Ref. Ares(2018)525104 - 29/01/2018
DIRECTORATE-GENERAL JUSTICE and CONSUMERS
Directorate E: Consumers
Unit E3: Consumer enforcement and redress
By registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt
Mr Peter Teffer
Rue Montoyer 18B
Advance copy by email:
[FOI #4975 email]
Subject: Your application for access to documents – Ref GestDem No 0148/2018
We refer to your email dated 08 January 2018 in which you make a request for access to
documents, registered on 08 January 2018 under the above-mentioned reference number.
Your application concerns a very large number of documents, which need to be assessed
individually. Such a detailed analysis cannot be carried out within the normal time limits
set out in Article 7 of Regulation 1049/2001.
Further, the handling of your request involves the assessment of a very large number of
documents originating from third parties and several Member States. The analysis of
these documents, together with the need to consult the third parties and Member States
concerned in accordance with Article 4(4) and 4(5) of Regulation 1049/2001, cannot be
expected to be completed within the normal time limits set out in Article 7 of Regulation
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.
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.
Based on the above-mentioned provision, 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(s)
and/or timeframe covered), to reduce it to a more manageable amount of documents.
In your request, you had asked us for the following items:
Commission européenne, B-1049 Bruxelles / Europese Commissie, B-1049 Brussel - Belgium. Telephone: (32-2) 299 11 11.
Office: LX40 05/072, Telephone: direct line (32-2) 29-89432
All documents sent to the European Commission by member states since
1 January 2017, including but not limited to e-mails and their attachments, regarding
the issue of 'dual food quality'
All documents sent by the European Commission to member states since
1 January 2017, including but not limited to e-mails and their attachments, regarding the
issue of 'dual food quality'
All minutes of meetings with the European Commission since 1 January 2017
regarding the issue of 'dual food quality'
All other European Commission documents since 1 January 2017, including but
not limited to 'lines to take', intra-Commission e-mails and their attachments, regarding
the issue of 'dual food quality'
In order to help you to narrow down your request, please note that the following
documents (and their approximate number of pages) have been identified as falling under
the scope of your request:
Letters & emails received and replied by the Commission from Member States:
Letters & emails received and replied by the Commission from third parties (e.g.
citizens, and other stakeholders): 70 pages
Briefings: 450 pages
Minutes of meetings and workshops: 17 pages
Inter-service consultations related: 74 pages
Internal communication regarding the harmonized testing approach: 55 pages
Overview of national studies: 33 pages
Total: 796 pages
According to our first estimates, the handling of your request would take 45 working
days, broken down as follows:
Identification of the documents falling under your request: 4 working days;
Retrieval and establishment of a complete list of the documents identified:
9 working days;
Scanning of the documents: 4 working days;
Assessment of the content of the documents in light of the exceptions of Article 4
of Regulation 1049/2001: 10 working days:
Third-party/Member State consultations under Article 4(4) and/or 4(5) of
Regulation 1049/2001: 7 working days;
Final assessment of the documents in light of the comments received: 5 working
Drafting of the reply: 1 working day;
Redaction of those parts of the documents to which one or several exceptions
apply(ies): 3 working days;
Internal approval of the draft decision on your request: 1 working day;
Preparation of the reply and the documents for dispatch (scanning of the redacted
versions, administrative treatment): 1 working day.
In order to enable us to respect the time-limits of Regulation 1049/2001, we would ask
you for a swift reply to our invitation to propose a fair solution, within five working days
at the latest:
by email to: [email address]
If you have any questions concerning the invitation, you can contact us:
by email at: [email address]
by telephone at: +32 229-89432
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 19 February 2018.
Thank you in advance for your understanding.
Head of Unit
Electronically signed on 29/01/2018 18:36 (UTC+01) in accordance with article 4.2 (Validity of electronic documents) of Commission Decision 2004/563