Correspondence between Commissioner Thierry Breton and Engie regarding US LNG

Currently waiting for a response from Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, they should respond promptly and normally no later than (details).

Dear Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs,

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:

1- All correspondence (including emails and attachments, SMS, private twitter and WhatsApp) since 1st February 2022 between Commissioner Thierry Breton, and/or her cabinet (including Joan Canton) and/or officials from DG GROW with representatives from Engie or with PR companies or law firms representing Engie in which the EU’s response to the Ukraine invasion and the import of US liquefied natural gas (LNG) were discussed.

2- The minutes of meetings and preparatory documents related to the meeting between Thierry Breton and representatives of Engie that happened on March 22 2023.

3- A list of all other meetings since 1st February 2022 between Commissioner Thierry Breton, and/or her cabinet and/or officials from DG GROW with representatives from Engie or with PR companies or law firms representing Engie, in which the EU’s response to the Ukraine invasion and the security of gas supply or LNG imports from the United States were discussed.

4- Minutes and preparatory documents of the meetings mentioned above.

I would like to make it clear that I would prefer you produce the documents on a rolling basis.
At no point should the Commission’s search for—or deliberations concerning—certain documents delay the production of others that the Commission has already retrieved and elected to produce.

To the extent possible, I would prefer the documents in electronic format.

Should my request be denied wholly or partially, please explain the denial or all deletions referring to specific exemptions in the regulation. Also I expect the partial release of documents, in case of partial exemption according to article 4.6.

I reserve the right to appeal.

Please confirm having received this application. I look forward to your reply within 15 business days, according to the regulation.

With many thanks in advance for your help with this: I appreciate your efforts to fulfil my request.

Yours faithfully,

Matthew Green

GROW-ACCES-DOCUMENTS@ec.europa.eu,

Dear Sir or Madam,

We are writing to you concerning your request for access to documents sent
on 17/01/2023 and registered on 19/01/2023 under case number 2023/0386.

Since you have not indicated your postal address, we are not able to start
handling your request. The 15 working days to reply to your request will
start running only when you send us your postal address.

You can send your postal address by replying to this e-mail. If we do not
receive your reply we may close this case.

Please note that you can submit a request for access to Commission
documents via the portal [1]'Request a Commission document', which does
not require you to indicate your postal address.

Why do we need your personal postal address?

Since 1 April 2014, the submission of a postal address became a mandatory
feature when submitting an application for access to Commission documents
via an e-mail. We would like to explain why we need your postal address in
order to register and handle your application for access to documents when
submitted via e-mail:

• Firstly, to obtain legal certainty as regards the date you received
the European Commission reply to your application for public access to
documents. Article 297 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the
European Union (TFEU) states that 'decisions which specify to whom
they are addressed, shall be notified to those to whom they are
addressed and shall take effect upon such notification.' In line with
this provision, if the Commission does not grant full access to the
requested documents, it notifies the reply to the applicant via
registered mail with acknowledgement of receipt or via delivery
service. This requires an indication of a valid postal address by the
applicant;
• Secondly, to apply correctly the [2]Data Protection Regulation (EU)
2018/1725. Knowing whether the applicant is an EU resident (or not) is
necessary for deciding which conditions shall apply for the
transmissions of personal data to applicants for access to documents.
These conditions are not the same for recipients established in the
Union and for recipients in third countries. As the vast majority of
the documents requested contain personal data, the Commission cannot
ensure the correct application of the data protection rules in the
absence of a postal address;
• Thirdly, to apply correctly [3]Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001. Article
4(1)(b) of that Regulation refers to the protection of the privacy and
integrity of the individual and has to be applied in line with the
Data Protection Regulation;
• Fourthly, to protect the interest of other citizens and safeguard the
principle of good administration. The Commission has to treat all
citizens equally by ensuring that the legal framework for public
access to documents is respected. For example, it has to verify
whether Article 6(3) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 is being evaded
by introducing several requests under different identities. Indeed, in
its Ryanair judgment ([4]EU:T:2010:511), the General Court confirmed
that Article 6(3) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 cannot be evaded by
splitting an application into several, seemingly separate, parts. In
addition, the Commission has to make sure that the legal framework is
respected and the right of access to documents is not abused by making
requests under an invented identity.

The considerations above show that the request for and the consequent
processing of the applicant's postal address is not only appropriate, but
also strictly necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the
public interest within the meaning of Article 5(1)(a) of Data Protection
Regulation, namely providing a smooth and effective access to documents.

Yours faithfully,

Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and
SMEs - Access to Documents
European Commission

References

Visible links
1. https://www.ec.europa.eu/transparency/do...
2. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/...
3. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/...
4. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/...

Dear Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs,
Many thanks indeed for your swift reply to my query.
My postal address is:

Matthew Green
DeSmog UK
5 Brayford Square
London
E1 0SG
United Kingdom

Yours faithfully,

Matthew Green

GROW-ACCES-DOCUMENTS@ec.europa.eu,

Dear Sir or Madam,

We hereby acknowledge the receipt of your request for access to documents
sent on 17/01/2023 and registered on 24/01/2023 under the case number
2023/0386.

We will handle your request within 15 working days as of the date of
registration. The time-limit expires on 14/02/2023. We will let you know
if we need to extend this time limit for additional 15 working days.

To find more information on how we process your personal data, please see
[1]the privacy statement.

Yours faithfully,

Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and
SMEs - Access to Documents
European Commission

References

Visible links
1. https://ec.europa.eu/info/principles-and...

GROW-ACCES-DOCUMENTS@ec.europa.eu,

1 Attachment

Dear Sir,

Please find attached a message concerning your request for access to
Commission documents registered under the above case number 2023/0386.

Kind regards,

DG GROW ATD Team