Hans Wetzels (1982) is a freelance investigative journalist from the Netherlands. He currently lives in Berlin and Landgraaf, and has experience working in and from countries like Kenya, Nepal, Angola or Ukraine and knows his way around Brussels and the European institutions. His work has been published in several Dutch, Belgian and international media, such as Vrij Nederland, Down to Earth Magazine, MO* Magazine, Africa Renewal or Deutsche Welle. Hans is a member of the Green New Deal for Europe campaign launched by the Democracy in Europe Movement 2025 (DiEM25) and likes to play his bass guitar whenever possible.
Madrid, 1 June 2020 – Pro-transparency human rights organisation Access Info Europe is glad to launch AsktheEU Pro, an improved version of the AsktheEU.org account designed to upgrade journalists and researchers’ experience when requesting access to documents from the EU bodies and institutions.
Nikolaj Nielsen is a Danish-born journalist who has been working at the EUobserver since 2012.
Alejandra: Thanks for taking the time in talking to us, Nikolaj! We first wanted to ask you about the most relevant or interesting information you have obtained via this platform. Could you talk to us about it?
A survey of 95 users of the request platform AsktheEU.org, carried out by the Access Info team in February 2020, has found that three quarters (75%) report being increasingly disappointed with EU authorities’ responses, both in terms of the long delays in receiving answers and being dissatisfied with the information provided.
Friday 25 October 2019 – Open Knowledge France, the local group of the Cambridge-based NGO Open Knowledge Foundation, with the support of Access Info Europe, launches madada.fr, an online service aiming to simplify requests for access to information in France.
The main objective of Ma Dada platform is to help researchers, companies, journalists, associations or citizens who wish to exercise their right of access to public information, in a free, open-access service.
In January 2016, Access Info Europe launched a campaign inviting members of the public to request the travel expenses of EU Commissioners. After all, it seems entirely reasonable to us that citizens be able to find out how much public officials spend and claim when on official trips and travel. It is public money being used on public business!
Chapter One: The dark knights at a secret meeting
It was the beginning of the year 2014 when the European Commission first announced the creation of an “EU Internet Forum.” But it would take almost two years and several meetings before its official launch on 3 December 2015.
The Forum’s mission: to “counter terrorist content and hate speech online.”
Citizens have a right to a healthy environment. As part of this, they have a right to clean air.
However, in many countries of Europe, this right is constantly breached.
Citizens also have a right to know if the air they breathe is safe, particularly in countries that are being investigated or sued by the European Commission for breaching environmental laws seeking to protect the quality of air.
As EU leaders meet in Brussels to finalise details of last week’s controversial deal on sending refugees back from Greece to Turkey, Access Info Europe is launching an access to information campaign digging into the legality of the agreement, and asking EU institutions whether they sought legal advice on or properly evaluated the human rights impacts of the deal.
Now you can create widgets for your AsktheEU.org requests! This is a piece of code you can put in your blog or website, and it shows in a box the current status of your specific request. It also allows other people to support your request by clicking in the “I also want to know” button, so it can gain public backing from the visitors of the webpage where the widget is on.