Dear Secretariat General,
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 correspondence (including emails), as well as notes, minutes or any other reports of meetings, relating to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), between Sec Gen officials and representatives of ECPA (European Crop Protection Association) and/or CropLife (International or America), including any consultancy or consultant acting on either organisation's behalf, since 1 September 2014.
Please do not hesitate to get back to me if you need any further information which could facilitate your prompt handling of this request.
Many thanks for your assistance.
on behalf of Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO)
Corporate Europe Observatory
26 rue d'Edimbourg
Dear Ms. TANSEY,
Thank you for your e-mail dated 14/02/2016. We hereby acknowledge receipt of your application for access to documents, which was registered on 15/02/2016 under reference number GestDem 2016/719.
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 07/03/2016. In case this time limit needs to be extended, you will be informed in due course.
You have lodged your application via the AsktheEU.org website. Please note that this is a private 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.
Team Access to Documents
Unit B4 - Transparency
Dear Ms Tansey,
We refer to your e-mail dated 14/02/2016 in which you make a request for
access to documents, registered on 15/02/2016 under the above mentioned
The description given in your application does not enable us to identify
in a sufficiently precise manner specific documents which would correspond
to your request. We therefore invite you, pursuant to Article 6(2) of
Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding public access to documents, to
provide us with more details on the information which you seek to obtain
and/or specific information on documents, such as references, dates of
meetings during which the documents would have been produced, persons who
drafted the documents, etc.
If you need assistance in clarifying or specifying your application, you
can contact us:
• by email to: [email address]
• by telephone to: (+32) (0) 22 98 06 73
The 15 working days the time limit for handling your application will
start running when we receive the requested clarifications.
You will also receive a paper copy of the letter by post – REGISTERED mail
– to the address you communicated in your request.
Thank you in advance for your understanding.
SG.E3: International Dimension (including G7/G20)
1. mailto:[email address]
Dear Secretariat General,
Thank you for your response.
Firstly, to ensure clarity regarding the organisations that the request concerns, the European Crop Protection Association (ECPA) is in the Transparency Register, Identification number 0711626572-26. ECPA is also listed as a 2014 client of consultancy firm FTI Consulting Belgium (TR id no. 29896393398-67), so, for example, FTI Consulting Belgium may (or may not) have represented or acted on behalf of ECPA in contacts with the Commission Sec Gen. There may however have been other consultancies, law firms or consultants representing ECPA, as the Transparency Register - as you are aware - is voluntary in nature.
CropLife America (CLA) is in the Transparency Register, Identification number 382444715442-45. CropLife America states in its TR entry that it is affiliated with the plant science industry global network, CropLife International. CropLife International (which is based in Brussels, http://croplife.org/) does not appear to be in the Transparency Register (as of 17/02/16), but is listed as a 2013-2014 client of consultancy firm Edelman Public Relations Worldwide (TR id no. 68037017809-51), who may have acted on its behalf.
Secondly, as the Commission does not publish lists of meetings with lobbyists for most of its staff (excepting Commissioners, their cabinets and Directors General, which I am aware are published online), I am unable to provide you with specific dates for specific meetings or persons who drafted them. Indeed, by its very nature, this request in part concerns identifying such meetings.
Thus, I would ask you to consider that the first step to handling my request would be to compile a list of meetings attended by Sec Gen officials with ECPA and/or CropLife (or any representative acting on their behalf), which covered issues relating to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), since 1 September 2014. I would ask you to take into account the Code of Good Administrative Behaviour when considering this.
Once any such meetings are identified, the original scope of my request concerning notes, minutes or any other reports of these meetings would apply.
With regards to Sec Gen staff correspondence with these lobby groups, on any issues related to EU-US trade agreement TTIP, again, I cannot provide you with dates etc - that is part of the information I am interested in, namely any documented correspondence (including emails) between Sec Gen staff and representatives of ECPA or CropLife, in the time period specified.
It is unclear to me - given that both myself and others have tabled similar requests in the past, which have been handled successfully by various Commission DGs - how to provide you with more details on the information which I seek to obtain.
If the difficulty is identifying whether meetings or correspondence relate to TTIP, then please consider simply providing all and any correspondence, or documents concerning meetings, with ECPA or CropLife.
I hope this has provided greater clarity as to my request, and look forward to cooperating with you further to ensure my application can be handled punctually.
Dear Secretariat General,
I'm writing to request an update on your handling of my request GestDem 2016/719. You wrote on 17 February asking me for clarification on my request, which I replied to on the same day. You also stated that "The 15 working days the time limit for handling your application will start running when we receive the requested clarifications." If I understand this correctly, this would mean the 15 working days started on the 18 February, which would take us up to today, 9 March.
Please could you clarify if you are handling my request in this time frame, if you need any further clarification, and when I can expect your reply?