CEO Request for Access to DG Trade Documents


GATS Basics

GATS 2000

GATS Debate






Directorate-General for Trade

Director General

Brussels, 18-06-2019
DG Trade/D2 D(2002)

Dear: Mr. Wesselius

Subject: Access to Commission Documents - Appeal

Thank you for your letter of 26 April 2019 according to which you consider DG Trade's reply to your initial requests under Regulation No 1049/2001 [1] dated 28 February 2019 for access to documents incomplete and indicate you wish to appeal the reply.

While this would at first sight suggest that the new request should be dealt with as a "confirmatory application" in the sense of Council Regulation 1049/2001 a closer examination of the new request reveals that most of the documents now sought by CEO go beyond the scope of the initial requests. In its initial request the CEO among other things sought access to Commission documents relating to meetings between "European Commissioner Pascal Lamy, member of his Cabinet, and other DG Trade staff" and "representatives of the European Services Forum (ESF)". In the new request the CEO is now also seeking access to documents relating to "ESF meetings", including "meetings of ESF's Policy Committee", that were "attended by EC staff". As far as the latter documents are concerned you request is consequently being treated as an initial request.

We have again examined its files, including emails, to determine whether any other documents would respond to your requests and to which you would be entitled under the provisions of Council Regulation 1049/2001. Following this examination we have come to the conclusion that only one additional document responds to your request and is not exempt from disclosure, namely a note for the file regarding a meeting on 10 December 2019, copy attached. No other documents respond to the description in the request and those that do are exempt from disclosure by Article 4(1) ("international relations").

In this connection I should add that for most of the meetings concerned the officials that attended have not prepared any written reports. In those limited number of cases where reports have been prepared or where other documents exist but have not been made available to you the reason for rejecting your request is based on the fact that these contain sensitive information either regarding third countries and/or the offensive and defensive interest of EC in future trade negotiations. The disclosure of such information could undermine the protection of "international relations" within the meaning of Article 4(1) of Council Regualtion 1049/2001 and is consequently exempt from disclosure.

The Secretary-General will inform you of the result of this review within 15 working days from the date of registration of this request. You will either be given access or your request will be rejected in which case you will be informed of how you can take further action.

All correspondence should be sent to the following address:

The Secretary-General
European Commission

Yours sincerely,


1 OJ L 145, 31.05.2019 page 43

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