Dear DG Health and Food Safety,
Under the right of access to documents in the EU treaties, as developed in Regulation 1049/2001, I am requesting documents which contain the following information:
- minutes and other reports of meetings (including online meetings and phone calls) between the European Commission and McKinsey in which the EU’s COVID-19 response was discussed, from April 1st 2020 onward.
- all correspondence (including emails) between the European Commission and McKinsey in which the EU’s COVID-19 response was mentioned, from April 1st 2020 onward.
Documents released under Regulation 1049/2001 last year reveal that McKinsey & Company wrote to Health Commissioner Kyriakides at the beginning of March offering to help shape the EU’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The company wanted to discuss how it “can best assist in the EU’s crisis response to COVID-19” and offered “to field a pro bono team on crisis response in the relevant structure of the EU Institutions” which “could leverage our many capabilities and resources”. In response, DG SANTE (in an email dated April 1st 2020) suggested a video conference to discuss their “kind offer”.
With this request, I ask for access to all documents related to the further communication between DG SANTE and McKinsey related to the EU’s COVID-19 response, including at least four documents that exist from April and May 2020 as well as any other documents after that.
There is a clear overriding public interest in the disclosure of these documents. As stated repeatedly by Commission President Von der Leyen and Commissioner Kyriakides in recent weeks, transparency and accountability are essential to build the people's trust in our vaccine strategy and the wider pandemic response strategy. This should clearly include transparency around the role of consultancy firm advice in developing the EU strategies. If the documents include information that is convincingly be argued to be of a commercially confidential nature, then as comprehensive as possible partial access to documents should be granted.
Rue d'Edimbourg 26
Dear Sir / Madam,
Thank you for your e-mail of 11 February 2021. We hereby acknowledge
receipt of your application for access to documents, which was registered
on the same date under reference number GESTDEM 2021/0635.
In accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding public access to
European Parliament, Council and Commission documents, your application
will be handled within 15 working days. The time limit will expire on 4
March 2021. In case this time limit needs to be extended, you will be
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SANTE ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS
Health and Food Safety
We refer to your request dated 11 February 2021 in which you make a
request for access to documents, registered on the same date under the
above mentioned reference number.
Your application is currently being handled. However, we will not be in a
position to complete the handling of your application within the time
limit of 15 working days, which expires today on 04 March 2021.
An extended time limit is needed as (part of) the documents requested
originate from third parties which have been consulted.
Therefore, we have to extend the time limit with 15 working days in
accordance with Article 7(3) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding
public access to documents. The new time limit expires on 25 March 2021.
We apologise for this delay and for any inconvenience this may cause.
SANTE ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS
Health and Food Safety