Events, Conferences, Seminars, Campaign Meetings
Access Info's team of staff, consultants and board members participate in events such as conferences and seminars. These face to face meetings with civil society, journalists, government representatives, academics and members of the general public are an important way of discussing and raising awareness of the right to information.
On this page you can read about recent events and find links to more material such as declarations, reports and video footage. This news on events will also help you to identify who is doing what to promote the right of access to information and who are the key contacts in your country or region.
This page is being updated...
SocialTIC: technologies for the social change
16 May 2013, Madrid,Spain
Pam Bartlett gave a talk on the concept of "accountability" in the first part of the event organised by EAPN-Spain, and presented to the public some digital tools and projects from Access Info and other organisations, like AsktheEU.org or LobbyPlag.eu to promote accountability and transparency in the UE.
You can see the video of the event here, the pictures here and the tweet document to follow all the comments sent about the event, here.
Pamela's presentation on tools promoting accountabily in UE, available here.
Launch of the Diritto di sapere's report
25 April 2013, Perugia, Italy
Victoria Anderica and the Diritto di sapere’s team presented in Perugia the final report on the situation of the Right of Access to Information and the state of transparency in Italy at the International Journalism festival 2013. The event was tweeted under the hashtag #ijf13. For more information, read this article.
Please, find the report here.
You can see the video of the event, here.
The 6th Fundamental Rights Platform meeting
24-26 April 2013, Vienna, Austria
Access Info was represented by Lydia Medland at the 6th Fundamental Rights Platform meeting from 24-26th April 2013. The meeting is an annual event which provides an opportunity for civil society organisations to engage with the work of the fundamental rights agency and to share expertise and experiences from human rights work being done by NGOs and civil society networks across the European Union.
Access Info held a participative workshop called, "No time for for questions?! The right to ask and the right to know about human rights". The participants identified the information that they needed for their everyday human rights work and then grouped this into categories that showed where this information may be available from. A group discussion was held on the various challenges in accessing particular types of information and experiences were shared about where information requests could be useful. The participants were all given a copy of Access Info's "Guide on Access to EU Documents".
For more information about the meeting aims, click here.
ALTER EU's General Assembly: 'Standing up to big business lobbies: Reclaiming Europe for the public interest
10-11 April 2013, Institute of Cultural Affairs, Brussels, Belgium
Pam Bartlett (Access Info) attended the ALTER-EU annual meeting as member of the directive committee of the coalition. She participated in two days of scheduled activities with members of other organizations, including Quadrature du Net and ATTAC Germany, sharing strategies, campaigns and examples of organized resistance.
The first day, ALTER-EU outlined its four key campaigns: Lobbying regulation, stricter regulation of the “revolving door” phenomenon, transparency and representation in expert groups of the Commission as well as strengthening Codes of Conduct in the EU. Later, attendees participated in groups in the four workshops offered: tobacco industry lobbying (DalliGate), European legislation on data privacy, European Initiative against water privatization and finance in the EU (Finance Watch). That same day, in the afternoon, the participants to the ALTER-EU’s assembly started a "Lobby Tour" focusing on the recent Dalligate, reviewing the failures and lack of transparency around the resignation of the Health Commissioner. The investigation report of the case has not been published and could contain irregularities, therefore, the civil society organizations are calling for its release.
The second day, Pam Bartlett moderated a public event which involved MEPs, a member of the European Commission and civil society to draw conclusions from the Dalli case and drew lessons for preventing conflicts of interest . The event hashtag on Twitter is # lobbycracy and you can see the video of the all event here. After the event, participants created group strategies to continue to seize the opportunity offered by the next European elections, and lobbying registration review scheduled in June, to get a mandatory lobby register, stricter regulations for European officers and greater controls of the "revolving door" phenomenon.
Information Day in Madrid: Europe for Citizens and local government aid
19 March 2013, Madrid, Spain
The aim of the conference"Europe for Citizens and local government aid" was that the organizations that have received funds from the European Commission share their experiences with local government staff. Pamela Bartlett explained how to make a request for funds, step by step, through this power point presentation.
To see the picture of the event, click here
Seminar session on Access to Public Information and Human Rights
19 March 2013,Universidad Carlos III, Madrid, Spain
On 19th March Lydia Medland from Access Info held a talk for journalism students on the right of access to information and human rights. The talk consisted of an introduction to the right of access to information internationally and a discussion on how it can be of use to journalists and human rights researchers. The discussion that followed included questions on how to deal with responses that do not reflect accurate information and how to appeal in various countries.
Transparency Law and Access Info work, University Villanueva
6 March 2013,Villanueva (Madrid), Spain
As part of a course on the ethics of journalism, Lydia Medland from Access Info gave a talk for final year journalism students about the right of access to information worldwide and in the Spanish case. During the talk, and in the debate with the students that followed, the focus was on the use of the right to information as an instrumental right and as a tool for journalists in their research and everyday work.
Meeting with Members of the Andalucian Government (Junta de Andalucía)
15 February 2013, Seville, Spain
Helen Darbishire and Victoria Anderica met with members of the Andalucian government in Seville on the 15th of February to advise the government on the drafting of a transparency law in Andalucia. There they also discussed the mission of Access Info, to defend the right to freedom of information, and also the 10 principles of the Pro Action Coalition.
To see the full description of the meeting, click here.
The Personal Democracy Forum in Poland (Central America and Eastern Europe)
1-2 February 2013, Warsaw, Poland
The Personal Democracy Forum, established in 2004, organizes regular meetings in countries all around the world to discuss ways to improve democracies. Helen Darbishire from Access Info participated in the most recent forum in Warsaw where experts discussed the relationship between the internet and open democracies. The event was organised by Personal Democracy Media in collaboration with Fundacja ePaństwo (EPF), the recipient of the European Sector of Public Information Award in 2011 for their outstanding parliamentary monitoring portal, Sejmomter.pl.
To view videos from the forum, click here.
Inaugural Transparency and Access to Information Web Session
23 January 2013, Barcelona, Spain
On the 23rd of January, Victoria Anderica spoke about the situation regarding freedom of access to information in Spain in the event organised by Nova Innovació Social in Barcelona. Victoria also spoke about transparency, participation, accountability and new technologies as the key to establishing open governments.
To hear the conclusions, click here.
To see pictures of the event, click here.
Access to Information Workshop on Access to Information for Journalists and Members of the General Public
17 and 18 January 2013, Milan and Rome, Italy
On the 17th and 18th of January 2013, Helen Darbishire, Victoria Anderica and Diritto di Sapere taught journalists,bloggers, members of the general public and social organisations about the concept of freedom to access information and the state of the right to access information in Italy. They introduced the participants to the Italian version of the Legal Leaks Toolkit which was launched during the event in Milan and later in Rome. Diritto di Sapere created the Kit with the help of Ernesto Beisario, lawyer and founder of the Italian Open Government Association, and Luca Bolognini, lawyer and president of the Italian Institute for Privacy.
Participation, ethics and transparency: what citizens want from Brussels
Friday 16 November 2012, Residence Palace, Polak Room, Brussels: 9am – 1pm
The issue of transparency is again high-up on the EU agenda: following the scandal about ex-health and consumer Commissioner Dalli in the last weeks, debates on how to improve the transparency of EU institutions and regain the trust of European citizens have started again.
Discussion of these questions is the goal of this conference organised by the ALTER-Citizens project. The project strives to create a two-way dialogue and greater trust between European public officials and European citizens and foster enhanced citizen participation in EU decision-making.
In the first session the link between ethics regulation and citizens' trust will discussed: What can be learnt from the European Parliament experience and how can it be used for enhanced citizens' participation in Brussels and EU member states?
The second session will follow-up on these questions and explore avenues for more inclusive citizens' participation and enhanced transparency of EU institutions. It will debate how greater lobbying transparency can be achieved in the EU and how the erosion of trust in EU institutions can be stopped.
Citizen Proposals for Lobby Regulation
Public Debate organized by Access Info Europe, 22 October 2012, Barcelona
Summary and outcomes of the Debate
As a follow-up to the workshop on citizen participation and lobby regulation held in Navacerrada in early September, Access Info Europe organised a public debate in Barcelona on 22 October 2012. The debate was titled Citizen proposals for lobby regulation and was moderated by the communications specialist Antoni Gutiérrez Rubí.
Participants at the open debate were Fernando Golmayo, Vicepresident and Founder of the Spanish Association of Institutional Relations Professionals, Koen Roovers, Coordinator of ALTER-EU (Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation in the EU) and Salvador Milà y Solsona, a member of the Catalan Parliament and representative of the left-wing Parliamentary group Esquerra ICV-EUiA. The position of the conservative party (Partido Popular) was submitted ahead of the debate by Santiago Cervera Soto, the rapporteur on transparency for the Spanish Parliament, and was communicated to the audience during the session by an Access Info staff member, Victoria Anderica.
Both events aim to address the current lack of lobby regulation in the Spanish legal system, whilst articulating new strategies for citizen participation across Europe. This dual-focus on lobbying and participation is due to the popular sentiment that lobbies may exert their influence on politicians and officials in more efficient way than ordinary citizens, and that this can lead to decision-making that does not favour the public interest.
DEBATE PÚBLICO: Propuestas Ciudadanas para el control del lobby
El “Debate público: propuestas ciudadanas para el control del lobby” se celebrará en Barcelona el día 22 de octubre de 2012 en el CIDOB* de 16:00 a 20:00h.
Confirma tu asistencia rellenando este formulario.
El “lobby” es el conjunto de actividades destinadas a influir en los agentes clave y en el proceso de toma de decisiones. Severamente cuestionado por algunos y desconocido por otros,el lobby es una cuestión que afecta a todos los ciudadanos y a la calidad democrática. Hay quien confunde el lobby con el tráfico de influencias y quien lo asocia a la defensa de los intereses privados por encima de los públicos.
Para controlar el vínculo amistoso que se crea entre los poderes económicos y políticos, los ciudadanos necesitamos saber exactamente quién influye en nuestros representantes, por cuánto dinero, y con qué fin. De ahí la importancia de regular la representación de intereses en España, de forma que sea transparente.
Por otra parte, el lobby ciudadano es un derecho democrático; debería ser una herramienta accesible a todos, de forma que tanto los ciudadanos como la sociedad civil puedan hacer valer sus derechos, defender el interés general y ser atendidos por los políticos, al igual que lo son los grandes lobistas. Para que el lobby ciudadano se convierta en una realidad, es necesario regular los grupos de presión y aumentar la participación ciudadana. Es preciso decidir entre todos qué tipo de regulación creemos más conveniente para que el ejercicio del lobby sea transparente y accesible a todos.
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