Regulation of Lobbying in Spain – Statement by Access Info Europe
Madrid, 2 June 2013 - Today the Spanish daily El País published an article revealing the government's plans for future lobby regulation in Spain. The main highlights include the creation of an obligatory register of interest representatives, applicable to all those who undertake lobbying activities via-a-vis the upper and lower houses of Parliament. The article also outlines a series of ethics reforms such as the publication of declarations of interest by senior officials or stricter controls over conflicts of interest.
Focus on Access to Information Laws essential for implementation of UN Convention against Corruption
Vienna, 29 May 2013 – Access Info Europe today called on States Parties to the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) to make strong mechanisms for access to information a priority issue. The right of access to information is a key tool for the prevention of corruption, yet there is no mention of it in the work plan of the UNCAC’s Working Group on Corruption Prevention.
Speaking at the UN Convention against Corruption Briefing for NGOs today, Lydia Medland of Access Info said, "To fight corruption, citizens and civil society organisations need effective access to information laws which not only oblige governments to publish information proactively but which also give citizens the right to request and receive information held by public bodies."
Mustafa al-Hawsawi Case
Information obtained by Access Info Europe as part of the Rendition project with UK NGO Reprieve, using access to information in order to get information on secret CIA flights, has been used by REDRESS and the Human Rights Monitoring Institute (HRMI) to bring to court a complaint calling for an investigation into allegations that Mustafa al-Hawsawi was illegally transferred to and secretly detained and tortured in Lithuania as part of the CIA-led programme.
Access Info Europe together with Reprieve gathered data on flights associated with "extraordinary rendition" - the covert transfer of prisoners by the USA from locations in Europe the Middle East and Asia. Using the right of access to information to investigate the flights, the information on relevant flight data in 28 countries was acquired by the requests submitted to likely holders.
The complaint by REDRESS and HRMI was rejected on 2 October 2013. The NGOs are are appealing this decision in the Lithuanian courts.
Link to the article about Mustafa al-Hawsawi case on the Redress Website.
Global Rendition System Mapping
Madrid, 22 May 2013 - Today, the “Global Rendition System” database and interactive map was launched by Access Info’s partners, Reprieve and The Global Rendition Project. Much original data included in the mapping was collected by Access Info and Reprieve in the Rendition on Record project, under which access to information requests were submitted to 29 countries and one international organisation. The Global Rendition System database and mapping has been released on the eve of President Obama’s major speech on counter-terrorism policy.
New Guide on Access to EU Documents
Madrid, 9 May 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).
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