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Access Info Europe challenges lack of transparency in Spain at European Court of Human Rights

magritte-la-trahison-des-images-1Madrid, Monday 14 April 2014 - Access Info Europe today presented a case against Spain at the European Court of Human Rights challenging the refusal to recognise a right of access to information following a seven-year legal battle to obtain information from the Ministry of Justice about anti-corruption measures.

The case has been presented to the Strasbourg Court after Spain’s Constitutional Court last year rejected an appeal based on the freedom of expression provisions of the Constitution (Article 20.1.a) and Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

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You are invited to participate in an open debate about transparency and lobby influence in Europe with European Parliament candidates

Check out the live streaming of the event here!

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Madrid, 10 April 2014 – As a part of the campaign ‘Politics for People’ [1], has organised an open debate on Wednesday 23 April on the European elections. The event will take place at the Press Association of Madrid (Asociación de la prensa de Madrid) with the participation (to be confirmed) of European election candidates from Popular Party, Socialist Party (PSOE), Union for Progress and Democracy, United Left, Equo and representatives of other parties. Candidates will discuss the issues of transparency, the influence of lobbies in the European Union and the importance of making policies for citizens, not for big companies. María Rosa Rotondo from the Institutional Relations Professionals Association, and a specialist in lobbying matters, will moderate the talks.

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Spanish institutions ignored 57% of access to information requests during 2013, the ‘year of transparency’

» Administrative silence increased with respect to 2012 despite the fact institutions should be working already to meet the requirements of the new law
» Only 13% of requests received the information asked for
» Whilst Spanish Autonomous Communities were better at responding, municipalities and other local levels ignored 81% of requests made - an increase of more than 11% compared to the previous year
» Access Info Europe and Fundación Ciudadana Civio present the Tuderechoasaber.es Report 2013, analysing access to information requests sent to Spanish institutions

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Madrid, Wednesday 9 April 2014 - In 2013, the year the Spanish Transparency Law was approved by parliament, Spanish institutions resorted to administrative silence on more occasions than in the previous year. With less than eight months until the entry into force of the new law at the national level, 57% of access to information requests made through Tuderechoasaber.es, a Spanish online request platform, did not receive any reply (3% more than the previous year). The Tuderechoasaber.es Report 2013 (in Spanish file_pdf) was published today by Access Info Europe and Fundación Ciudadana Civio, the two organisations that run the platform.

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Access Info Europe Discusses Transparency with Spanish Government

Madrid, 3 April 2014 – Access Info and the Foundation Civio met on Wednesday 2 April 2014 with senior representatives of the Spanish government to discuss a range of transparency issues, including implementation of the access to information law (due to come into force on 10 December 2014), Spain's second Open Government Partnership Action Plan, and moves by the Spanish Parliament to regulate lobbying.

This is the first time in two years that Access Info has had a formal meeting with government representatives to review transparency issues. The meeting was held with State Secretary for Parliamentary Relations, José Luis Ayllón Manso, as well as Eduardo Ribas Steegmann, Parliamentary Relations Cabinet Director, and Esperanza Zambrano, Deputy Director for Legislative Proposals and Parliamentary Documentation. Access Info was represented by Helen Darbishire, Executive Director, and Victoria Anderica, Campaigner. Civio was represented by David Cabo, Director, and Eva Belmonte, Project Director.

One of the most significant issues which arose was that the government confirmed that it is planning to ask all requesters to provide their ID number (or passport number in the case of foreigners) and that requests will only be permited by one single form on the future Transparency Portal.

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