Ref. Ares(2020)5994347 - 27/10/2020
DIRECTORATE-GENERAL FOR HEALTH AND FOOD SAFETY
Food sustainability, international relations
Multilateral International relations
SANTEDDG2.D2/AS/tt (2020) 6555376
Mr Vincent Harmsen
7326 AH Apeldoorn
By email only: ask+request-8544-
Dear Mr Harmsen,
Your application for access to documents — Ref GestDem
We refer to your email of 11 September 2020, in which you submit a request for access
to documents, registered on 14 September 2020 under the above mentioned reference
We also refer to our email of 2 October 2020 extending the time limit to respond to your
request according to Article 7(3) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001.
1. Scope of your request
In your request, you ask, on the basis of Regulation (EC) No 1049/20011, access to:
all minutes of meetings, and/or any other reports of such meetings, of the SPS Committee
of the World Trade Organization (WTO) between July 28th 2018 and September 1st
2020’, as well as to ‘all minutes of meetings and/or any other reports of such meetings of
the TBT Committee of the World Trade Organization (WTO) between July 28th 2018 and
September 1st 2020.
2. Identification and assessment of the documents
We have identified nine documents falling under the scope of your request.
You will find attached a table listing the identified documents and summarising the outcome
of the assessment carried out on the basis of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001.
1 Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 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.
Having examined these documents under the provisions of Article 4 of Regulation (EC)
No 1049/2001 we have concluded that all nine documents can be partially disclosed, as
their full disclosure is prevented by one of the exceptions to the right of access laid down in
Article 4 of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001.
We enclose a copy of the documents redacted of the parts which cannot be disclosed.
Please note that due to the wide scope of your request, covering also areas falling under
the responsibility of other Directorates-General, parts of your request have been
attributed to other Directorates-General2. This reply relates only to the documents held by
the Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety. You will receive the reply from other
Directorates-General in due course.
In particular, please note that, as we have already informed you in our email of 2 October
2020, this reply only deals with the part of your request referring to the minutes of the
Please note that the identified documents were drawn up for internal use under the
responsibility of the relevant services of the Directorate-General for Directorate-General for
Health and Food Safety. They solely reflect the services’ interpretation of the interventions
made and do not set out any official position of the third parties to which the document
refers, which was not consulted on its content. They do not reflect the position of the
Commission and cannot be quoted as such.
3. Reasons for partial disclosure
Article 4(1)(b) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 – Protection of privacy and the
integrity of the individual
With regard to the nine listed above, a complete disclosure of the identified documents is
prevented by the exception concerning the protection of privacy and the integrity of the
individual outlined in Article 4(1)(b) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 because they
contain the following personal data:
the names/initials and contact information of Commission staff members not
pertaining to the senior management; and
handwritten signatures/abbreviated signatures of natural persons.
Article 9(1)(b) of the Data Protection Regulation3 does not allow the transmission of
these personal data, except if you prove that it is necessary to have the data transmitted to
you for a specific purpose in the public interest and where there is no reason to assume
that the legitimate interests of the data subject might be prejudiced. In your request, you
do not express any particular interest to have access to these personal data nor do you put
2 Directorate-General for Grow, GestDem 2020/ 5451.
3 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/EC, OJ L 295, 21.11.2018, p. 39.
forward any arguments to establish the necessity to have the data transmitted for a specific
purpose in the public interest.
Consequently, we conclude that, pursuant to Article 4(1)(b) of Regulation (EC) No
1049/2001, access cannot be granted to the personal data contained in the requested
documents, 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.
Therefore, the documents listed above are disclosed redacted of the parts containing
4. Means of redress
In case you would 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 position.
Such a confirmatory application should be addressed within 15 working days upon
receipt of this letter to the Secretariat-General of the Commission at the following
Unit C.1. ‘Transparency, Document Management and Access to Documents’
or by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Head of Unit
– Annex: List of the documents covered by the request
– Nine documents partially disclosed
Electronically signed on 27/10/2020 15:04 (UTC+01) in accordance with article 11 of Commission Decision C(2020) 4482