Dear Agriculture and Rural Development,
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:
all correspondence relating to the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) between stakeholders and DG Agri (including Commissioner Wojciechowski and/or his cabinet), as well as minutes of any meetings that discussed the IED between stakeholders and DG Agri (including Commissioner Wojciechowski and/or his cabinet), for the time period 1st September 2021 to 4th April 2022.
Finance and Admin Director
Dear Sir or Madam,
We hereby acknowledge the receipt of your request for access to documents
sent on 28/02/2023 and registered on 02/03/2023 under the case number
We will handle your request within 15 working days as of the date of
registration. The time-limit expires on 23/03/2023. 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
the privacy statement.
Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development - Access to
Dear Ms Girvan,
Please find attached a message concerning your request for access to
Commission documents registered under the above case number 2023/1419.
Please acknowledge the receipt of this message by return email.
AGRI Access to documents team
Dear Agriculture and Rural Development,
Please pass this on to the person who reviews confirmatory applications.
I am filing the following confirmatory application with regards to my access to documents request 2023/1419 re. correspondence relating to the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED).
Specifically, my confirmatory application concerns only the two documents listed under Document 4. Ares(2022)2574349 Letter on the revision of the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED Directive), namely:
- 4.1 Cover letter e-mail IED Directive en
- 4.2 Annex 20220404 - Lettre Commissaire Wojciechowski Révision IED.pdf fr
Both of these documents were released partially, invoking Article 4(1)(b) - protection of privacy and the integrity of the individual. DG AGRI’s reply letter stated that:
“a complete disclosure of the identified documents is prevented by the exception concerning the protection of privacy and the integrity of the individual outlined in Article 4(1)(b) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001, because they contain the following personal data:
– the names/initials and contact information of Commission staff members not pertaining to the senior management;
– the names/initials and contact details of other natural persons;
– handwritten signatures/abbreviated signatures of natural persons.
Article 9(1)(b) of the Data Protection Regulation ( 1 ) does not allow the transmission of these personal data, except if you prove that it is necessary to have the data transmitted to you for a specific purpose in the public interest and where there is no reason to assume that the legitimate interests of the data subject might be prejudiced. In your request, you do not express any particular interest to have access to these personal data nor do you put forward arguments to establish the necessity to have the data transmitted for a specific purpose in the public interest.
Consequently, I conclude that, pursuant to Article 4(1)(b) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001, access cannot be granted to the personal data contained in the requested documents, 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 documents 4.1 and 4.2 it is clear that the personal data exception has been used to justify redacting the name of the Member of European Parliament (MEP) who sent a letter on 4 April 2022 to Commissioner Wojciechowski on the topic of the Commission’s soon-to-be-published proposal for an IED, asking the Commission to substantively change its proposal.
However, given that the MEP was not acting in a personal capacity but as an elected representative, redacting the name of the MEP sending the letter to the Commissioner does not appear to be an appropriate use of the personal data exception.
What’s more, there is a clear public interest in transparency of the EU policy-making process with respect to the interaction between MEPs and European Commissioners, particularly given the substance matter of the letter (ie arguing against a broader scope for livestock methane emissions limits), which has far-reaching environmental and climate implications.
I would also like to point out that DG AGRI’s approach of redacting the MEP’s name is inconsistent with other Commission responses to access to documents requests (for example, the Commission released a May 2021 letter from a named MEP to several Commissioners, as noted in this report by Corporate Europe Observatory https://www.corporateeurope.org/en/2022/... (the letter “Ref. Ares (2021) 4846267 – 29/07/2021” is available at: https://corporateeurope.org/sites/defaul...).
(Please note, I am only interested in the name of the MEP that sent the letter, not any of the other personal data in docs 4.1 or 4.2).
A full history of my request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: http://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/indus...
Dear Sir or Madam,
We hereby acknowledge the receipt of your confirmatory request for case
2023/1419, sent on 04/04/2023 and registered on 05/04/2023.
We will handle your confirmatory request within 15 working days as of the
date of registration. The time-limit expires on 02/05/2023. We will let
you know if we need to extend this time limit for additional 15 working
Secretariat-General - Access to Documents
We are writing concerning your confirmatory request for access to
Commission documents for case 2023/1419 registered on 05/04/2023.
We are currently working on your confirmatory request. However, as this is
still in the process of being validated, we will not be able to send you
the reply within the prescribed time limit expiring on 02/05/2023.
Therefore, in line with Article 8(2) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 we
need to extend this time limit by 15 additional working days. The new time
limit expires on 25/05/2023.
We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.
Access to documents team
Unit C.1 (Transparency, Document Management and Access to Documents)
Dear Ms Elaine Girvan,
Please find attached the electronic version of Commission Decision C(2023)
3429 as adopted by the European Commission on 21.5.2023.
The formal notification of the decision under Article 297 TFEU is being
made only in electronic form.
Could you please confirm receipt of the attached document by return
Many thanks in advance.
MARTIN GALAN MARIA SERENA
Secrétariat général de la Commission
SG B2 - Procédures écrites, habilitation, délégation