Meetings between SG and PepsiCo

Venetia Roxburgh made this access to documents request to Secretariat General of the European Commission

Automatic anti-spam measures are in place for this older request. Please let us know if a further response is expected or if you are having trouble responding.

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Secretariat General of the European Commission should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Dear Secretariat General of the European Commission,

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 documentation (including but not limited to all email correspondence, attendance lists, agendas, background papers, transcripts, recordings and minutes/notes) relating to the meeting listed below:

1. Between PepsiCo and cabinet member of Commissioner Frans Timmermans, Helena Braun, on the 1st June 2021.

2. Between PepsiCo and Commissioner Frans Timmermans on the 22nd February 2022.

3. Between PepsiCo, Nestlé S.A., Tetra Pak Group, The European Organization for Packaging and the Environment, Procter & Gamble and cabinet member of Commissioner Frans Timmermans, Helena Braun, on the 4th February 2022.

4. Between PepsiCo, Suntory Beverage and Food Europe, Union of European Beverages Association, The Coca-Cola Company and cabinet member of Commissioner Frans Timmermans, Sarah Nelen, on the 16th February 2021.

I would prefer you to produce the documents on a rolling basis, rather than waiting until the full response is ready, and I would be pleased to receive an initial list of all documents as soon as possible.

Yours faithfully,
Venetia Roxburgh
1 Long Lane
London

Sg-Acc-Doc@ec.europa.eu, Secretariat General of the European Commission

Your message has been received by the Transparency Unit of the
Secretariat-General of the European Commission.
Requests for public access to documents are treated on the basis of
[1]Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 of 30 May 2001 regarding public access to
European Parliament, Council and Commission documents.
The Secretariat-General will reply to your request within 15 working days
upon registration of your request and will duly inform you of the
registration of the request (or of any additional information to be
provided in view of its registration and/or treatment).
 
 
L’unité «Transparence» du secrétariat général de la Commission européenne
a bien reçu votre message.
Les demandes d’accès du public aux documents sont traitées sur la base du
[2]règlement (CE) n° 1049/2001 du 30 mai 2001 relatif à l’accès du public
aux documents du Parlement européen, du Conseil et de la Commission.
Le secrétariat général répondra à votre demande dans un délai de 15 jours
ouvrables à compter de la date d’enregistrement de votre demande, et vous
informera de cet enregistrement (ou vous indiquera toute information
supplémentaire à fournir en vue de l'enregistrement et/ou du traitement de
votre demande).
 
 
Ihre Nachricht ist beim Referat „Transparenz“ des Generalsekretariats der
Europäischen Kommission eingegangen.
Anträge auf Zugang zu Dokumenten werden auf der Grundlage der
[3]Verordnung (EG) Nr. 1049/2001 vom 30. Mai 2001 über den Zugang der
Öffentlichkeit zu Dokumenten des Europäischen Parlaments, des Rates und
der Kommission behandelt.
Das Generalsekretariat beantwortet Ihre Anfrage innerhalb von
15 Arbeitstagen nach deren Registrierung und wird Sie über die
Registrierung Ihres Antrags (oder die Notwendigkeit weiterer Informationen
im Hinblick auf dessen Registrierung und/oder Bearbeitung) unterrichten.
 
 

References

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2. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/...
3. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/...

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

Dear Sir or Madam,

We hereby acknowledge the receipt of your request for access to documents
sent on 07/11/2022 and registered on 07/11/2022 under the case number
2022/6319.

We will handle your request within 15 working days as of the date of
registration. The time-limit expires on 28/11/2022. 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,

Secretariat-General - Access to Documents
European Commission

References

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

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

Hello,

We are writing concerning your request for access to Commission documents
registered on 07/11/2022 under case number 2022/6319.

We are currently working on your 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 28/11/2022.

Therefore, in line with Article 7(3) 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 19/12/2022.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Kind regards,

SG unit D-2

References

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

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

Hello

The work on the access to document request 2022/6319 is still ongoing. It
has unfortunately not been possible to finalise the work within the
deadline. The relevant documents have been identified and are currently
being prepared for disclosure. We will get back to you shortly.

Kind regards

SG.D2

Dear Secretariat General of the European Commission,

The response to my request is long overdue. Please respond with the requested documents. Thank you.

Yours faithfully,

Venetia Roxburgh

Dear Secretariat General of the European Commission,

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 'Meetings between SG and PepsiCo'.

I have waited for five months for a response to this request, which I submitted on November 7th 2022. On December 19th 2022, I was told that the response "shall reach you soon". Despite follow-ups, I have not been able to acquire a status update on my request.
I ask you to review why it has taken so long for this request to be processed, and to ensure that I am provided with a response urgently.

A full history of my request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: http://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/meeti...

Yours faithfully,
Venetia Roxburgh

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

Dear Sir or Madam,

We hereby acknowledge the receipt of your confirmatory request for case
2022/6319, sent on 13/04/2023 and registered on 13/04/2023.

We will handle your confirmatory request within 15 working days as of the
date of registration. The time-limit expires on 05/05/2023. 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,

Dear Sir or Madam,

We hereby acknowledge the receipt of your confirmatory request for case
2022/6319, sent on 13/04/2023 and registered on 13/04/2023.

We will handle your confirmatory request within 15 working days as of the
date of registration. The time-limit expires on 05/05/2023. 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,

18 Attachments

Dear Ms Roxburgh,

Please find attached a message concerning your request for access to
Commission documents registered under the above case number 2022/6319.

Please acknowledge the receipt of this message by return email.

Kind regards,

SG.D2 Secretariat

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

18 Attachments

Dear Ms Roxburgh,

Please find attached a message concerning your request for access to
Commission documents registered under the above case number 2022/6319.

Please acknowledge the receipt of this message by return email.

Kind regards,

SG.D2 Secretariat

Dear Secretariat General of the European Commission,

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 'Meetings between SG and PepsiCo'.

A full history of my request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: http://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/meeti...

Of the 18 documents identified by the Commission, all were partially disclosed as they contained personal data. I do not wish to contend the Commission's decision on this.

My confirmatory application refers to accessing the '3727992 Email in follow up' document regarding PepsiCo, which was redacted on the grounds of the protection of PepsiCo's commercial interests, as set out in the first indent of Article 4(2) of Regulation (EC) 1049/2001. I ask that the Secretariat General reviews this redaction, taking into account the following arguments.

Firstly, there is a clear and strong overriding public interest. Article 4(2) of Regulation 1049/2001 provides that "[t]he institutions shall refuse access to a document where disclosure would undermine the protection of: — commercial interests of a natural or legal person, including intellectual property…unless there is an overriding public interest in disclosure".

The Commission does not appear to have considered whether there is an overriding public interest, despite the fact that there are multiple reasons for ensuring that decision making is as open as possible, including this being an explicit requirement of the EU treaties. Specifically, Article 15 TFEU requires that “In order to promote good governance and ensure the participation of civil society, the Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies shall conduct their work as openly as possible.” It should be noted here that the openness is of all activities, and clearly also applies to meetings with stakeholders.

By requiring maximum levels of openness in decision making, the treaties mandate that any limitations, such as Article 4(3), should be interpreted very narrowly indeed, and any harm commercial interests has to be particularly serious to outweigh this significant public interest.

The direct connection between transparency and participation has been made in the jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the European Union, for example, in the case of Council of the European Union v. Access Info Europe, where the Court underscored the relationship between accessing documents and participation in EU decision making, stating that “If citizens are to be able to exercise their democratic rights, they must be in a position to follow in detail the decision-making process” and that they should “have access to all relevant information.” In this case, the relevant information pertains to documents concerning meetings between PepsiCo and the Commission.

The meeting between PepsiCo and the EU Commission to which this email relates to included views in relation to "green economic transition, circular economy and packaging". Since the stated purpose of the meeting was to present views to policymakers, there is a clear public interest in understanding the interaction between PepsiCo and the Commission contained within the documents.

An additional aspect of the strong public interest in receiving this information is that it relates to decision making on environmental matters. Given the overwhelming importance of environmental protection, in the face of a looming climate crisis, and consistent with the EU’s commitment to the Green Deal, it is absolutely essential that all elements of decision making relating to environmental legislation be public. Only with such transparency can European citizens be assured that everything possible is being done to advance on environmental protection. This public interest alone argues for release of these documents, an argument that is strengthened when other aspects of the public interest test, as set out above, are taken into consideration.

Secondly, the EU Commission should have considered the possibility of partial disclosure rather than full redaction of the documents in question. The Commission wrote that 'the author of the document has objected to disclosure of parts of the document'. However, a redaction of strictly only commercially sensitive
positions included in the PepsiCo follow-up email would allow for the Commission to serve the public interest in disclosing the positions taken by the company on the green economic transition, circular economy and packaging.

In conclusion, I assert that the Commission has failed to demonstrate sufficiently the harm to commercial interests and has failed to apply properly the public interest test.

I ask that the Secretariat General review this decision.

Yours faithfully,
Venetia Roxburgh

Sg-Acc-Doc@ec.europa.eu, Secretariat General of the European Commission

Your message has been received by the Transparency Unit of the
Secretariat-General of the European Commission.
Requests for public access to documents are treated on the basis of
[1]Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 of 30 May 2001 regarding public access to
European Parliament, Council and Commission documents.
The Secretariat-General will reply to your request within 15 working days
upon registration of your request and will duly inform you of the
registration of the request (or of any additional information to be
provided in view of its registration and/or treatment).
 
 
L’unité «Transparence» du secrétariat général de la Commission européenne
a bien reçu votre message.
Les demandes d’accès du public aux documents sont traitées sur la base du
[2]règlement (CE) n° 1049/2001 du 30 mai 2001 relatif à l’accès du public
aux documents du Parlement européen, du Conseil et de la Commission.
Le secrétariat général répondra à votre demande dans un délai de 15 jours
ouvrables à compter de la date d’enregistrement de votre demande, et vous
informera de cet enregistrement (ou vous indiquera toute information
supplémentaire à fournir en vue de l'enregistrement et/ou du traitement de
votre demande).
 
 
Ihre Nachricht ist beim Referat „Transparenz“ des Generalsekretariats der
Europäischen Kommission eingegangen.
Anträge auf Zugang zu Dokumenten werden auf der Grundlage der
[3]Verordnung (EG) Nr. 1049/2001 vom 30. Mai 2001 über den Zugang der
Öffentlichkeit zu Dokumenten des Europäischen Parlaments, des Rates und
der Kommission behandelt.
Das Generalsekretariat beantwortet Ihre Anfrage innerhalb von
15 Arbeitstagen nach deren Registrierung und wird Sie über die
Registrierung Ihres Antrags (oder die Notwendigkeit weiterer Informationen
im Hinblick auf dessen Registrierung und/oder Bearbeitung) unterrichten.
 
 

References

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

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

1 Attachment

Dear applicant,

Please find attached a message concerning your request for access to
Commission documents registered under the above case number 2022/6319.

Kind regards,