Ref. Ares(2017)3361863 - 04/07/2017
Directorate-General for Trade
Directorate A - Resources, Information and Policy Coordination Information, Communication and Civil Society
trade.a.3.dir(2017)3253766 By registered letter with acknowledgment
By email: ask+request-2308-
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
You requested to receive lists and reports of meetings with external stakeholders related to the
Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). We have submitted several batches of
documents that were outlined in our letter dated 2 March 2017. This reply concerns a batch of
documents that consists of 30 mission reports. You will find a list of these documents in
Annex I and the documents themselves in the attached pdf-file.
I am glad to inform you that access can be granted to the content of these documents.
However, some personal data, like names of the Commission officials below director level
and participants to the meetings that are not in public offices, have been withheld in
accordance with Article 4.1(b) of Regulation 1049/2001.
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
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
The applicable legislation in this field is Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 of the European
Parliament and 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 data2.
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
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'"
4 and that "surnames and forenames may be regarded as personal
including names of the staff of the institutions6.
In accordance with 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"
Court of Justice has clarified that "it is for the person applying for access to establish the
necessity of transferring that data"
I consider that you have not established the necessity of having the aforementioned 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.
2 Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 of the European Parliament and 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 the free movement of such data, OJ L 8, 12.1.2001, p. 1.
3 Judgment in Guido Strack v Commission,
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.
4 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.
5 Judgment in Commission v Bavarian Lager,
C-28/08 P, EU:C:2010:378, paragraph 68.
6 Judgment in Guido Strack v Commission,
EU:C:2014:2250, paragraph 111.
, paragraph 107; see also judgment in C-28/08 P Commission v Bavarian Lager,
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.
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:
Transparency unit SG-B-4
Or by email to: [email address]
Head of Unit
Annex I – List of documents disclosed, including justification under Regulation 1049/2001;
Annex II – Documents disclosed
Electronically signed on 04/07/2017 16:53 (UTC+02) in accordance with article 4.2 (Validity of electronic documents) of Commission Decision 2004/563