Ref. Ares(2019)5429023 - 27/08/2019
By registered letter with acknowledgment of
Corporate Europe Observatory
Rue d'Édimbourg 26
Advance copy by email:
Your application for access to documents – Ref GestDem No 2019/4205
We refer to your e-mail dated 17/07/2019 in which you make a request for access to documents,
registered on 19/07/2019 under the above-mentioned reference number.
Your request “all reports – including, but not limited to, research outcomes, briefings, papers,
analysis, notes, position papers, background documents, and/or context setters – written,
produced and/or commissioned by DG HOME on the topic(s) of climate change and/or global
After consultation within DG HOME, we come to the conclusion that the following document
falls into the scope of your request (DG HOME
documents): Consultation on Climate Change
and Migration – Draft report 2011.
No further versions could be identified.
As DG DEVCO and DG CLIMA were involved in the preparation of the document, they were
consulted and gave their agreement to the release of the document. The document is attached,
released with protection of personal data.
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/EC1
1 Official Journal L 205 of 21.11.2018, p. 39.
Commission européenne/Europese Commissie, 1049 Bruxelles/Brussel, BELGIQUE/BELGIË - Tel. +32 22991111
The document to which you request access contains personal data, in particular names and functions,
telephone numbers and/or initials pertaining to staff members of an institution, which are to be
considered personal data.2
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 data.3
In its judgment in Case C-28/08 P (Bavarian Lager
)4, the Court of Justice ruled that when a request
is made for access to documents containing personal data, the Data Protection Regulation becomes
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
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.
2 Judgment of the General Court of 19 September 2018 in case T-39/17, Port de Brest v Commission
paragraphs 43-44, ECLI:EU:T:2018:560.
3 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, ECLI:EU:C:2017:994.
4 Judgment of 29 June 2010 in Case C-28/08 P, European Commission v The Bavarian Lager Co. Ltd
EU:C:2010:378, paragraph 59.
5 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
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 external contacts.
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.
In case you would disagree with the assessment that the redacted data are personal data which can
only be disclosed if such disclosure is legitimate under the applicable rules on the protection of
personal data, you are entitled, in accordance with Article 7(2) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001, to
submit 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 Secretariat-General of the Commission at the following address:
Unit C.1. ‘Transparency, Document Management and Access to Documents’
B-1049 Bruxelles, or by email to: email@example.com
Please note that the released document is a preliminary draft which does not reflect the position
of the Commission and cannot be quoted as such.
Further to this document, we identified two European Parliament questions sent to the
Commission and related to your request. These were answered by Commissioner Avramopoulos
on behalf of the Commission:
Finally, we bring to your attention that the Commission (not only DG HOME) produced
documents on the issue of migration and climate change
. You may find them under the
The report by the EC Joint research centre on International Migration
contains a specific chapter on Climate change and migration (Chapter
The Migration Atlas by the EC Joint research centre
contains, in the section
related to non-EU countries, a number of “RISK INDEXES” including those
related to Natural Hazard ( which is built on the following components:
‘Earthquake’, ‘Tsunami’, ‘Flood’, ‘Tropical cyclone’ and ‘Drought’): https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/publication/atlas-migration-2018
It may be useful to consult Box 8: Exploring environmental uncertainties –
The link between migration and environmental change
in the following
The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC
) collects data on
displacements by type of disaster that is to be found on the European
Even if this data is not an indication of displacements due to climate
change, it provides an idea of displacements due to environmental disasters.
Communication on the Global Approach to Migration and Mobility (2011
Head of Unit
Electronically signed on 27/08/2019 19:02 (UTC+02) in accordance with article 4.2 (Validity of electronic documents) of Commission Decision 2004/563