Spain: Three months to transparency
Madrid, 9 September 2014 - Spain's Transparency Law will enter into force in three months, on 10 December 2014, but to date the Spanish Government has not made public any information about how the new law will be implemented nor how the Transparency Council will be appointed.
Access Info Europe and Fundación Ciudadana Civio have yet to receive a reply to a letter sent on 20 August 2014 asking Spanish State Secretary José Luis Ayllón Manso to clarify the status of preparations for implementation of the law.
The Spanish government should do the following before the law comes into effect on 10 December 2014:
» Pass the Royal Decree approving the organic Statute for the Transparency and Good Governance Council: According to the law, approved in December 2013, this should have been done by March 2014. This Decree is important as it should set out, among other issues, the modalities for appointing the president of the Transparency Council. Civil society is concerned about the independence of the body and the rules which will determine how it functions.
Hitting a Hundred Access to Information Laws Globally
Need for Better Data on Transparency in Practice
[UPDATE 19 September 2014 - This law was signed and adopted by the President of Paraguay on Thursday 18 September 2014, making Paraguay the 100th country to adopt an access to information law]
Madrid, 26 August 2014 – The civil society movement campaigning for government openness is on the point of reaching a significant landmark with the Latin American country of Paraguay awaiting presidential sign off on what will be the world's 100th access to information law. The law was passed by Paraguay's parliament on 21 August 2014.
[The picture shows Horacio Cartes, President of Paraguay, who should now sign the law].
Right to information specialist organisation Access Info Europe congratulates the global freedom of information community for achieving this milestone.
Twenty years ago, in 1994, there were just 15 access to information laws globally. The democratic transitions in Central and Eastern Europe after the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989 and subsequent democracy movements globally have given impetus to the transparency movement for securing these laws. The Open Data and Open Government movements, plus advocacy and litigation from freedom of information advocates, are helping to drive this forward.
Open data to get your teeth into!
Access Info invites open analysis of UK FCO documents
Madrid, 4 August 2014 – Access Info Europe called for fellow freedom of information activists to help analyse and discover the information and data held in the tens of UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office documents on negotiations in Brussels to revise the European Union's transparency law, in a crowdsourcing initiative launched today.
Download the documents here!
These documents, obtained as a result of a four-year legal battle, are a unprecedented insight into the debate around the right of access to EU documents that has been going on since 2008, and could prove which EU countries are, and are not, transparency champions.
Dive into the data and help shed some light on the relations between the EU and Member States and the so-called "policy-laundering" phenomenon, whereby citizens are told the EU is to blame for certain decisions which actually involve full and proactive Member State representatives' participation.
European Ombudsman urges proactive transparency of EU-US trade talks
Madrid, 31 July 2014 – Access Info Europe today welcomed the decision by the European Ombudsman to call for more proactive disclosure of documents to stakeholders surrounding the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations, and to open investigations into the Council of the EU and EU Commission’s lack of transparency around these talks.
Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly has offered a range of practical measures to enable timely public access to TTIP documents, and to details of meetings with stakeholders. Referring to the pro-transparency jurisprudence established by Access Info’s case against the Council (won in October 2013) as well as by the July 2013 ruling in the case of In ‘t Veld against the European Commission, the Ombudsman questioned the assertion of public harm in the disclosure of the EU negotiating directives for the on-going negotiations.