Vicky Cann is a campaigner for Corporate Europe Observatory, a research and campaign group working to expose and challenge the privileged access and influence enjoyed by corporations and lobby groups in EU policy making. Vicky makes access to documents requests through AsktheEU.org to expose potential conflicts of interest or highlight where the EU revolving door rules have not been followed. She spoke to Andreas Pavlou of Access Info Europe about her experiences.
The EU Commission spend millions of Euros a year on the salaries, office and travel expenses of EU Commissioners, but citizens have no way of knowing exactly how this money is spent.
The EU Commission argues that this information should be withheld to protect the personal privacy of the Commissioners, even though their flights, accommodation, and security are public expenses that are used for carrying out their public functions!
The European Commission is impeding the public’s right to submit access to documents requests via the AsktheEU.org web portal by refusing to register requests which are not accompanied by a postal address.
AsktheEU.org, which is run by Access Info Europe, was launched in September 2011 with the aim of making the requesting process more transparent. It is set up to work via email, with requests and responses published online in real time. Hence it does not currently have the capacity to deliver postal addresses without making them public.