“AsktheEU.org allowed us to obtain documents showing the extent to which the defence industry, the European Commission and the European Defence Agency had been engaging with each other” – Interview with Bram Vranken

Bram Vranken is a researcher and campaigner with the Belgian peace organisation Vredesactie. He works on topics related to arms lobbying in the European Union and the international arms trade.

Alejandra: Hi Bram, great to talk to you today. To start off, could you tell me what has been the most relevant information you have obtained through AsktheEU.org? read more

“Freedom of information is absolutely fundamental to our democratic rights, to our ability to hold decision makers to account, to know what’s going on” – Interview with Vicky Cann

Vicky 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.

Alejandra: Vicky, thank you for joining me this morning. You have made around 400 requests on AsktheEU.org, so certainly you are one of our most active users. When we last interviewed you, you told us that you were working on the issues of revolving doors and lobby transparency. Are you still working on that or have you changed your focus to another issue? read more

“The most interesting requests I’ve done were those focused on how the EU was deporting what they considered illegal immigrants in Europe” – Interview with Adrián Blanco

Adrián Blanco Ramos is a graphics reporter at The Washington Post. He previously worked as a data journalist at El Confidencial, focusing on data visualization, data analysis and investigative journalism. He participated in the International Consortium of Investigative Journalist’s Paradise Papers investigation. He also interned at the Spanish international news agency Agencia EFE, Radio Televisión Española and the Times of London. read more

“My requests have helped me obtain documents about the militarisation and externalisation of European borders” – Interview with Mark Akkerman

Mark is a researcher at Stop Wapenhandel (Dutch campaign against arms trade), who has in recent years focused, in cooperation with the Transnational Institute (TNI) on the militarisation and externalisation of EU borders, and the role the military and security industry plays in this.

Alejandra: Hey Mark, thanks for doing this interview! As a starter, could you tell our users what has been the most relevant information you have obtained through AsktheEU.org? read more

“AsktheEU.org helps keep the EU democratic and transparent – and is so easy to use that I could explain it to my mum!” – Interview with Hans Wetzels

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. read more

“Sometimes I get the feeling that they put all of these barriers so that you just give up. But this pushes me more, it motivates me to continue” – Interview with Nikolaj Nielsen

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? read more

Ma Dada: a new online service for access to information requests in France

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. read more

The Travel Expenses Campaign: How We Did It

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! read more