Meetings of Cabinet members of Commissioner Mairead McGuinness with industry representatives

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Dear Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union,

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 attendance lists, agendas, background papers, minutes/notes and email correspondence about or summarising, the following meetings of cabinet members of Commissioner Mairead McGuinness with organisations:

1. Meeting with Siemens Energy AS (SE) on the 6th November 2020 on the EU Taxonomy
2. Meeting with Verband Deutscher Maschinen- und Anlagenbau e.V. (VDMA) on the 9th November 2020 on the Taxonomy
3. Meeting with International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (IOGP) on the 18th November 2020 on the EU Taxonomy Regulation

Yours faithfully,
Rebecca Vaughan
40 Bermondsey Street
London

Estabilidad Financiera, Servicios Financieros y Unión de los Mercados de Capitales

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/...

ve_sg.accessdoc (SG), Estabilidad Financiera, Servicios Financieros y Unión de los Mercados de Capitales

1 Adjuntos

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

[5]Ares(2020)6907442 - RE: access to documents request - Meetings of
Cabinet members of Commissioner Mairead McGuinness with industry
representatives - Gestdem 2020/7055

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

Dear Madam,

 

Thank you for your e-mail of 18 November 2020. We hereby acknowledge
receipt of your application for access to documents, which was registered
on 19 November 2020 under reference number GESTDEM 2020/7055.

 

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 10 December 2020. 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 AsktheEU.org 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 AsktheEU.org 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 AsktheEU.org website.

 

If you do not wish that your correspondence with the Commission is
published on a private third-party website such as AsktheEU.org, 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
[6]Privacy statement – access to documents.

Yours faithfully,

 

ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS TEAM (GD)

 

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

European Commission

Secretariat-General

SG C.1

[8][email address]

 

 

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FISMA-B2@ec.europa.eu, Estabilidad Financiera, Servicios Financieros y Unión de los Mercados de Capitales

Dear Ms. Vaughan,

 

We refer to your email of 18 November 2020 in which you make a request
for  access to documents, registered on 19 November 2020 under the
reference number GESTDEM 2020/7055.

 

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 10 December 2020.

 

An extended time limit is needed as part of the documents requested
originate from third parties, which are being consulted.

 

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 9 January 2021.

 

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

 

Yours faithfully,

 

Martin Spolc

 

Head of Unit

 

Dear [email address],

I am still awaiting a response to my request, which is now long overdue. Please could you let me know when I can expect to receive a response?

Yours sincerely,

Rebecca Vaughan

FISMA-B2@ec.europa.eu, Estabilidad Financiera, Servicios Financieros y Unión de los Mercados de Capitales

12 Adjuntos

Dear Ms Vaughan,

Please find enclosed our response to your access to documents request
GESTDEM 2020/7055.

We thank you for your patience and understanding

Yours sincerly

FISMA B2 Secretariat

 

 

 

FISMA-B2@ec.europa.eu, Estabilidad Financiera, Servicios Financieros y Unión de los Mercados de Capitales

12 Adjuntos

Dear Ms Vaughan,

Please find attached a reply to your request for access to documents,
registered under the reference GestDem 2020/7055, along with attachments.

 

According to the standard procedure, a reply is usually also sent to you
by registered post. Please note, however, that due to the extraordinary
health and security measures currently in force during the COVID-19
pandemics, which include the requirement for all Commission non-critical
staff to telework, we are unfortunately not in a position to follow this
procedure until further notice.

 

We would therefore appreciate if you could confirm receipt of the present
e-mail by replying to [1][email address] and to
[email address]

 

Yours sincerely,

Fisma B2 Secretariat

 

 

 

 

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]

Dear Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union,

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 of Cabinet members of Commissioner Mairead McGuinness with industry representatives'.

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

Of the 16 documents identified by the Commission, 10 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 remaining 6 documents, regarding IOGP, which were refused on the grounds of the protection of IOGP'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 refusal to provide me with documents, taking into account the following arguments.

Firstly, the Commission has failed to demonstrate how and why disclosure of these 6 documents would undermine IOGP's commercial interests.

It has been established by the Court of Justice (in, inter alia, Sweden and Turco v Council, C-39/05 P and C-52/05 P) that the reasons for any decision based on the exceptions of Article 4 of the Regulation must be stated by the institution. If an institution decides to deny full access to a document, it must explain “how access to that document could specifically and effectively undermine the interest protected by an exception laid down in Article 4”.

The 10 documents that the Commission partially released are of an extremely similar nature and the Commission has not provided a clear reason as to why the documents relating to IOGP warrant different treatment.

Secondly, 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 IOGP and the Commission.

The purpose of IOGP, according to their website, is to "advance the views and position of oil & gas E&P companies to international and EU regulators, legislative bodies, and other relevant stakeholders". Since the stated purpose of the organization is to speak to and influence policymakers, there is a clear public interest in understanding the interaction between IOGP 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. The EU sustainable finance taxonomy is designed to recognise actions that help protect the environment. 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 the taxonomy 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.

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,
Rebecca Vaughan

Sg-Acc-Doc@ec.europa.eu, Estabilidad Financiera, Servicios Financieros y Unión de los Mercados de Capitales

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/...

ve_sg.accessdoc (SG), Estabilidad Financiera, Servicios Financieros y Unión de los Mercados de Capitales

1 Adjuntos

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

[5]Ares(2021)1625974 - Your confirmatory application GESTDEM 2020/7055

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

Dear Madam,

Thank you for your email dated 3 March 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
FISMA in reply to your initial application GESTDEM 2020/7055.

We hereby acknowledge receipt of your confirmatory application for access
to documents which was registered on 4 March 2021 (Ares(2021)1625389).

Your application will be handled within 15 working days (25/03/2021). 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 (IC)

 

[6]cid:image001.gif@01D46531.06A8B6B0

 

 

 

European Commission

Secretariat-General

SG.C1

[email address]

 

 

 

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ve_sg.accessdoc (SG), Estabilidad Financiera, Servicios Financieros y Unión de los Mercados de Capitales

1 Adjuntos

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

[5]Ares(2021)2099147 - Confirmatory application for access to documents
under Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 - GESTDEM 2020/7055 - 1st holding
letter

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

Dear Ms Vaughan,

We refer to your email of  3  March 2021, registered on the same day, by
which you submitted 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[6]^[1] ("Regulation (EC) No
1049/2001").

 

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 25 March 2021. The new deadline
expires on 20 April 2021.

 

We apologise for this delay and for any inconvenience this may cause but
we would like to assure you that we will do our utmost to provide you with
a reply as soon as possible.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

María OLIVÁN AVILÉS
Head of Unit

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

European Commission

Secretariat General

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

------------------------

[8][1]               Official Journal L 145 of 31.5.2001, p. 43.

References

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1. file:///tmp/cid:filelist.xml@01D7215E.0C293AB0
2. file:///tmp/cid:editdata.mso
3. file:///tmp/~~themedata~~
4. file:///tmp/~~colorschememapping~~
5. https://webgate.ec.testa.eu/Ares/documen...
6. file:///tmp/foiextract20210325-11943-elfbo5#_ftn1
8. file:///tmp/foiextract20210325-11943-elfbo5#_ftnref1