Ref. Ares(2021)546440 - 22/01/2021
Mr Nik Völker
sent by email only
Subject: Reply to your access to documents request - Documents on "European Lithium Institute" projects
and AISBL, eLi and eLi Plus
Dear Mr Nik Völker,
We refer to your e-mail dated 21/12/2020 by which you made a request for access to documents,
registered by us under reference number Ref.: 07/2020.
In your application, you requested access to the following documents:
- contractual documents or equivalent information on the initiatives "European Lithium Institute"
and "European Lithium Institute PLUS", including any annexes, appendices, corrections or
subcontracts, including any documents on the statutes, financing, and founding members of the
corresponding AISBL(s), constituted under Belgian law.
We apologise for the delay in handling your access to document request. Indeed, in the past weeks, the
EIT has received an important number of requests from you concerning EIT Raw Materials.
As laid down in Article 2(3) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding public access to documents (‘the
Regulation’), the right of access applies only to existing documents in possession of the institution.
Furthermore, Article 4(2), first indent of the Regulation establishes 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.”
In this regard, please note that the only document held by the EIT which includes information concerning
the European Lithium Institute is the 2020 grant application (KIC Business Plan) of the Knowledge and
Innovation Community EIT Raw Materials.
According to the established jurisprudence of the General Court of the European Union, there is a general
presumption of non-disclosure of a bid of a tenderer to another legal or natural person. This applies, per
analogy, also to submitted grant applications. The reason for this is that a grant application contains
information relating to methodologies, know-how, specific pricing or business strategies as to how the
services will be provided or how the project will be implemented. This information is considered
commercially sensitive, thus falling under the exception in Article 4(2), first indent of Regulation (EC) No
Therefore, the EIT is not in a position to grant access to the information contained in the 2020 grant
application of EIT Raw Materials.
At the same time, in the spirit of Regulation No 1049/2001, and in particular, Article 6 (4) thereof, with
the aim to assist you as much as possible with your request, we advise you to consult the website of EIT
Furthermore, you may also contact EIT Raw Materials directly for further information. Please find below
the contact details within EIT Raw Materials:
Please note that in accordance with Article 7(2) of Regulation No 1049/2001, you are entitled to make a
confirmatory application requesting the EIT to review this position. Such a confirmatory application
should be addressed, within 15 working days upon receipt of this response, by post or electronically to
the Head of Services and Finance of the EIT at the following address:
Head of Services and Finance
European Institute of Innovation & Technology
1/E Neuman Janos utca
1117 Budapest/ Hungary
Tzvetan Zafirov Head of EIT Service & Finance Unit
Electronically signed on 22/01/2021 17:10 (UTC+01) in accordance with article 11 of Commission Decision C(2020) 4482