Ref. Ares(2018)698012 - 06/02/2018
Directorate-General for Trade
Directorate A - Resources, Information and Policy Coordination Transparency and Evaluation
The Head of Unit
By registered letter with acknowledgment
Corporate Europe Observatory
26 Rue d'Edimbourg
Advance copy by email:
[FOI #5094 email]
Your application for access to documents – Ref GestDem No 2018/0565
Dear Ms Verheecke,
I refer to your email of 25 January 2018 in which you make a request for access to
documents under Regulation (EC) No 1049/20011 ("Regulation 1049/2001"), registered
on 26 January 2018 under the reference GestDem No 2018/0565.
You request access to "all communication, including emails, and documents (agenda,
minutes, list of participants, etc) related to the meeting between Christian Burgsmüller
and The Goldman Sachs Group on 22nd December 2017".
We have identified the following documents that fall under the scope of your request:
An email dated 18 October 2017 from Goldman Sachs Brussels office to Jon
Nyman of the Cabinet of Commissioner Malmström proposing a meeting
An exchange of emails ranging between 18 October 2017 and 27 October 2017
between the Cabinet of the Commissioner Malmström and Goldman Sachs
Brussels office confirming a meeting date (Ares(2017)5266750);
An email on 22 November 2017 from Christian Burgsmüller reporting on the
meeting held on that day with Goldman Sachs (Ares(2017)6139979).
1 Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 May 2001
regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents, OJ L 145,
31.5.2001, p. 43.
Commission européenne/Europese Commissie, 1049 Bruxelles/Brussel, BELGIQUE/BELGIË - Tel. +32 22991111
I am glad to inform you that access can be granted to the content of these documents.
However, some personal data have been withheld in accordance with Article 4(1)(b) of
Regulation 1049/2001.2 The legal reasoning underlying the protection of these personal
data is provided below.
In line with the Commission's commitment to ensure transparency and accountability3,
the names of the Members of Cabinet are disclosed. Copies of the accessible documents
Article 4(1) (b) of Regulation 1049/2001 provides that “[t]he institutions shall refuse
access to a document where disclosure would undermine the protection of: […] privacy
and the integrity of the individual, in particular in accordance with Community
legislation regarding the protection of personal data
The applicable legislation in this field is Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 of the European
Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2000 on the protection of individuals with
regard to the processing of personal data by the Community institutions and bodies and
on the free movement of such data4.
Article 2(a) of Regulation 45/2001 provides that "'personal data' shall mean any
information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person […]"
. In this respect, the
jurisprudence of the EU Courts has clarified that activities of a professional nature may fall
within the notion of 'private life'"
5 and that "surnames and forenames may be regarded as
including names of the staff of the institutions7.
In accordance with Article 8(b) of Regulation 45/2001 personal data may be transferred to
recipients if they establish "the necessity of having the data transferred"
and additionally "if there is no reason to assume that the legitimate interests of the data subjects might be
I consider on the basis of your application, that these conditions have not
2 As regards the annex to document Ares(2017)2105578 entitled "SNS Samhällsprogram 2016", names
are disclosed as the document is available online
3 See Commission decisions C(2014) 9051 and C(2014) 9048 of 25 November 2014.
4 OJ L 8, 12.1.2001, p. 1. The Court of Justice has ruled that "where an application based on Regulation
1049/2001 seeks to obtain access to documents containing personal data" "the provisions of
Regulation 45/2001, of which Articles 8(b) and 18 constitute essential provisions, become applicable
in their entirety"
(see judgment in Guido Strack v Commission,
paragraph 101; see also judgment in Commission v Bavarian Lager,
C-28/08 P, EU:C:2010:378,
paragraphs 63 and 64).
5 Judgment in Rechnungshof v Rundfunk and Others
, Joined cases C-465/00, C-138/01 and C-139/01,
EU:C:2003:294, paragraph 73.
6 Judgment in Commission v Bavarian Lager,
C-28/08 P, EU:C:2010:378, paragraph 68.
7 Judgment in Guido Strack v Commission,
EU:C:2014:2250, paragraph 111.
8 The Court of Justice has clarified that "it is for the person applying for access to establish the necessity of
transferring that data"
(C-127/13 P, paragraph 107; see also judgment in C-28/08 P Commission v Bavarian Lager,
EU:C:2010:378, paragraph 77).
been met. Therefore, in order to ensure the protection of the privacy and integrity of the
individuals concerned, the personal data in question cannot be transferred.
In case you would disagree with the assessment provided above, you are entitled, in
accordance with Article 7(2) of Regulation 1049/2001, to make a confirmatory application
requesting the Commission to review this position.
Such a confirmatory application should be addressed within 15 working days upon receipt
of this letter to the Secretary-General of the Commission at the following address:
Transparency unit SG-B-4
or by email to: [adresse e-mail]
Electronically signed on 06/02/2018 11:50 (UTC+01) in accordance with article 4.2 (Validity of electronic documents) of Commission Decision 2004/563