                 
11 
 
See Commissioner Malmström’s blog post at https://ec.europa.eu/commission/2014-
2019/malmstrom/blog/ttip-assessment-and-pause_en.  
12   Judgment in Sophie in’t Veld v European Commission, T-301/10, EU:T:2013:135, paragraph 126. 

 
 
 

The Court of Justice has ruled that "where an application based on Regulation 1049/2001 seeks 
to obtain access to documents containing personal data"
 "the provisions of Regulation 45/2001, 
of which Articles 8(b) and 18 constitute essential provisions, become applicable in their 
entirety"
13
Article 2(a) of Regulation 45/2001 provides that "'personal data' shall mean any information 
relating to an identified or identifiable natural person […]"
. The Court of Justice has confirmed 
that "there is no reason of principle to justify excluding activities of a professional […] nature 
from the notion of 'private life"
14 and that "surnames and forenames may be regarded as personal 
data"
15, including names of the staff of the institutions16. 
According to Article 8(b) of this Regulation, personal data shall only be transferred to recipients 
if they establish "the necessity of having the data transferred" and additionally "if  there is no 
reason to assume that the legitimate interests of the data subjects might be prejudiced"
. The 
Court of Justice has clarified that "it is for the person applying for access to establish the 
necessity of transferring that data"
17
Documents 1 to 74 all contain names and other personal information that allows the identification 
of natural persons.  
I note that that you have not established the necessity of having these personal data transferred to 
you. Moreover, it cannot be assumed, on the basis of the information available, that disclosure of 
such personal data would not prejudice the legitimate interests of the persons concerned. 
Therefore, these personal data shall remain undisclosed in order to ensure the protection of the 
privacy and integrity of the individuals concerned. 
1.3. 
Protection of commercial interests (document 4, 6, 12, 25, 26, 40, 42, 44, 45, 63, 
64, 72 and 73) 

Article 4(2) first indent, of Regulation 1049/2001 provides that “[t]he institutions shall refuse 
access to a document where disclosure would undermine the protection of: […] commercial 
interests of a natural or legal person […] unless there is an overriding public interest in 
disclosure"

                                                 
13   Judgment in Guido Strack v Commission, C-127/13 P, EU:C:2014:2250, paragraph 101; see also judgment 
in Commission v Bavarian Lager, C-28/08 P, EU:C:2010:378, paragraphs 63 and 64. 
14   Judgment  in  Rechnungshof v Rundfunk and Others, Joined cases C-465/00, C-138/01 and C-139/01, 
EU:C:2003:294, paragraph 73. 
15   Judgment in Commission v Bavarian Lager, C-28/08 P, EU:C:2010:378, paragraph 68. 
16   Judgment in Guido Strack v Commission, C-127/13 P, EU:C:2014:2250, paragraph 111. 
17   Id, paragraph 107; see also judgment in Commission v  Bavarian Lager, C-28/08 P, EU:C:2010:378, 
paragraph 77. 

 
 
 

While not all information concerning a company and its business relations can be regarded  as 
falling under the exception of Article 4(2) first indent18, it appears that the type of information 
covered by the notion of commercial interests would generally be of the kind protected under the 
obligation of professional secrecy19. Accordingly, it must be information that is "known only to a 
limited number of persons"
"whose disclosure is liable to cause serious harm to the person who 
has provided it or to third parties"
 and for which "the interests liable to be harmed by disclosure 
must, objectively, be worthy of protection
 "20. 
Documents 4, 6, 12, 25, 26, 40, 42, 44, 45, 63, 64, 72 and 73, are all reports of meetings between 
DG Trade representatives – in a few cases including also members of the Cabinet of 
Commissioner Malmström – with representatives of external stakeholders, such as Deutsche 
Telekom (documents 4 and 25), the French Federation on Insurance Companies (FFIC) 
(document 6), Telefonica (document 12), DSG (documents 26 and 40), the Confederation of 
European Security Services, Aproser and Cambre (document 42), SEA (document 44), ECSA 
(document 45), Telefonica (document 63), Althea Erickson (document 64), the Danish 
Shipowners' Association and A2 Sea (document 72), and the Task Group on US Market Access 
(USMA) of the EU Dredger's Association (EUDA) (document 73).  
Some passages in these documents have been withheld because they contain business sensitive 
information pertaining to a company or group of companies, including details about commercial 
priorities, objectives, strategies and interests which they pursue in domestic and foreign markets 
(documents 40, 44, 45, 63, 72, 73). Some passages also reveal their specific concerns regarding 
their competitive position in third countries and the behaviour of competitors, details about their 
economic performance and economic data (documents 6, 12, 45, 64). There is a reasonably 
foreseeable risk that the public disclosure of this information would harm the commercial 
interests of the entities and companies concerned, as it could be exploited by competitors to 
undermine their competitive positions in third countries and their relationship with the other 
economic operators in such markets. 
Moreover, some passages contain specific views, concerns and interests raised by the business 
associations and their members in relation to investment and regulatory issues in foreign markets, 
market access problems and specific initiatives (documents 25, 26, 42, 44, 63, 72). A few 
passages also reveal the stakeholders’ assessments and comments regarding the economic and 
political situation in certain countries, which if publicly disclosed would harm the relations that 
these organisations have with the governments and regulators in third countries (documents 
40, 45).  
All this information was shared with the Commission in order to provide useful input and 
support for the EU’s objectives in its trade negotiations. Economic operators typically share 
                                                 
18   Judgment in Terezakis v Commission, T-380/04, EU:T:2008:19, paragraph 93. 
19   See Article 339 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. 
20   Judgment in Bank Austria v Commission, T-198/03, EU:T:2006:136, paragraph 29. 

 
 
 

information with the Commission so that the latter can determine how to best position itself in 
the negotiations in order to protect its strategic interests and those of its industry, workers and 
citizens. Ensuring that the Commission continues to receive access to this information and 
that the industry engages in open and frank discussions with the Commission, are key 
elements for the success of the internal and external policies of the EU and its international 
negotiations. Bringing in the public domain specific business related information that 
companies share with the Commission may prevent the Commission from receiving access to 
such information in the future. 
Finally, the redacted passage in document 4 contains internal opinions and impressions of 
individual DG TRADE staff members regarding certain economic operators which if 
disclosed may undermine their image and reputation, as well as their business relations.21 
2. 
OVERRIDING PUBLIC INTEREST IN DISCLOSURE 
The exception laid down in Article 4.2 first indent of Regulation 1049/2001 applies unless there 
is an overriding public interest in disclosure of the documents. Such an interest must, first, be 
public and, secondly, outweigh the harm caused by disclosure. Accordingly, we have also 
considered whether the risks attached to the release of the withheld parts of documents 4, 6, 12, 
25, 26, 40, 42, 44, 45, 63, 64, 72 and 73 are outweighed by the public interest in accessing the 
requested documents. We have not been able to identify any such public interest capable of 
overriding the commercial interests of the companies concerned. The public interest in this 
specific case rather lies on the protection of the legitimate confidentiality interests of the 
stakeholders concerned to ensure that the Commission continues to receive useful 
contributions for its ongoing negotiations with third countries without undermining the 
commercial position of the entities involved. 
3. 
PARTIAL ACCESS 
Pursuant to Article 4.6 of Regulation 1049/2001 "[i]f only parts of the requested document 
are covered by any of the exceptions, the remaining parts of the document shall be released"

Accordingly, we have also considered whether partial access can be granted to the attachment 
to document 74. However, this document is entirely covered under the exception set out in 
Article 4.1(a) third indent of Regulation 1049/2001 as it is impossible to disclose any parts 
without undermining the protection the public interest as regards international relations. 
*** 
In accordance with Article 7(2) of Regulation 1049/2001, you are entitled to make a confirmatory 
application requesting the Commission to review this position. 
                                                 
21   See by analogy, judgment in Idromacchine and others v Commission, T-88/09, EU:T:2011:641. 

 
 
 


Such a confirmatory application should be addressed within 15 working days upon receipt of 
this letter to the Secretary-General of the Commission at the following address: 
European Commission 
Secretary-General 
Transparency unit SG-B-4 
BERL 5/282 
B-1049 Brussels 
Or by email to: [email address] 
Yours sincerely, 
 
 
 
Jean-Luc DEMARTY 
 
 
Annex I – List of documents disclosed, including justification under Regulation 1049/2001; 
Annex II – Documents disclosed 
 
 

 
 
 

Document Outline