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The In ‘t Veld Ruling: Raising the Bar for Denying Access to EU Documents

Madrid, Friday 25 July 2014 - Helen Darbishire and Pamela Bartlett of Access Info Europe analyse the wider consequences of the recent European Court of Justice ruling, which will make it harder to deny access to EU documents relating to international relations or to containing legal advice.

The 3 July 2014 pro-transparency ruling by the European Court of Justice in the legal battle for access to negotiations between the European Union and the United States on sharing financial transaction data in order to fight terrorism, will make it harder for the EU to deny access to documents relating to international relations and legal advice, according to a leaked document seen by Access Info Europe.

In the document, drafted in response the court victory by Dutch MEP Sophie in 't Veld, the General Secretariat of the Council concludes that "it is becoming increasingly difficult to demonstrate that disclosure of a specific document would 'specifically and actually' undermine an interest protected by an exception in Article 4 of Regulation 1049/2001."

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Legal Leaks Challenge: Write Your Access To Information Story

ll_challenge_posterMadrid, Thursday 24 July 2014 – As part of the Legal Leaks trainings which has taken place during the month of June in five different countries in the Balkans – Kosovo, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia -, Access Info Europe and UNESCO, in partnership with the EU Commission, has organised a challenge for journalists taking part in these courses.

What is the challenge about?

Journalists shall write a story based on one or more access to information requests they have previously made. The article will have to be written in English, and will be a maximum of 2000 words long.
We will positively rate articles based on access to information requests filed in several different countries.

What are the deliverables? 

» The article, in English, of maximum 2000 words.
»
A document where the applicant must describe the access to information requests that he or she made, and an explanation of the request process they went through.

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New Commission President Juncker Commits to Transparency on Trade Deals and to a Mandatory EU Lobby Register

Jean-Claude-JunckerMadrid, Wednesday 16 July 2014 - Access Info Europe welcomed the commitment made today by new European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to transparency of decision making, particularly with respect to lobbying and international trade negotiations, and to enacting a mandatory register of lobbyists.

The commitment by Juncker at his confirmation hearing in the European Parliament included specific references to transparency during all steps of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations, something which Access Info Europe along with over 250 civil society groups have been calling for since the negotiations began.

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MEPs urged to push lobby transparency to top of Juncker's agenda

juncker_2140199bBrussels, Tuesday 15 July 2014 - Access Info Europe as part of ALTER-EU is calling upon Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to ensure that improvements in the area of lobby transparency, conflicts of interest, and ethics are placed high on the agenda of the new European Commission, as they prepare to quiz its president-elect Jean-Claude Juncker today.

During the recent EU elections, 177 elected MEPs signed ALTER-EU's Politics for People pledge in which they committed to “stand-up for citizens and democracy against the excessive lobbying influence of banks and big business” upon entering office.

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