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!
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.
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.”
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!