Ref. Ares(2018)1104311 - 27/02/2018
Directorate-General for Trade
The Director General
By registered letter with acknowledgment of
Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO)
26 rue d'Edimbourg
1050 Brussels Advance copy by email:
[FOI #4852 email]
Your application for access to documents – Ref. GestDem No 2017/7337
Dear Ms Verheecke,
I refer to your application of 7 December 2017 in which you make a request for access to
documents in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1049/20011, registered on 8
December 2017 under the above mentioned reference number.
In particular, you request access to "a list of meetings of DG Trade officials and/or
representatives (including the Commissioner and the Cabinet) and stakeholders,
including trade unions, civil society groups, as well as representatives of individual
companies, industry associations, law firms, public consultancies and think tanks in
which the Japan-EU Free Trade Agreement (JEFTA) was discussed (between January
2017 and today)"
I regret to inform you that DG TRADE does not hold any documents that would correspond
to the description given in your application, i.e. DG TRADE does not hold a list of the type
of meetings you indicate.
As specified in Article 2(3) of Regulation 1049/2001, the right of access as defined in
that regulation applies only to existing documents in the possession of the institution.
Given that no such documents corresponding to the description given in your application
are held by DG TRADE, we are not in a position to share with you any documents under
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, B-1049 Bruxelles / Europese Commissie, B-1049 Brussel - Belgium. Telephone: (32-2) 299 11 11.
Unfortunately, we only create such list of meetings under the Code of Good Administrative
Behaviour, if doing so would not entail a disproportionate administrative burden for the
Commission2. However, in this particular case the administrative burden would be
significant as the unit in charge of your request would need to identify and review quite a
number of documents as well as to consult other units in DG TRADE, tasks which would
be very burdensome to perform in the current circumstances in which the existing
resources are devoted entirely to the conclusion of the negotiations with Japan.
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]
2 In this respect, the Code of Good Administrative Behaviour requires the Commission to ensure "that
the application of this Code never leads to the imposition of administrative or budgetary burdens out
of proportion to the benefit expected"
Electronically signed on 26/02/2018 10:40 (UTC+01) in accordance with article 4.2 (Validity of electronic documents) of Commission Decision 2004/563