Lobbying documents on PFAS, D4, D5 and lithium salts since 1 January 2023

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Dear DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs,

In accordance with Articles 2 and 6(1) of Regulation 1049/2001, Article 3 of Regulation 1367/2006, and Article 42 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, I would like to request access to documents related to lobbying, since 1 January 2023, on the following files:

1. Restriction of PFAS, per and polyfluoroalkyl substances under the REACH Regulation
2. Regulation of D4 (Octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane) under the POPs Regulation and under the authorisation title of the REACH Regulation
3. Regulation of D5 (Decamethylcyclopentasiloxane) under the POPs Regulation and under the authorisation title of the REACH Regulation
4. Classification of lithium salts under the CLP Regulation

In particular, I would like to request access to the following documents:

1. A list of all meetings / discussions between on the one hand Commission staff, Commissioners and their cabinet teams, and on the other hand representatives of individual enterprises - including lobby consultancies and law firms, natural persons, industry associations, think tanks and / or public authorities, where these files were discussed.
2. Any records, minutes, notes and other reports of these meetings / discussions.
3. All correspondence (including e-mails, letters, attached documents and enclosures, SMS and any other type of messages processed through phone applications – e.g. WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram etc., recorded voice messages) received by / exchanged between, on the one hand, Commission staff, Commissioners and and their cabinet teams, and on the other hand representatives of individual enterprises - including lobby consultancies and law firms, natural persons, industry associations, think tanks and / or public authorities which mention these files.

In the interests of good administration, I request that the response clearly identifies the documents held by the Commission in relation to each of these categories and clearly indicates to which category the disclosed documents relate.

To the extent possible, my strong preference is to receive documents in electronic format. Documents that cannot be sent in electronic format should be sent to Impact Hub Kings Cross, 34b York Way, London, N1 9AB, United Kingdom – to the attention of CHEM Trust. Should you transmit documents by regular post, we kindly ask you to announce it to me in advance by e-mail.

I would also be grateful to receive the documents in batches, as soon as they are identified and available to send.

Thank you in advance,

Fanny Buffin

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

Dear Sir or Madam,

We hereby acknowledge the receipt of your request for access to documents
sent on 03/10/2023 and registered on 04/10/2023 under the case number
2023/5816.

We will handle your request within 15 working days as of the date of
registration. The time-limit expires on 25/10/2023. 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, Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Buffin,

We refer to your request for access to documents, registered on 04/10/2023
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 on 25/10/2023.

An extended time limit is needed as in order to retrieve the documents
requested, large files have to be examined;

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 17/11/2023.

We apologize for this delay and for any inconvenience this may cause.

Yours sincerely,

 

DG GROW – Access to documents team

European Commission
Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and
SMEs
DG  GROW/B1 – Planning and Briefings

 

GROW-ACCES-DOCUMENTS@ec.europa.eu, Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

1 Attachment

Dear Mrs Buffin,

Please find attached a message concerning your request for access to
Commission documents registered under the above case number 2023/5816.

Kind regards,

DG GROW ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS

 

Dear Sir or Madam,

Thank you for your e-mail and for processing this request.

In order to take a decision on narrowing the scope of the request, could you kindly let me know what percentage of the 200 documents are covered by your proposal of narrowing down the scope to ‘documents concerning exchanges between the Commissioner, his Cabinet, Director General, Directors of DG GROW and external stakeholders'?

Thank you in advance,

Fanny Buffin

GROW-ACCES-DOCUMENTS@ec.europa.eu, Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Dear Ms Buffin,

To reply to your question, our fair solution proposal would cover approximately 25% of the 200 documents. Please note, however, that some of documents are already publicly available, in such case we would focus on those documents which are not public. Please also be informed that need to do this review manually document per document in each case and then analyse the documents in view of regulation 1049/2001 (i.e. with regards to possible exceptions).
In any case, please stay reassured that we will try to provide you with as wider scope of documents as possible.

Hope this explains,

DG GROW access to documents team

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Dear Sir or Madam,

Thank you for your prompt reply!

We would like to pursue your fair solution proposal and narrow down the scope of our request to the first point in our initial inquiry, namely lobbying documents related to "the restriction of PFAS, per and polyfluoroalkyl substances under the REACH Regulation".

Regarding the type of documents, we would like to maintain the same scope, namely:
"1. A list of all meetings / discussions between on the one hand Commission staff, Commissioners and their cabinet teams, and on the other hand representatives of individual enterprises - including lobby consultancies and law firms, natural persons, industry associations, think tanks and / or public authorities, where these files were discussed.
2. Any records, minutes, notes and other reports of these meetings / discussions.
3. All correspondence (including e-mails, letters, attached documents and enclosures, SMS and any other type of messages processed through phone applications – e.g. WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram etc., recorded voice messages) received by / exchanged between, on the one hand, Commission staff, Commissioners and and their cabinet teams, and on the other hand representatives of individual enterprises - including lobby consultancies and law firms, natural persons, industry associations, think tanks and / or public authorities which mention these files."

Thank you for your consideration,

Fanny Buffin

GROW-ACCES-DOCUMENTS@ec.europa.eu, Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Dear Ms Buffin,

Thank you very much for your reply, we will then proceed with documents analysis in order to provide you with the reply as soon as possible.

Kind regards,

DG GROW access to documents team

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GROW-ACCES-DOCUMENTS@ec.europa.eu, Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

1 Attachment

Dear Mrs Buffin,

 

Please find enclosed a correspondence concerning your access to documents
request mentioned under the reference EASE 2023/5816.

 

Best regards,

DG GROW ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS

 

Dear Madam, Dear Sir,

Would it be possible to please let me know when the requested documents will be delivered?

Thank you in advance,

Fanny Buffin

GROW-ACCES-DOCUMENTS@ec.europa.eu, Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Dear Ms Buffin,

Please let me reassure you that we are working on your request, and will do our best to provide you with the requested documents as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, due to the large number of documents on which the third parties need to be consulted the preparation of the reply takes longer than expected.

We apologize for all the inconvenience,

Best regards,

DG GROW ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS

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Dear DG GROW,

We note with concern that it has been three months since the legal deadline expired.

At your request, we have accepted the narrowing of the scope to allow for a fast processing on your side.

Also in the interest of an easy processing, we have suggested sending documents in batches once they become available. However, we haven’t received any document by this date.

Despite asking for an approximate timeline on your side, we still haven’t received any date for when the documents would be delivered.

The EU law and caselaw guarantees the right of citizens to have a timely public access to documents related to decision-making.

Considering the above, we urge you to please clarify when we should be expecting the first batches of documents.

We hope that we manage to find a solution and not be compelled to bring this case to the attention of the European Ombudsman.

Thank you in advance for your intervention.
Best regards

Fanny Buffin
EU policy support at CHEM Trust

GROW-ACCES-DOCUMENTS@ec.europa.eu, Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

1 Attachment

  • Attachment

    Reply EASE 2023 5816 parts 1 and 2.zip

    28.0M Download

Dear Madam,

 

Please find attached the full reply to your request for access to
documents registered under EASE 2023/5816 (divided in two parts). We would
appreciate it if you could acknowledge receipt of this message.

Kind regards,

 

DG GROW ATD Team

Dear GROW,

I acknowledge I received your message with the documents we requested.

Thank you very much,

Kind regards,

Fanny Buffin

Dear DG GROW,

I am making a confirmatory application regarding the refusal to release document 33 (the FPP4EU minutes). I would like this decision to be reviewed, including the refusal to provide any elements of the document. It is hard to imagine that its entire contents cover "commercial interests, including intellectual property and in consequence influence their market position and growth potential."

Indeed the Commission has not provided any evidence establishing that the commercial interests would be affected by the release. I assume that FPP4EU has asked for the document to be witheld; of course the Commission is not obliged to accept this.

Finally, it is clear that there is a huge amount of media and public interest on the topic of PFAS, including the lobbying being conducted by PFAS producers and their trade associations.

Thank you very much in advance,

Fanny Buffin

GROW-ACCES-DOCUMENTS@ec.europa.eu, Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Dear Ms Buffin,

Thank you for your email.

The confirmatory request shall be send directly to the Secretariat-General of the European Commission in accordance with the details provided in the reply letter to your request.

Yours faithfully,

DG GROW access to documents

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Dear Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs,

Please pass this on to the person who reviews confirmatory applications.

I am making a confirmatory application regarding the refusal to release document 33 (the FPP4EU minutes). I would like this decision to be reviewed, including the refusal to provide any elements of the document. It is hard to imagine that its entire contents cover "commercial interests, including intellectual property and in consequence influence their market position and growth potential."

Indeed the Commission has not provided any evidence establishing that the commercial interests would be affected by the release. I assume that FPP4EU has asked for the document to be witheld; of course the Commission is not obliged to accept this.

Finally, it is clear that there is a huge amount of media and public interest on the topic of PFAS, including the lobbying being conducted by PFAS producers and their trade associations.

Thank you very much in advance,

Fanny Buffin

sg-acc-doc@ec.europa.eu,

Dear Sir or Madam,

We hereby acknowledge the receipt of your confirmatory request for case
2023/5816, sent on 25/04/2024 and registered on 25/04/2024.

We will handle your confirmatory request within 15 working days as of the
date of registration. The time-limit expires on 21/05/2024. We will let
you know if we need to extend this time limit for additional 15 working
days.

Yours faithfully,

Secretariat-General - Access to Documents
European Commission

sg-acc-doc@ec.europa.eu,

Hello,

We are writing concerning your confirmatory request for access to
Commission documents for case 2023/5816 registered on 25/04/2024.

We are currently working on your confirmatory request. However, we have
not yet been able to gather all the elements necessary to carry out a full
analysis of your request. We will not be able to send you the reply within
the prescribed time limit expiring on 21/05/2024.

Therefore, in line with Article 8(2) of [1]Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 we
need to extend this time limit by 15 additional working days. The new time
limit expires on 11/06/2024.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Kind regards,

Secretariat-General

SG.C1/Access to Documents Team

References

Visible links
1. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/...