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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.