Ref. Ares(2021)4503982 - 12/07/2021
DIRECTORATE-GENERAL FOR COMMUNICATIONS NETWORKS, CONTENT AND
Mr Samuel Stolton
International Press Centre
Boulevard Charlemagne 1
Advance copy by email to: email@example.com
REGISTERED LETTER WITH ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF RECEIPT
Your request for public access to documents – GestDem 2021/0860
Dear Mr Stolton,
I refer to your request for access to documents pursuant to 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 documents1 (hereinafter ‘Regulation
1049/2001’), introduced via the Register of Commission Documents on 18 February 2021,
and registered on the same date under the above-mentioned reference number. I also refer to
the acknowledgement of receipt provided to you also on the same date, our reference
Ares(2021)1351742, and to our holding replies of 11 March 2021, Ares(2021)1775215, and
of 7 April 2021, Ares(2021)2370606.
SCOPE OF YOUR REQUEST
You have requested public access to documents under Regulation 1049/2001 as follows:
‘All documentation (including but not limited to: general communications of any nature,
written material of any kind, email correspondences, attendance lists, agendas,
background papers, briefing papers, transcriptions of meetings, readouts of meetings,
summaries of meetings, briefings for meetings, any written material whatsoever)
containing references to “Hikvision.”’.
1 Official Journal OJ L 145, 31.5.2001, p. 43.
Commission européenne/Europese Commissie, 1049 Bruxelles/Brussel, BELGIQUE/BELGIË – Tel. +32 22991111
Based on your description, we have identified the following documents as falling under the
scope of your above application:
EU-US INFSO dialogue briefing, Basis CNECT/8565
– Document 1;
Invitation email – cnect.h.2(2021)1808169 – Document 2;
Briefing – cnect.h.2(2021)1639995 – Document 3;
Digital Single Market Emerging Technologies in Electronic Components and
Systems (ECS) – Opportunities Ahead – Annexes, doi 10.2759/46971 – ISBN 978-
92-76-17501-8 – Document 4;
Feedback F530171 to the Consultation on the White Paper on Artificial
Intelligence – A European Approach – AIConsult2020: Hikvision’s public reply to
the questionnaire, Ares(2020)3356914 – Document 5;
Briefing for EVP Vestager – First EU-China High Level Digital Dialogue,
Ares(2020)7622433 – Document 6;
Study to Support an Impact Assessment of Regulatory Requirements for Artificial
Intelligence in Europe, Ares(2020)7622433 – Document 7;
Study SMART 2011-0035, Annex
2: Visualization Simulation and Visual
Computing technologies EU position and future potential, Ares(2013)386560 – Document 8.
III. ASSESSMENT AND CONCLUSIONS UNDER REGULATION 1049/2001
We enclose a copy of Documents 4, 5, 7
Please note that Documents 4, 5
are available also online:
Document 4 is online published and accessible under: https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-
Document 5 is online published and accessible under: https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-
Document 7 is online published and accessible under: https://digital-
With regard to Documents 2
, a complete disclosure of the identified documents is
prevented by exceptions to the right of access laid down in Article 4 of Regulation 1049/2001,
as set out below under points 1, 2 and 3.
Furthermore, please note that parts of Document 3
do not relate to your application and were
therefore redacted as being out of the scope of your request.
With regard to Documents 1
I regret to inform you that access may not be granted, as
disclosure of the identified documents is prevented by exceptions to the right of access laid
down in Article 4 of Regulation 1049/2001, as set out below under points 2 and 3.
Protection of commercial interests
Article 4(2), first indent of Regulation 1049/2001 provides that the Commission 'shall refuse
access to a document where disclosure would undermine the protection of commercial
interests of a natural or legal person, including intellectual property,
[…], unless there is an
overriding public interest in disclosure'.
In Document 2
, the parts redacted contain commercially sensitive information of the third-
party being the originator of these parts of the document.
Public disclosure of this specific information would seriously undermine the third party’s
commercial interests and negatively affect its competitive position on the market. There is a
real and non-hypothetical risk that public access to the above-mentioned information would
undermine the commercial interests of the entity addressed by the requested document.
We therefore conclude that access to these parts of the requested document has to be refused
based on the exception relating to the protection of commercial interests as laid down in
Article 4(2), first indent of Regulation 1049/2001.
Protection of privacy and the integrity of the individual (protection of personal
Article 4(1)(b) of Regulation 1049/2001 provides that the Commission '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'.
In case of Documents 2, 3
, 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 1049/2001, because they contain the following personal data:
‒ the names/initials and contact details of natural persons other than Commission staff
‒ other information relating to identified or identifiable natural persons.
Article 9(1)(b) of the Data Protection Regulation2 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 put
forward any arguments to establish the necessity to have the data transmitted for a specific
purpose in the public interest.
Therefore, we conclude that, pursuant to Article 4(1)(b) of Regulation 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 as 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.
2 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.
Protection of international relations
Article 4(1)(a), third indent of Regulation 1049/2001 provides that the Commission 'shall
refuse access to a document where disclosure would undermine the protection of […]
In relation to Document 1
respectively, your application may not be granted, as
disclosure of the identified document is prevented by the exception concerning international
relations provided for in Article 4(1)(a), third indent of Regulation 1049/2001, because it
contains sensitive information regarding the EU-US relations (Document 1
) and the EU-
China relations (Document 6
Public disclosure of this specific information would undermine the international relations of
the Commission and the European Union in relation to the Unites States of America
) and to China (Document 6
We therefore conclude that access to Documents 1
has to be refused based on the
exception relating to the protection of international relations as laid down in Article 4(1)(a),
third indent of Regulation 1049/2001.
We have considered, whether partial access could be granted to Document 1
respectively. However, we have come to the conclusion that Documents 1
, as far as falling under the scope of your application, are entirely covered by the above
Article 4 exception.
IV. NO OVERRIDING PUBLIC INTEREST IN DISCLOSURE
The exception of Article 4(2) of Regulation 1049/2001 referred to above applies, unless there
is an overriding public interest in disclosure of the documents in question. Such an interest must
be public and outweigh the harm caused by disclosure.
We have examined whether there could be an overriding public interest in disclosure, but that
we have not been able to identify any such interest.
DISCLAIMER AND RE-USE OF DOCUMENTS
Kindly pay attention to the following: You may reuse public documents, which have been produced by the European Commission or by public and private entities on its behalf, based on
Commission Decision 2011/833/EU of 12 December 2011 on the re-use of Commission
documents (OJ L 330, 14.12.2011, p. 39-42). You
may reuse the enclosed redacted and not
redacted documents free of charge for non-commercial and commercial purposes, provided
that the source is acknowledged, that you do not distort the original meaning or message of
the documents. Please note that the Commission does not assume any liability stemming from
Please also pay in all cases attention to any specific disclaimers displayed in the specific
documents or applicable to any content in the documents originating from third parties.
Disclosure of documents is therefore without prejudice to the rules on intellectual property,
which may limit your right to reproduce or exploit the released documents without the
agreement of their originator(s), who may hold an intellectual property right on them. The
European Commission does not assume any responsibility from the reuse of documents
originating from third parties.
VI. POSSIBILITY OF A CONFIRMATORY APPLICATION
In accordance with Article 7(2) of Regulation 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:
Unit ‘Transparency, Document Manag
ement & Access to Documents’ (SG.C.1)
or by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Electronically signed on 12/07/2021 10:49 (UTC+02) in accordance with article 11 of Commission Decision C(2020) 4482