Ref. Ares(2019)3648351 - 06/06/2019
Directorate-General for Trade
Directorate C - Asia and Latin America
Brussels, 21 May 2019
By registered mail with
acknowledgement of receipt:
Dr Ferdi De Ville
Advance copy by e-mail:
Subject: Your application for access to documents Ref GestDem No 2019/2377
Dear Dr De Ville,
We refer to your request dated 17/04/2019 registered on that date under the above-
mentioned reference number in which you make a request for access to documents. You
asked for responses to the Public Consultation on EU-China trade relations in the twenty-
This public consultation took place in 2006. At that time consultations were not carried
out in electronic format and records were not kept. However it has been possible to locate
two relevant documents.
We identified the following two documents:
1. An overall summary prepared by DG Trade of the results of the public consultation
on the China communication under reference D(2006)10058.
2. A summary including further details of the submissions to the public consultation.
These documents are attached. You may reuse these documents requested free of charge for
non-commercial and commercial purposes provided that the source is acknowledged and
that you do not distort the original meaning or message of the documents. Please note that
the Commission does not assume liability with regard to the reuse.
Pursuant to Article 4(1)(b) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001, access to a document has to
be refused if its disclosure would undermine the protection of privacy and the integrity of
the individual, in particular in accordance with European Union legislation regarding the
protection of personal data.
Commission européenne/Europese Commissie, 1049 Bruxelles/Brussel, BELGIQUE/BELGIË - Tel. +32 22991111
The applicable legislation in this field is Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 of the European
Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2018 on the protection of natural persons
with regard to the processing of personal data by the Union institutions, bodies, offices and
agencies and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Regulation (EC) No 45/2001
and Decision No 1247/2002/EC1 (‘Regulation 2018/1725’).
The second document to which you request access contains personal data, in particular
names of citizens. These have therefore been redacted.
Article 3(1) of Regulation 2018/1725 provides that personal data ‘means any information
relating to an identified or identifiable natural person […]’. The Court of Justice has
any information, which by reason of its content, purpose or effect, is linked to
a particular person is to be considered as personal data.2
In its judgment in Case C-28/08 P (Bavarian Lager
)3, the Court of Justice ruled that when a
request is made for access to documents containing personal data, the Data Protection
Regulation becomes fully applicable4
Pursuant to Article 9(1)(b) of Regulation 2018/1725, ‘personal data shall only be
transmitted to recipients established in the Union other than Union institutions and bodies if
‘[t]he recipient establishes that it is necessary to have the data transmitted for a specific
purpose in the public interest and the controller, where there is any reason to assume that the
data subject’s legitimate interests might be prejudiced, establishes that it is proportionate to
transmit the personal data for that specific purpose after having demonstrably weighed the
various competing interests’.
Only if these conditions are fulfilled and the processing constitutes lawful processing in
accordance with the requirements of Article 5 of Regulation 2018/1725, can the
transmission of personal data occur.
According to Article 9(1)(b) of Regulation 2018/1725, the European Commission has to
examine the further conditions for a lawful processing of personal data only if the first
condition is fulfilled, namely if the recipient has established that it is necessary to have the
data transmitted for a specific purpose in the public interest. It is only in this case that the
1 Official Journal L 205 of 21.11.2018, p. 39.
2 Judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union of 20 December 2017 in Case C-434/16, Peter
Nowak v Data Protection Commissioner
, request for a preliminary ruling, paragraphs 33-35, ECLI:EU:C:2017:994.
3 Judgment of 29 June 2010 in Case C-28/08 P, European Commission v The Bavarian Lager Co. Ltd
EU:C:2010:378, paragraph 59.
4 Whereas this judgment specifically related to 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 data, the
principles set out therein are also applicable under the new data protection regime established by
European Commission has to examine whether there is a reason to assume that the data
subject’s legitimate interests might be prejudiced and, in the affirmative, establish the
proportionality of the transmission of the personal data for that specific purpose after having
demonstrably weighed the various competing interests.
In your request, you do not put forward any arguments to establish the necessity to have the
data transmitted for a specific purpose in the public interest. Therefore, the European
Commission does not have to examine whether there is a reason to assume that the data
subject’s legitimate interests might be prejudiced.
Notwithstanding the above, please note that there are reasons to assume that the legitimate
interests of the data subjects concerned would be prejudiced by disclosure of the personal
data reflected in the documents, as there is a real and non-hypothetical risk that such public
disclosure would harm their privacy and subject them to unsolicited external contacts.
Consequently, I conclude that, pursuant to Article 4(1)(b) of Regulation (EC) No
1049/2001, access cannot be granted to the personal data, as the need to obtain access
thereto for a purpose in the public interest has not been substantiated and there is no reason
to think that the legitimate interests of the individuals concerned would not be prejudiced by
disclosure of the personal data concerned.
In case you disagree with the assessment that the redacted data are personal data which can
only be disclosed if such disclosure is legitimate under the applicable rules on the protection
of personal data, you are entitled, in accordance with Article 7(2) of Regulation (EC) No
1049/2001, to submit a confirmatory application requesting the Commission to review this
Such a confirmatory application should be addressed within 15 working days of receipt of
this letter to the Secretariat-General of the Commission at the following address:
Unit C.1. ‘Transparency, Document Management and Access to Documents’
B-1049 Bruxelles, or by email to: email@example.com
Head of Unit
Enclosure: Summary of submissions to the public consultation
Electronically signed on 06/06/2019 14:01 (UTC+02) in accordance with article 4.2 (Validity of electronic documents) of Commission Decision 2004/563