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meetings held between Matthias Jørgensen - former head of the Latin America Unit- and representatives of companies and business associations on issues related to the EU Mercosur Free Trade Agreement.

We're waiting for Audrey Changoe to read a recent response and update the status.

Dear Trade,

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 documents - including but not limited to minutes, (hand-written) notes, audio recordings, verbatim reports, operational conclusions, lines to take, e-mails, and presentations, correspondence (i.e. any emails, correspondence, telephone call notes, and/or text messages including WhatsApp exchanges) – related to meetings held between Matthias Jørgensen - former head of the Latin America Unit- and representatives of companies and business associations on issues related to the EU Mercosur Free Trade Agreement.

Yours faithfully,

Audrey Changoe
Friends of the Earth Europe
26 rue d'Edimbourg,
1050 Brussels,
Belgium

TRADE-ACCES-DOCUMENTS@ec.europa.eu, Trade

1 Attachment

Dear Madam,

 

Thank you for your e-mail of 20 July 2021. We hereby acknowledge receipt
of your application for access to documents, which was registered on 22
July 2021 under reference number GESTDEM 2021/4655.

 

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 12
August 2021. In case this time-limit needs to be extended, you will be
informed in due course.

 

For information on how we process your personal data visit our page
[1]Privacy statement – access to documents.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

Access to Documents Team

 

European Commission

Directorate General for Trade

Unit R3 – Transparency, Civil Society and Communications

[2][DG TRADE request email]

CHAR
B-1049 Brussels/Belgium

[3]cid:image003.png@01D76203.7D1EE680

Make your voice heard
Conference on the Future of Europe | #TheFutureIsYours |
[4]futureu.europa.eu

 

 

 

 

References

Visible links
1. https://ec.europa.eu/info/principles-and...
2. mailto:[DG TRADE request email]
4. https://futureu.europa.eu/

Dear [email address],

Thank you for your reply. I forgot to indicate the time frame of the requested documents .

All documents - including but not limited to minutes, (hand-written) notes, audio recordings, verbatim reports, operational conclusions, lines to take, e-mails, and presentations, correspondence (i.e. any emails, correspondence, telephone call notes, and/or text messages including WhatsApp exchanges) – related to meetings held between Matthias Jørgensen - former head of the Latin America Unit- and representatives of companies and business associations on issues related to the EU Mercosur Free Trade Agreement between January 2019 until September 2020.

Yours sincerely,

Audrey Changoe

Dear TRADE,

I have not yet received a response to my request which is now long overdue. I would appreciate it if you could inform me when it will be possible to process this request.

Yours sincerely,

Audrey Changoe
Friends of the Earth Europe
26 rue d'Edimbourg,
1050 Brussels,
Belgium

TRADE-ACCES-DOCUMENTS@ec.europa.eu, Trade

1 Attachment

Dear Mrs. Changoe,

 

Thank you very much for your e-mails concerning your request for Access to
Documents Gestdem 2021/4729 and  4655.

 

Please accept our sincere apologies for the delayed replies to both your
requests, which is due to the many requests we have received before and
during the summer period, and the subsequent backlog.

 

We are currently working under pressure to send out any replies as soon as
possible.

 

In the case of your specific requests, please be assured that these are
currently being handled and finalised by the respective services in order
to be sent out to you any time soon!

 

In case of further questions please don’t hesitate to contact us again.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Access to Documents Team

 

European Commission

Directorate General for Trade

Unit R3 – Transparency, Civil Society and Communications

[1][DG TRADE request email]

CHAR
B-1049 Brussels/Belgium

[2]cid:image003.png@01D76203.7D1EE680

Make your voice heard
Conference on the Future of Europe | #TheFutureIsYours |
[3]futureu.europa.eu

 

 

 

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[DG TRADE request email]
3. https://futureu.europa.eu/

TRADE D2 INTERNAL, Trade

1 Attachment

Please, find attached the reply to your letter signed on 16 September 2021 by DDG Denis Redonnet on behalf of our DG Sabine Weyand.

Dear Secretariat-General (SG.C.1),

Further to the letter I received from Sabine Wayand, Director-General of DG Trade, on 16 September 2021, replying to my access to documents request GestDem 2021/4655, I would hereby like to submit a confirmatory application for access to all documents related to meetings held between Matthias Jørgensen - former head of the Latin America Unit - and representatives of companies and business associations on issues related to the EU Mercosur Free Trade Agreement between January 2019 until September 2020.

In Ms Wayand’s letter, it is stated that my request refers to “an identified individual (a staff member of the European Commission not occupying any senior management position). The name of that individual has been replaced by ‘X’ in the present reply”. Furthermore, the request is refused on the grounds that any correspondence in relation to individual staff members of the European Commission is subject to and protected by privacy rules, with reference to Article 4(1)(b) of Regulation 1049/2001, and noting that my request concerned a specifically identified staff member of the European Commission not holding any senior management position, and therefore such documents as I asked for constitute personal data within the meaning of Regulation 2018/17253.

I would like to address several issues in relation to this:

- Firstly, Matthias Jørgensen’s former position as Head of Unit Latin America (and his current position as Head of Unit USA and Canada) have been placed in the public domain by the European Commission (see https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/fil... and https://op.europa.eu/en/web/who-is-who/p...). I therefore fail to see how Mr Jørgensen’s name and position can constitute personal data that cannot be revealed under access to documents regulation;

- Secondly, it is stated that Mr Jørgensen does not hold “any senior management position”, yet he is a Head of Unit, which is clearly quite a senior position. What, then, counts as a senior management position in the European Commission, and why does that distinction make a difference with regards to the interplay between GDPR and the access to documents regulation? What roles would count as senior management and therefore be acceptable in this kind of request?

- Thirdly, I would like to point out that DG Trade’s handling of my request regarding former Head of the Latin America Unit, Matthias Jørgensen, and a similar request I tabled re. meetings between between Head of the Latin America Unit, Paolo Garzotti, and representatives of business associations related to the EU Mercosur Agreement, was handled differently, suggesting an inconsistency in DG Trade’s approach. In response to my request re. Paulo Garzotti (see https://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/meet...), Sabine Wayand’s reply stated that “We regret to inform you that we do not hold any documents that would correspond to the description given in your application since Mr Garzotti did not have such meetings since he took over his position.” In other words, the application was not refused, information was disclosed about his lack of such meetings, and Mr Garzotti’s name was not redacted in DG Trade’s response.

- Fourthly, despite the arguments raised by DG Trade in their refusal of my request, other similar requests regarding individually named Commission staff members to other DGs have been accepted and documents released, without this issue being raised. For example, a number of access to document requests regarding Nathalie Tocci and her interactions with various DGs of the European Commission have received the information, after consent from Ms Tocci (see https://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/docu... and https://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/appo...). As the General Court of the European Union stated, if comparable documents are in the public domain, disclosure of the contested documents cannot be withheld (Case T-167/10, paras. 87-88). Indeed, the Commission fails to demonstrate that disclosing this information would cause harm, as disclosure of the many comparable documents containing similar data was not deemed to cause any.

I would next like to address the statement in Ms Wayand’s letter that in my application, I have not established any necessity of disclosing the personal data requested. I hereby would like to set out grounds that there is an overriding public interest in disclosing the requested documents:

- the EU-Mercosur Trade Agreement has significant environmental, climate, social and human rights implications, in both the EU and Mercosur countries;

- the interactions between the Head of DG Trade’s responsible Unit with business stakeholders that have a lot to gain (or lose) from the implementation of the deal, or changes to the current Agreement in Principle, are therefore of great public interest;

- The European Commission claims that it is “strongly committed to ensuring trade policy is transparent and inclusive in order to enhance legitimacy and public trust.” (https://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/html/1...) The Commission therefore recognises the enormous importance and overriding public interest in transparency around trade policy-making.

For these reasons, the disclosure of the documents I have requested is of overriding public interest and necessary for public scrutiny of EU institutions in the context of a trade deal that has caused large amounts of public concern.

If you are not able to disclose the entirety of the documents, I would request you consider partial disclosure – specifically, it is the name of the companies and business associations together with the material contents of meeting minutes or correspondence that is of public interest, even if personal names, email addresses, phone numbers etc are redacted as personal data.

A full history of my request and all correspondence is available at https://www.asktheeu.org/en/request/meet...

Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to your response.

Yours sincerely,
Audrey Changoe
Friends of the Earth Europe
26 rue d'Edimbourg,
1050 Brussels,
Belgium

SG ACCES DOCUMENTS, Trade

1 Attachment

Link: [1]File-List
Link: [2]Edit-Time-Data
Link: [3]themeData
Link: [4]colorSchemeMapping

Dear Madam,

 

Thank you for your email dated 5 October 2021 by which you request,
pursuant to Regulation No 1049/2001 regarding public access to European
Parliament, Council and Commission documents, a review of the position
taken by DG TRADE in reply to your initial application GESTDEM 2021/4655.

 

We hereby acknowledge receipt of your confirmatory application for access
to documents which was registered on 8 October 2021 (Ares(2021)6135212).

 

Your application will be handled within 15 working days (29/10/2021). In
case this time limit needs to be extended, you will be informed in due
course.

 

Please be informed that the answer to your confirmatory application is a
formal Commission decision that will be notified to you by express
delivery. Thank you for providing your contact phone number, so that the
external delivery service can contact you in case of absence.

 

Please note that the Commission will not use your phone number for any
other purpose than for informing the delivery service, and that it will
delete it immediately thereafter.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS TEAM (GD)

 

[5]cid:image001.png@01D45409.F767C980

European Commission

Secretariat-General

SG C.1

[6][email address]

 

 

 

 

 

show quoted sections

SG ACCES DOCUMENTS, Trade

1 Attachment

Link: [1]File-List
Link: [2]Edit-Time-Data
Link: [3]themeData
Link: [4]colorSchemeMapping

[5]GESTDEM 2021-4655 - 1st holding letter - Ares(2021)6675506  (Please use
this link only if you are an Ares user – Svp, utilisez ce lien
exclusivement si vous êtes un(e) utilisateur d’Ares)

Dear Ms Changoe,

 

I refer to your email of 5 October 2021, registered on 8 October 2021, by
which you submit a confirmatory application in accordance with Article
7(2) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding public access to European
Parliament, Council and Commission documents ("Regulation (EC) No
1049/2001"), registered under reference number above.

 

Your confirmatory application is currently being handled. Unfortunately,
we have not yet been able to gather all the elements needed to carry out a
full analysis of your request and to take a final decision. Therefore, we
are not in a position to reply to your confirmatory request within the
prescribed time limit which expires on 29 October 2021. Consequently, we
have to extend this period by another 15 working days in accordance with
Article 8(2) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001. The new deadline expires on
23 November 2021. However, I can assure you that we are doing our utmost
to provide you with a final reply within the next 15 working days.

 

I regret this additional delay and sincerely apologise for any
inconvenience this may cause.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

María OLIVÁN AVILÉS
Head of Unit

[6]cid:image001.gif@01D13362.41D673C0

European Commission

Secretariat General

Unit C.1 (Transparency, Document Management and Access to Documents)

 

References

Visible links
1. file:///tmp/cid:filelist.xml@01D7CCAC.1D6EC980
2. file:///tmp/cid:editdata.mso
3. file:///tmp/~~themedata~~
4. file:///tmp/~~colorschememapping~~
5. https://webgate.ec.testa.eu/Ares/documen...

SG ACCES DOCUMENTS, Trade

1 Attachment

Link: [1]File-List
Link: [2]Edit-Time-Data
Link: [3]themeData
Link: [4]colorSchemeMapping

[5]Your confirmatory application for access to documents under Regulation
(EC) No 1049/2001 - GESTDEM 2021/4655 - 2nd holding letter -
Ares(2021)7204490  (Please use this link only if you are an Ares user –
Svp, utilisez ce lien exclusivement si vous êtes un(e) utilisateur d’Ares)

Dear Ms Changoe,

 

I refer to your email of 5 October 2021, registered on 8 October 2021, by
which you submit a confirmatory application in accordance with Article
7(2) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding public access to European
Parliament, Council and Commission documents ("Regulation (EC) No
1049/2001"), registered under reference number above.

 

I also refer to our holding reply of 29 October 2021, by which the time
limit for replying to your confirmatory application was extended by 15
working days, pursuant to Article 8(2) of Regulation 1049/2001. This
extended time limit expires on 23 November 2021.

 

I regret to have to inform you that we are not able to respond within the
extended time-limit, as we have not yet finalised internal consultations.
I can assure you that we are doing our utmost to provide you with a final
reply as soon as possible.

 

I regret this additional delay and sincerely apologise for any
inconvenience this may cause.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

María OLIVÁN AVILÉS
Head of Unit

[6]cid:image001.gif@01D13362.41D673C0

European Commission

Secretariat General

Unit C.1 (Transparency, Document Management and Access to Documents)

 

References

Visible links
1. file:///tmp/cid:filelist.xml@01D7E076.64030040
2. file:///tmp/cid:editdata.mso
3. file:///tmp/~~themedata~~
4. file:///tmp/~~colorschememapping~~
5. https://webgate.ec.testa.eu/Ares/documen...

We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Audrey Changoe please sign in and let everyone know.