Ref. Ares(2018)5779233 - 12/11/2018
Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology
Ms Marlene Straub
Bundestagsbüro Julia Reda, MEP
Unter den Linden 50
Advance copy via email
REGISTERED LETTER WITH ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF RECEIPT
Subject: Your application for access to documents- Ref GestDem 2018/4823
Dear Ms Straub,
We refer to your e-mail dated 13/9/2018, in which you make a request for access to
documents pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 of the European Parliament and of
the Council of 30 May 2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council
and Commission documents (‘Regulation 1049/2001’), registered on the same date under
the above-mentioned reference number. We also refer to our email dated 4/10/2018, our
reference Ares(2018)5101267, whereby we informed you that the time limit for handling
your application was extended by 15 working days pursuant to Article 7(3) Regulation
1. SCOPE OF YOUR APPLICATION
By your application you requested:
΄΄documents which contain the following information:
- Briefing documents for Commissioner Gabriel's meetings with third parties, minutes,
memos protocols or any form of documentation from such meetings, including
audiovisual presentations and any material Commissioner Gabriel was given
throughout, as well as any subsequent internal communication on the meetings. This
definition is to be understood broadly, as covering any documentation of information.
Commission européenne/Europese Commissie, 1049 Bruxelles/Brussel, BELGIQUE/BELGIË - Tel. +32 22991111
- Briefing documents for Commissioner Gabriel's cabinet members' meetings with third
parties, minutes, memos, protocols or any form of documentation from such meetings,
including audiovisual presentations and any material Commissioner Gabriel's cabinet
member was given throughout, as well as any subsequent internal communication on the
meetings. This definition is to be understood broadly, as covering any documentation of
To allow for a prompt, efficient response, I would like to limit the temporal scope of this
request to meetings dated between 1 January 2018 and 13 September 2018.
For the sake of clarity, I am referring to meetings listed at but not limited to
471f-b08e-c8fedd813724&d-6679426-p=1 (titled "Meetings of Commissioner Mariya
Gabriel with organisations and self-employed individuals") and
4424-954b-839539dbf681&d-6679426-p=1 (titled "Meetings of Cabinet members of
Commissioner Mariya Gabriel with organisations and self-employed individuals"). If
meetings were held between Commissioner Gabriel/Commissioner Gabriel's cabinet and
third parties within my given timeframe, which are not listed publicly for any reason, I
would like to request that documentation (as defined above) be provided of these too.
In particular, I am interested in meetings covering the following subjects:
Platforms/Online Platforms/Relations with Platforms, Startups, Evolution of the Public
Sector Information directive, Illegal Content/Tackling Illegal Content Online,
Disinformation/Disinformation Online, Safer Internet, Terrorist Content Online,
Copyright/Copyright Enforcement/Copyright Proposals/Copyright Reform, TDM
Directive, Communication Artificial Intelligence/Artificial Intelligence/AI, Hate speech,
Data/Data and the impact of the e-privacy proposal on the news publishing
industry/Open access to data and Code/Coding. If meetings have taken place, which
touch upon these subjects but do not mention them in their description of subject, I would
like to request documentation for those meetings too. Furthermore, I would like to
request all described documentation, not limited to the subjects above, from
Commissioner Gabriel's cabinet member Manuel Mateo-Goyet's third party meetings.’΄
On 4/10/2018, we proposed a fair solution (our reference Ares(2018)5101267) inviting
you to narrow down the scope of your request (i.e. the subject matters, participants,
timeframe), in order to reduce the amount of documents. In fact, according to our
estimates and taking into account your parallel request GestDem 2018/4822 and other
tasks that the concerned staff had to deal with during the same period and the limited
human resources available, only documents relating to a maximum of 10 meetings could
possibly be dealt with within the extended deadline. We provided you with a list of the
meetings held between 1/1/2018 and 13/9/2018, indicating the dates, participants and
topics. In case you were not able to specify the meetings, we proposed limiting your
request to the documents on the 10 most recent meetings between Commissioner Gabriel
and her Cabinet members with third parties.
In your response you stated: “My interest in the requested information is curiosity, and
my right to access it as an EU citizen’’ and you explained that it was therefore difficult
for you to narrow down your request to specific topics but that you would be happy to do
so if you received a list of documents for all the meetings that took place. In this context,
you referred to internal Commission guidance for fair solution proposals which states
that a list of documents should be provided and an estimate of the working days needed
for dealing with the request. You then rejected our proposal to limit the scope of your
Given the huge number of meetings, providing a list of all documents on all 196
meetings of the Commissioner and cabinet members with third parties is not feasible
within the statutory timeframe of an access-to-documents request.
Given your unavailability to narrow down the request by choosing topics and/or meeting
dates, the Commission services started to identify the documents for the 10 most recent
meetings. This requires the Commissioner’s cabinet and many units of the Commission
services, to identify documents that possibly have been drafted for each meeting, to
assess whether there are any interests to be protected under Article 4 of Regulation
1049/2011 including the assessment of whether rights of third parties and their
commercial interests could be damaged if the documents were released. The
administrative burden of this task is very high.
In line with the principles of sound financial management and good administration to
which the Commission is bound to pursuant to Article 310(5) of the Treaty on the
Functioning of the European Union, we are obliged to balance your possible interest in
access against the workload resulting from the processing of your application. This is in
line with the case law of the EU Courts1 . We have therefore restricted the scope of your
application to what we could achieve, with the Commission’s scare resources, in the
given timeframe to the 10 most recent meetings.
2. DOCUMENTS FALLING WITHIN THE SCOPE OF THE REQUEST
The following meetings are within the scope of the request after having been restricted as
set out above:
AI and privacy
Manuel Mateo- 06/09/2018
Eli Lilly and eHealth
Manuel Mateo- 04/09/2018
1 Judgment of the Court of Justice of 2 October 2014 in case C-127/13, Strack v Commission, paragraphs
Manuel Mateo- 04/09/2018
Européenne des the activities in
Associations de relation
Manuel Mateo- 03/09/2018
Motion Picture Copyright
Within the given timeframe we were able to identify and assess the following documents
related to the following meetings:
- Meeting with Mastercard (07-09-2018)
1. BTO Meeting Carl Buhr with Mastercard
- Meeting with Eli Lilly and Company (Lilly) (06-09-2018)
2. BTO Meeting CAB- Elli Lilly
- Meeting with ERNIEAPP LTD (06-09-2018)
3. BTO Meeting Carl Buhr, CAB Gabriel with CEO of Ernie App
- Meeting with Symantec Corporation (SYMC) (05-09-2018)
4. BTO Meeting between CAB Gabriel and Symantec
5. Briefing CaB Gabriel/662
- Meeting with Third-i bvba (04-09-2018)
6. BTO note meeting with Third-Ibvba/ MSD for Mothers-Maternal Health and Digital
7. Transformation through digital inventions-MSD for mothers
8. Equipping providers with digital tools to improve maternity care: Project iDeliver
9. Increasing access to family planning services: Nivi
10. Empowering providers with digital tools to deliver safer maternity care: Safe
11. Providing women with the quality of care they deserve: Together for her health
- Meeting with the German SME Association (04-09-2018)
12. BTO Meeting Carl Buhr, CAB Gabriel, with the German SME Association (BVMW)
- Meeting with Motion Picture Association (05-09-2018)
13. Briefing/690- Digital in the next MFF
14. Briefing/691- Meeting with Charles Rifkin, CEO of Motion Picture Association
15. Briefing for Commissioner Gabriel –Meeting with Charles Rivkin, CEO of Motion
- Meeting with European Alliances of news Agencies (EANA) (04-09-2018)
16. Meeting request of 02.08.2018
17. Briefing/692- Commissaire Gabriel – réunion avec le collectif d'Agences de Presse
18. Position Paper AFP
Given the limited timeframe, we were not able to complete the verification on whether
further documents exist and whether they can be made available.
3. ASSESSMENT UNDER REGULATION 1049/2001
Having assessed the identified documents under the provisions of Regulation 1049/2001
and taking into account the consultation of third parties, we have arrived at the
conclusion that full disclosure can be granted for seven documents. Partial access can be
granted to all other documents.
A. Full disclosure
Following an examination of Documents No 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14 and 18, we have arrived
at the conclusion that full disclosure can be granted.
Please note that Document No 18 is publicly available via the following link:
Please note that Documents No 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 18 were received by the Commission
from third parties. They are disclosed for information only and cannot be re-used without
the agreement of the originator, who holds a copyright on it. Such documents do not
reflect the position of the Commission and cannot be quoted as such.
You may reuse Document No 14 free of charge for non-commercial and commercial
purposes provided that the source is acknowledged, that you do not distort the original
meaning or message of the document. Please note that the Commission does not assume
liability stemming from the reuse.
B. Partial access with only personal data redacted
Parts of the Documents No 1, 4, 5, 6 12, 13, 15, 16 and 17 contain personal data, in
particular names, contact and other details and functions of the Commission staff or
Pursuant to Article 4(l)(b) Regulation 1049/2001, access to a document has to be refused
if its disclosure would undermine the protection of privacy and the integrity of the
individual, in particular in accordance with Union 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 data (hereinafter “Regulation 45/2001”)2 .
According to Article 8(b) Regulation 45/2001, personal data shall be transferred to
recipients only if they establish the necessity of having the data transferred to them and if
there is no reason to assume that the legitimate rights of the persons concerned might be
We consider that the necessity of disclosing the aforementioned personal data to you has
not been established and that it cannot be assumed that such disclosure would not
prejudice the legitimate rights of the persons concerned. Therefore, we are disclosing a
version of these documents in which the personal data have been redacted.
Please note that Document No 16 was received by the Commission from a third party. It
is disclosed for information only and cannot be re-used without the agreement of the
originator, who holds a copyright on it. It does not reflect the position of the Commission
and cannot be quoted as such.
With regard to the documents produced by the Commission, you may reuse these
documents free of charge for non-commercial and commercial purposes provided that the
source is acknowledged, that you do not distort the original meaning or message of the
documents. Please note that the Commission does not assume liability stemming from
With respect to documents containing minutes or summary records of meetings with
third parties, please note that they were drawn up for internal use under the responsibility
of the relevant officials of DG CONNECT. They solely reflect the authors' interpretation
of the interventions made and do not set out any official position of the third parties to
which the documents refer.
2 Official Journal L8 of 12.1.2001,p.1 See also Judgment of the Court of Justice of the EU of the 29 June
2010 in case 28/08P, Commission/ The Bavarian Lager Co. LTD, ECR 2010 I-06055
C. Partial access based on Article 4(2) first indent of Regulation 1049/2001
(Protection of commercial interests)
Article 4(2) first indent of Regulation 1049/2001 provides that the institutions shall
refuse access to a document where disclosure would undermine the protection of
commercial interests of a natural or legal person, including intellectual property unless
there is an overriding public interest in disclosure.
Following an examination of Documents No 2 and 3 and taking into account the
feedback received from the third party in relation to Documents No 3, we have arrived at
the conclusion that parts of these documents contain sensitive commercial information.
Parts of the Document No 2 relate to information allowing conclusions on the strategy,
potential partners and future actions of Eli Lilly. Disclosing this information would
undermine the protection of its commercial interests.
Parts of Document No 3 contain substantial amount of sensitive business information as
they pertain to Ernie App’s go-to-market strategy and business model. Disclosure of this
information would affect the company’s commercial interests.
Based on the foregoing we consider that there is a real and non-hypothetical risk that
public access to the above-mentioned information would undermine the commercial
interests of the parties concerned.
The exceptions laid down in Articles 4(2) first indent of Regulation 1049/2001 applies
unless there is an overriding public interest in disclosure of the documents.
interest must, firstly, be a public interest and, secondly, outweigh the harm caused by
disclosure. We have examined whether there could be an overriding public interest in
disclosure but we have not been able to identify such interest.
Certain parts of these documents also contain names, contact details and functions of
Commission staff or external staff. These constitute personal data that have been
expunged for the reasons set out under Section 3B above.
You may reuse these documents free of charge for non-commercial and commercial
purposes provided that the source is acknowledged, that you do not distort the original
meaning or message of the documents. Please note that the Commission does not assume
liability stemming from the reuse.
Please note also that these documents were drawn up for internal use under the
responsibility of the relevant officials of DG CNECT. They solely reflect the authors'
interpretation of the interventions made and do not set out any official position of the
third parties to which the documents refer.
4. CONFIRMATORY APPLICATION
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, Document Management & Access to Documents (SG.C.1)
or by email to: email@example.com
Electronically signed on 09/11/2018 19:23 (UTC+01) in accordance with article 4.2 (Validity of electronic documents) of Commission Decision 2004/563