Ref. Ares(2020)7543481 - 11/12/2020
HUMAN RESOURCES AND SECURITY
Brussels, 11 December 2020
Ms Belén BALANYÁ
Rue d'Edimbourg 26
By email: ask+request-8716-
Your application for access to documents – Ref /GestDem No 2020/6533
Dear Ms Balanyá,
I refer to your e-mail, dated 29 October 2020 and registered on 30 October 2020 under
reference number 2020/6533, in which you make a request for access to documents.
Your request concerns "[…] am requesting documents which relate to any article 16,
article 12B and article 40 (staff regulations) applications made by Christopher Jones,
former deputy Director General of DG Energy. In particular, I request a note of all Mr.
Jones' job titles at the Commission including dates held; copies of any application(s) that
he has made under article 12b, 16 and 40 to undertake a new professional activity; and
all documents (correspondence, emails, meeting notes etc) related to the authorisation of
the new role or roles.."
I have examined your request under the provisions of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 of
the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2001 regarding public access to
European Parliament, Council and Commission documents.
I understand that your request refers to documents relating, firstly, to the new roles and
new professional activities of Mr Christopher JONES after leaving the service in line
with Article 16 of the Staff Regulations1 (SR). And, secondly, I understand that you refer
to the requests submitted by staff members in the context of Article 12b SR in relation
with Article 40 SR, that means a staff member request to perform an outside activity
(Article 12b SR) while he or she is on leave on personal ground (Article 40 SR).
In this context, the documents identified in the framework of your request are:
1 Consolidated text: Regulation No 31 (EEC), 11 (EAEC), laying down the Staff Regulations of Officials
and the Conditions of Employment of Other Servants of the European Economic Community and the
European Atomic Energy Community
Commission européenne/Europese Commissie, 1049 Bruxelles/Brussel, BELGIQUE/BELGIË - Tel. +32 22991111
Office: SC11 09/012 - Tel. direct line +32 229-90515
a document extracted from the relevant staff database listing the job titles of Mr
a first declaration form submitted by Mr Jones on 20 August 2018 in the framework
of Article 16 SR and the related decision from the Appointing Authority;
a second declaration form submitted by Mr Jones on 20 August 2018 in the
framework of Article 16 SR and the related decision from the Appointing Authority,
Notes and e-mail exchanges within Commission services and between Commission
services and Mr Jones pertaining to the underlying internal procedures concerning
this type of requests for authorisation.
In accordance with Article 4(1)(b) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001, it is the
Commission's obligation to ensure that the privacy and the integrity of the EU staff
member concerned, including in his professional capacity, are correctly protected. The
documents you requested contain personal data relating to the past and present
occupational activities of Mr Jones, the disclosure of which would entail a transmission
of personal data falling under the provisions of Regulation (EU) 2018/17252.
In the case EC v Bavarian Lager
3, the Court of Justice ruled that when a request is made
for access to documents containing personal data, Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 becomes
fully applicable4. Pursuant to Article 9(1)(b) of that Regulation, personal data shall only be
transferred to recipients if they established the necessity of having the data transferred to
them and if there is no reason to assume that the legitimate rights of the persons
concerned might be prejudiced.
In your request you did not establish the necessity of having the data transferred and I
consider that the legitimate interests of the individual concerned would be prejudiced by
the disclosure of his personal data. Consequently, I consider that the exception provided
for in Article 4(1)(b) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 applies to all the identified
As for the correspondence between the Commission services and Mr Jones, in addition to
the protection of personal data, the second subparagraph of Article 4(3) of Regulation
(EC) No 1049/2001 applies. That exception is related to the protection of the
Commission's decision-making process even after the decision of the Appointing
Authority has been taken. As no overriding public interest in disclosure has been
identified in the present case, that exception to the right of access cannot be waived.
While I have also considered the possibility of granting partial access on the basis of
Article 4(6) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001, I have concluded that this would equally
undermine the protection of personal data.
Against this background, in order to address your query to the extent possible, and after
having consulted and with the agreement of Mr Jones, I can nevertheless provide you
2 Regulation (EU) No 2018/1725 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 (OJ L 295, 21.11.2018, p. 39).
3 Judgment of 29 June 2010, Case C-28/08 P, European Commission v The Bavarian Lager Co. Ltd
ECLI:EU:C:2010:378, paragraph 59.
4 This judgment specifically cited Regulation (EC) No 45/2001, which was repealed by Regulation (EU)
2018/1725. In accordance with Article 99 of that latter Regulation, references to Regulation (EC) No
45/2001 should be construed as references to Regulation (EU) 2018/1725.
with the following general information on the process to which your request relates.
On 20 August 2018, Mr Jones submitted two declarations to engage in remunerated
occupational activities after leaving the Commission, pursuant to Article 16 SR. One as a
self-employed consultant for the law firm Baker & McKenzie (Brussels, Belgium) and
another one as Visiting Professor on Energy Law and Policy at the European University
Institute (Florence, Italy).
In his first declaration, he requested to perform a remunerated occupational activity for
an undetermined period of time, starting on 1 October 2018, as a self-employed
consultant on all aspects of EU Law and Policy, providing services, via his own
company, exclusively to the law firm Baker & McKenzie in Brussels.
Following the consultation process required for this type of request, the Appointing
Authority gave its approval to carry out this occupational activity, subject to strict
compliance with certain conditions aimed at preventing any potential conflict of interest.
The specific restrictions aiming at preventing any actual, potential or perceived conflict
of interests that may rise in the framework of the authorized activity imposed by the
Appointing Authority decision can be found in the Annual Report 2019 on occupational
activities of senior officials after leaving the service.5
In his second declaration, he requested to perform a remunerated occupational activity
for a period of 3 years, starting on 1 October 2018, as Visiting Professor on Energy Law
and Policy, engaged in research, at the Florence School of Regulation - European
University Institute in Florence.
Following the consultation process required for this type of request, the Appointing
Authority gave its approval to carry out this occupational activity while reminding Mr
Jones of his applicable obligations under the Staff Regulations, in particular:
- not to engage in lobbying or advocacy, during the 12 months after leaving the service,
vis-à-vis staff of the Commission for your business, clients or employers on matters for
which you were responsible during the last three years in the service (according to the
third paragraph of Article 16 SR);
- to continue to refrain, even after having left the service, from any unauthorised
disclosure of information received in the line of duty, unless that information has already
been made public or is accessible to the public (as provided in Article 17 SR). This
statutory obligation also entails refraining from exploiting insights of confidential nature
in policy, strategy or internal processes that Mr Jones may had acquired in the line of
service and that have not yet been public or are not commonly available in the public
- to make it clear to his interlocutors that this activity is earned out in his personal
capacity, not representing in any way the position or interests of the Commission.
Mr Jones was also reminded of other applicable Staff Regulations provisions.
5 Communication to the Commission on the publication of information concerning occupational
activities of senior official after leaving the service (article 16, fourth paragraph of the Staff
Regulations), C(2019) 9415 final, 23 December 2019.
Furthermore, I can provide you with the information on the last post held by Mr Jones
with regard to the relevant period assessed as regards any potential conflict of interest in
the framework of Article 16 of the Staff Regulations. Between November 2014 and
March 2018 he had the position of Deputy Director-General of DG ENER; while,
between April 2018 and September 2018, he was Hors Class Adviser for DG ENER.
I would like to remind you that CEO remains subject to the provisions of Regulation
(EU) 2016/679 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of
personal data and on the free movement of such data (General Data Protection
Regulation6) according to which personal data must, inter alia
, be processed fairly and
lawfully and subject to the unambiguous consent of the data subject concerned.
Finally, please be informed that a copy of this letter will be sent to the person concerned.
In accordance with Article 7(2) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001, you are entitled 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, Document Management & Access to Documents (SG.C.1)
or by email to: email@example.com
6 Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the
protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement
of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation), OJ L 119,
4.5.2016, p. 1.
Electronically signed on 11/12/2020 11:07 (UTC+01) in accordance with article 11 of Commission Decision C(2020) 4482