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.
Madrid, 22 May 2015 – Following AlaveteliCon 2015 in Madrid on 19-20 May, Access Info Europe’s director Helen Darbishire, reflects on 3.5 years of running the AsktheEU.org website for making documents requests to the European Union.
In particular she notes the successes, challenges and lessons learned about the relationship with the EU Institutions and public officials.
Did you know, there are over 30,000 professional lobbyists in Brussels (second only to Washington D.C.), and yet there is no mandatory lobby register to check how they influence policies that impact our daily lives?
Proposals to introduce consumer-friendly labels on food were dropped in 2010 by EU institutions, yet the current situation means citizens do not have a clear picture of why this happened and the impact of lobbyists on the proposals!
The biggest free trade deal in the world, between the EU and the US is being conducted in secrecy behind closed doors, right now!
We, citizens of the EU and US, are being shut out from these negotiations about future rules which will govern our daily lives, including the quality of our food, consumer protection, and chemicals safety, despite EU treaties saying “Decisions shall be taken as openly and as closely as possible to the citizen.”
Dear Users and Potential Users of AsktheEU.org
First of all, thanks to all our users and all those who have collaborated with AsktheEU.org in the first three years of our existence. AsktheEU.org has become and will continue to serve as an important platform for increasing the transparency of the EU institutions by permitting citizens to make access to documents requests to EU bodies and publishing the answer to those requests online.
Three New Transparency Campaigns Focus on the Demand for More Access to EU Documents
Madrid, 29 September 2014 – Access Info Europe has launched a new version of the request platform AsktheEU.org, which now includes special features to help civil society organisations campaign to get access to EU documents, in celebration of International Right to Know Day on 28 September.