Brussels, 15 August 2022
Answer given by President von der Leyen on behalf of the European Commission
The Commission has not censored information, nor infringed the right to transparency. The Commission replied to a specific access to documents request submitted under Regulation (EC) No 1049/20011, in which access to three documents was granted in full or partially subject to the redaction of personal data under Article 4(1)(b) of Regulation (EC) No 1049/20012.
Following a recommendation by the European Ombudsman, the Commission confirmed in its reply3 that the search for relevant text messages in possession of the institution, corresponding to the scope of the request for access to documents and responding to the records management criteria, has not yielded any results.
Pursuant to Article 7(1) of Commission Decision (EU) 2021/21214 ‘[d]ocuments shall be registered if they contain important information which is not short-lived or if they may involve action or follow-up by the Commission or one of its departments’. The Commission replied to numerous requests for access to documents in the past under Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001, whereby applicants requested correspondence, notes and other documents related to meetings and other interactions it held with different entities and individuals.
The Commission carries out a case-by-case assessment of the content of the documents identified in the scope of such requests.
1 C(2021) 5592 final.
2 OJ L145, 31.05.2001, p. 43.
4 Commission Decision (EU) 2021/2121 of 6 July 2020 on records management and archives, OJ L 430,
2.12.2021, p. 30.
Source: Answer to a written question – Recent reports reveal that the President of the Commission censored information about her relationship with Pfizer’s CEO – we request full disclosure – P-000396/2022(ASW)