Access sends open letter to Commissioner Malmström seeking clarifications on claims from yesterday’s hearing

In an open letter sent today to Commissioner Malmström, Access requests the Commissioner-designate for Trade for immediate feedback on the aspersions she placed on the validity of the acquired document during yesterday’s hearing in the European Parliament.

Brussels, Belgium – On Monday Sept. 29th, the European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade (INTA) held the public hearing of Commissioner-designate Cecilia Malmström. During the hearing, four Members of the European Parliament from different political groups, asked Ms. Malmström to address the concerns raised by the document acquired by Access, showing that DG Home worked alongside with the US administration to undermine the data protection reform. She refused to answer, putting into question the veracity of the email, repeatedly calling it a “leak”.

“Ms Malmström is claiming to support transparency while refusing to comment on a legally acquired document,” says Raegan MacDonald, European Policy Manager at Access. “This is a blatant affront to the MEPs,” added MacDonald.

Access acquired the compromising email through a Freedom of Information request to the U.S. Department of Commerce, a verifiable and legal process. Commissioner-designate Malmström cannot continue to ignore the implications of a demonstrably legitimate document, claiming that all “allegations” of her working to undermine the data protection reform “were not founded”.

“Malmström’s continued refusal to answer would be another desertion from her duties,” says MacDonald.

Today, the INTA committee will hold a vote to decide whether to support Malmström as commissioner-designate in light of those accusations. We urge the MEPs to take both the implications of the document and Malmström’s reluctance to answer into consideration when they come to vote today.