Ref. Ares(2019)3037658 - 07/05/2019
Directorate B - Circular Economy & Green Growth
ENV.B.2 - Sustainable Chemicals
By registered letter with acknowledgment of
Rue d’Edimbourg 26
Dear Ms Cann,
Subject: Your application for access to documents: Ref GestDem No 2019/1470
We refer to your e-mail dated 08/03/2019 in which you make a request for access to
documents, registered on 12/03/2019 under the above-mentioned reference number and
to our holding reply Ref. Ares(2019)2328564 - 02/04/2019.
You requested access to “…a list of all lobby meetings held with DG Environment, since
14 June 2018, where the classification of titanium dioxide (TiO2) was discussed. The list
should include the names of the individuals and organisations attending; the date; and
any agendas / minutes / notes produced. I would additionally like to receive any position
papers, emails, or other correspondence which relates to the classification of titanium
This request should include all open meetings of CARACAL.”
In your request you ask for a “list of all lobby meetings held with DG Environment (...)”.
You also ask for specific data that “the list should include”. I note that in your request
you refer to Regulation 1049/2001 regarding public access to European Parliament,
Council and Commission documents. We inform you that we do not have such a list and
therefore that request does not refer to an existing document. Therefore, your request in
that regard does not qualify as an application for access to documents under Regulation
1049/2001. Nevertheless, we inform you that we have identified the following meeting:
- 05/03/2019: meeting between DG ENV and CEFIC
Commission européenne/Europese Commissie, 1049 Bruxelles/Brussel, BELGIQUE/BELGIË - Tel. +32 22991111
Office: BU-5 04/007
Please see in the Annex to this letter a list of the documents in the framework of
communications with organisations that are in the scope of your request. Please note that
we do not consider open sessions of CARACAL meetings [Meetings of Competent
authorities for REACH and CLP (CARACAL)] as “lobby meetings”. Nevertheless,
documents submitted by organisations in the context of these sessions of CARACAL
meetings have been identified.
Having examined these documents under the provisions of Regulation (EC) No
1049/2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission
documents, we have come to the following conclusion: 1. Full disclosure
The documents referred to under numbers 2, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 21, 22, 23 in the attached
Annex are disclosed in their entirety.
2. Partial disclosure
The documents referred to under numbers 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 14 in the attached Annex
contain personal data, which have been redacted. Pursuant to Article 4(1)(b) of
Regulation (EC) No 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 European Union legislation regarding the protection of
personal data. The applicable legislation in this field is Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 of the
European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2018 on the protection of natural
persons with regard to the processing of personal data by the Union institutions, bodies,
offices and agencies and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Regulation
(EC) No 45/2001 and Decision No 1247/2002/EC (‘Regulation 2018/1725’).
Indeed, Article 3(1) of Regulation 2018/1725 provides that personal data ‘means any
information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person […]’. The Court of
Justice has specified that any information, which by reason of its content, purpose or
effect, is linked to a particular person is to be considered as personal data1.
Please also note in this respect that the names, signatures, functions, telephone numbers
and/or initials pertaining to staff members of an institution are to be considered personal
In its judgment in Case C-28/08 P (Bavarian Lager)3, the Court of Justice ruled that when
a request is made for access to documents containing personal data, the Data Protection
Regulation becomes fully applicable4.
1 Judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union of 20 December 2017 in Case C-434/16, Peter
Nowak v Data Protection Commissioner
, request for a preliminary ruling, paragraphs 33-35,
2 Judgment of the General Court of 19 September 2018 in case T-39/17, Port de Brest v Commission
3 Judgment of 29 June 2010 in Case C-28/08 P, European Commission v The Bavarian Lager Co. Ltd
ECLI:EU:C:2010:378, paragraph 59.
4 Whereas this judgment specifically related to 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, the
principles set out therein are also applicable under the new data protection regime established by
Pursuant to Article 9(1)(b) of Regulation 2018/1725, ‘personal data shall only be
transmitted to recipients established in the Union other than Union institutions and bodies
if ‘[t]he recipient establishes that it is necessary to have the data transmitted for a
specific purpose in the public interest and the controller, where there is any reason to
assume that the data subject’s legitimate interests might be prejudiced, establishes that it
is proportionate to transmit the personal data for that specific purpose after having
demonstrably weighed the various competing interests’.
Only if these conditions are fulfilled and the processing constitutes lawful processing in
accordance with the requirements of Article 5 of Regulation 2018/1725, can the
transmission of personal data occur.
According to Article 9(1)(b) of Regulation 2018/1725, the European Commission has to
examine the further conditions for a lawful processing of personal data only if the first
condition is fulfilled, namely if the recipient has established that it is necessary to have
the data transmitted for a specific purpose in the public interest. It is only in this case that
the European Commission has to examine whether there is a reason to assume that the
data subject’s legitimate interests might be prejudiced and, in the affirmative, establish
the proportionality of the transmission of the personal data for that specific purpose after
having demonstrably weighed the various competing interests.
In your request, you do not put forward any arguments to establish the necessity to have
the data transmitted for a specific purpose in the public interest. Therefore, the European
Commission does not have to examine whether there is a reason to assume that the data
subject’s legitimate interests might be prejudiced.
Notwithstanding the above, please note that there are reasons to assume that the
legitimate interests of the data subjects concerned would be prejudiced by disclosure of
the personal data reflected in the documents, as there is a real and non-hypothetical risk
that such public disclosure would harm their privacy and subject them to unsolicited
Consequently, I conclude that, pursuant to Article 4(1)(b) of Regulation (EC) No
1049/2001, access cannot be granted to the personal data, as the need to obtain access
thereto for a purpose in the public interest has not been substantiated and there is no
reason to think that the legitimate interests of the individuals concerned would not be
prejudiced by disclosure of the personal data concerned.
As to the handwritten signatures contained in some of the documents, which are
biometric data, there is a risk that their disclosure would prejudice the legitimate interests
of the persons concerned. 3. Gestdem No 2019/1403
You have submitted a similar access to documents request to DG GROW with Gestdem
No 2019/1403. Some of the documents identified by us have also been identified by DG
GROW and they have already provided a reply on them, therefore we refer to that reply.
This concerns documents referred to under numbers 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, in the attached
Please note that we are currently still in the process of consultations with third parties
with regard to some remaining documents originating from them that have been
identified. You will receive a reply on these documents in due course, in addition to the
documents currently included in the attached Annex.
Please also note that those documents included in the attached Annex that originate from
third parties are disclosed for information only and cannot be re-used without the
agreement of the originators, who hold a copyright on them. They do not reflect the
position of the Commission and cannot be quoted as such.
Finally, please note that we are sending to you the documents by post. However, should
you wish to also receive these letters electronically, please provide us with your own
email address, so that we can forward them to you.
4. Means of redress
In accordance with Article 7(2) of Regulation 1049/2001, you are entitled to make a
confirmatory application requesting the Commission to review its position on the matters
already mentioned. 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 address]
Cristina de Avila
Head of Unit
Electronically signed on 07/05/2019 12:31 (UTC+02) in accordance with article 4.2 (Validity of electronic documents) of Commission Decision 2004/563