New Guide on Access to EU Documents
Madrid, May 9, 2013 – To celebrate Europe Day, Access Info is launching a citizen-friendly Guide on Access to EU Documents and is calling on members of the public and civil society organisations to exercise their rights and file access to documents requests.
The EU has recognised a fundamental right of access to EU documents, but the EU's freedom of information law – which goes by the catchy title of 'Regulation 1049/2001' – remains underused by the population at large. The new guide demystifies the process of asking for EU documents explaining step by step how to make a request.
Access Info hopes the guide will encourage citizens to exercise their right to ask, and also to defend that right before the European Ombudsman in cases where full information is not provided.
Click to download a copy of the Guide on access to EU Documents (best viewed online with Internet Explorer).
"I don't want to be rich, I want to be happy"
The Voices of EU Citizens Presented in Brussels
Madrid/Brussels, April 24, 2013 — Access Info Europe today called on the European Union to make the “European Year of Citizens” a reality by removing obstacles to participation in Brussels decision making, in particular by increasing levels of EU transparency.
*A member of the Spanish public speaking in this video which captures the voices of European Citizens facing up to the current financial crisis
Presenting “The Citizens’ Report: Participation, Ethics and Transparency – What citizens want from Brussels”, the culmination of a year of consultations with members of the public across Europe, Access Info Europe said its research shows that citizens are concerned about lack of transparency, weak ethics regulation and low levels of citizen participation in the European Union.
The Spanish institutions have ignored 54% of information requests after 12 months of public debate on transparency
• Access Info Europe and Fundación Ciudadana Civio present the report Tuderechoasaber.es 2012, which analyses the information requests sent to the institutions from this webpage.
• Only 13% of the questions obtained requested information from the institutions (75 of 567).
• The future Transparency Law is insufficient and will not improve access to information in practice
Madrid, April 9, 2013 - One year after the entry into the political agenda of the Transparency Law (the draft was presented on March 26, 2012), and approaching the deadline to amend it in Congress, citizens still have not received appropriate attention from institutions. According to the 2012 report from tuderechoasaber.es (read the report in Spanish online), at present: over half of the requests have still not received a response (54%); while only 13% of all applications have received the information requested. The report has been published today by Access Info Europe and the Fundación Ciudadana Civio.
More Information and Evidence Needed on Immigration Detention
Access Info Europe and The Global Detention Project Begin 33-Country Right to Information Investigation
Geneva/Madrid – 14 March 2013 – Access Info Europe and the Global Detention Project have today submitted 66 information requests to 33 governments as part of an initiative aimed at improving transparency of immigration detention practices. The organisations have requested statistics regarding the numbers and types of detainees, as well as details about where people are detained for immigration-related reasons.
Immigration detention is the deprivation of liberty of non-citizens for reason related to their residency status. It typically involves locking up asylum seekers and irregular immigrants until they can be deported or have their claims adjudicated. Migrants are frequently held on administrative – as opposed to criminal – grounds. Many national legal systems do not have clear rules for administrative detention and, as a result, detainees often face legal uncertainties, including lack of access to the outside world, limited possibilities of challenging detention through the courts, and absence of limitations on the duration of detention.
"Immigration detention has become a key tool used by states to control migration,” commented Michael Flynn, founder of the Global Detention Project, which is based at the Graduate Institute’s Programme for the Study of Migration in Geneva. “Thus, it is critically important for civil society to be aware of where immigrants and asylum seekers are being detained and the conditions of their detention. However, governments often make it very difficult to get accurate and up-to-date information about detention.”
The 33 countries in the information-gathering initiative include all 27 European Union states as well as Canada, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Switzerland, and the United States. All of these countries detain migrants as part of their immigration policies.
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