request for access to Advance Purchase Agreements for COVID 19 vaccines

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 President von der Leyen,
Dear Secretary General,

Under the right of access to documents in the EU treaties, as developed in Regulation 1049/2001, we hereby request access to the different contracts - advanced purchase agreements- signed between the Commission and the pharmaceutical companies for the purchase of COVID 19 vaccines.
We understand that the contracts signed are so far the ones with AstraZeneca, Sanofi-GSK, Johnson and Johnson, BioNTech-Pfizer, CureVac and Moderna. Therefore, we would like to request access to these contracts, as well as to those that might be concluded after our request such as the one with Novavax.

There is a clear public interest in disclosure of these documents and it is the right of European citizen’s representatives to access them, considering that a total of € 2,85 billion of public money have been spent on behalf of European citizens. It is especially important than we can have a clear understanding of : the cost structure of production of the different vaccines, how the advanced public money was used by the companies, the prices to be paid - not officially revealed - , the production sites, the number of doses to be delivered per quarter, the agreements relating to intellectual property, including any agreement relating to a non-exclusive licence, the liability and compensation for any damage caused by a vaccine, and the clauses regarding access to vaccine in Europe, but also in line with Europe's commitment to find a global response to this pandemic and to promote access to and exchange of know-how for COVID 19 treatments in third countries.
From our understanding of the redacted contract that has been made accessible and now published, it may be the case that European taxpayers' money will be used to reimburse the producing company if it has to pay for damage to citizens due to adverse effects of the vaccine. Unfortunately, the decisive paragraph is completely redacted. In our opinion, this is prone to create mistrust and even disinformation

The transparency rules as set out in the Lisbon Treaty oblige the EU institutions to work as openly and as closely as possible to citizens. However, the Commission did not demonstrate good will in the application of the principle of good cooperation with the European Parliament, when overseeing many times our request to know more about the COVID 19 vaccines contracts and our call to make them public. The disclosure of a redacted version of the CureVac contract was not satisfactory as the elements listed above were not visible or incomplete.

We recognize the success of the signature of the COVID 19 vaccines contracts and we welcome the Commission’s efforts to ensure that all EU citizens will have access to a vaccine. This is a great success for the European Union and showed that cooperation was key in the management of this pandemic. However, we regret the secrecy around the negotiations of the advanced purchase agreements. The lack of information is undermining citizens’ confidence in the action of the European institutions. In the past, such secrecy had long-term effects on citizens’ confidence in political action and we must do everything we can to be exemplary.

As representatives of citizens, it is our role and right to scrutinize the action of the European public institutions. We therefore ask you to send us the signed advance purchase agreements as soon as possible. Private companies are not entailed to dictate what citizens should or should not know when public money has been used to conclude these deals. This is not how democracy works and we believe we should stand together to defend this principle.

Yours sincerely,

Tilly Metz
Margrete Auken
Ville Niinistö
Jutta Paulus
Michèle Rivasi
Kim van Sparrentak, 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.


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ve_sg.accessdoc (SG), Secretariat General of the European Commission

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[5]Ares(2021)503931 - Re: request for access to documents- APA for COVID
19 vaccines - Gestdem 2021/0389

Sent by ve_sg.accessdoc (SG) <[SG request email]>. All responses have
to be sent to this email address.
Envoyé par ve_sg.accessdoc (SG) <[SG request email]>. Toutes les
réponses doivent être effectuées à cette adresse électronique.

Dear Madam,


Thank you for your e-mails of


-          20 January 2021 5:36 pm sent from
‘[6][email address]’;

-          20 January 2021 5:56 pm sent from
‘[7][email address]’;

-          20 January 2021 5:57 pm sent from
‘[8][FOI #8958 email]’.


We hereby acknowledge receipt of your application for access to documents.
As above mentioned requests are identical, they have been registered on 21
January 2021 under one reference number GESTDEM 2021/0389.


We have registered ‘[9][email address]’ as e-mail address
for all correspondence related to this request. Should you prefer us to
use another e-mail address, we kindly invite you to let us know.


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 11 February 2021. In case this time limit
needs to be extended, you will be informed in due course.


You have lodged your application via a private third-party website, which
has no link with any institution of the European Union.

Therefore, the European Commission cannot be held accountable for any
technical issues or problems linked to the use of this system.


Please note that the private third party running the website
is responsible and accountable for the processing of your personal data
via that website, and not the Commission.

For further information on your rights, please refer to the third party’s
privacy policy.


We understand that the third party running the website
usually publishes the content of applicants’ correspondence with the
Commission on that website. This includes the personal data that you may
have communicated to the Commission (e.g. your private postal address).


Similarly, the third party publishes on that website any reply that the
Commission will send to the email address of the applicants generated by
the website.


If you do not wish that your correspondence with the Commission is
published on a private third-party website such as, you can
provide us with an alternative, private e-mail address for further
correspondence. In that case, the Commission will send all future
electronic correspondence addressed to you only to that private address,
and it will use only that private address to reply to your request. You
should still remain responsible to inform the private third-party website
about this change of how you wish to communicate with, and receive a reply
from, the Commission.


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

Yours faithfully,






European Commission


SG C.1

[12][email address]






From: METZ Tilly <[13][email address]>
Sent: Wednesday, January 20, 2021 5:36 PM
<[14][email address]>; JUHANSONE Ilze (SG)
<[15][email address]>
Cc: AUKEN Margrete (EP) <[16][email address]>; NIINISTO
Ville (EP) <[17][email address]>; PAULUS Jutta (EP)
<[18][email address]>; RIVASI Michele (EP)
<[19][email address]>; VAN SPARRENTAK Kim (EP)
<[20][email address]>; METZ Tilly (EP)
<[21][email address]>; BUSTIN Alice Marie Odette (EP)
<[22][email address]>; OLESEN Anton Svane (EP)
<[23][email address]>; RAEISAENEN Sointu Soile (EP)
<[24][email address]>; NEUBERGER Rene (EP)
<[25][email address]>; LAYET Charles-Maxence (EP)
<[26][email address]>; BOVENDEAARD Myrthe Susanne
Johanna Maria (EP) <[27][email address]>;
GUGULASHVILI Tamar (EP) <[28][email address]>; OLIER
Catherine Jeanne (EP) <[29][email address]>; SINGHOFEN
Axel (EP) <[30][email address]>; PROKUPKOVA Anna
<[31][email address]>; MASSING Zita Petra (EP)
<[32][email address]>
Subject: request for access to documents- APA for COVID 19 vaccines


Dear President Ursula von der Leyen,

Dear Secretary General Ilze Juhansone,


Under the right of access to documents in the EU treaties, as developed in
Regulation 1049/2001, my colleagues Margrete Auken, Ville Niinistö, Jutta
Paulus, Michèle Rivasi, Kim van Sparrentak and I, Tilly Metz, hereby
request access to the different contracts - advanced purchase agreements-
signed between the Commission and the pharmaceutical companies for the
purchase of COVID 19 vaccines.


Please find enclosed our letter to request access to these documents.


Yours sincerely,


Tilly Metz

Margrete Auken

Ville Niinistö

Jutta Paulus

Michèle Rivasi

Kim van Sparrentak





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