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AsktheEU.org Report on Council of the European Union: Transparency problems exposed

AsktheEU.org-coverMadrid/Brussels, 19 May 2014 - The Council of the EU is failing to comply with EU transparency rules by not respecting time frames for responding, applying too many extensions to requests, and not informing all requesters of their right to appeal when information is denied, according to a report published today by Access Info Europe.

Analysis of 50 access to documents requests submitted to the Council between 2011 and 2013 via the AsktheEU.org platform, found that the average time for answering was 20 working days, significantly over the maximum 15 working days permitted by EU law. Requests which resulted in partial denials of information were answered in an average of 49 working days. Excessive use was made of extensions which were applied in a full 32% of cases. Click here to read the report.

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Politics for People Campaign: Tweet Your Candidates Day, 14 May 2014

politics_for_people_logo_square_White_on_orange_WEBMadrid, 12 May 2014 – To encourage candidates in the European Parliament elections to pledge to defend the public interest against excessive private-interest lobbying, the Politics for People campaign is launching #TweetYourCandidates Day on Wednesday 14 May 2014.

At the time of writing, over 1000 candidates to the European Parliament have signed the pledge – but there are still many more who have yet to do so!

All you need to do is to send a tweet to a not-yet-signed candidate asking them to pledge to stand-up for citizens and democracy against the excessive lobbying influence of banks and big business. You will find some model tweets below: 

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Access Info Europe leads panel about open government in the OGP Regional Meeting in Dublin

OGPDublin

Madrid, 30 April 2014 – Access Info Europe is coordinating a panel on ‘Open Government: standards and indicators for measuring progress’, as part of the Open Government Partnership Regional Meeting in Europe, which will take place in Dublin on 8 and 9 May.

Effectively measuring and evaluating open government has been a challenge for the OGP since its launch in 2011. Proposals such as the Open Government Standards, the Open Government Guide, and other initiatives and instruments have aimed to provide benchmarks and guidance for the evaluation of national action plan commitments.

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Open Debate: We support an EU lobby register, say Spanish candidates to the European Parliament

Madrid, 24 April 2014 - Support for an EU lobby register was the message conveyed by European election candidates in yesterday's open debate in Madrid organised by Access Info Europe.

This event was a unique opportunity for citizens to ask questions directly to candidates in person and via Twitter. The answers demonstrated a range of opinions between Salvador Garriga (PP) and Enrique Guerrero (PSOE), both current Members of the European Parliament, and candidates from UPyD, IU and Equo-Primavera Europea.

Given their EU parliamentary experience, the two veteran candidates showed an understanding of lobbying as a necessary and integrated part of an MEPs daily life, and defended the transparency of their own work in the European Parliament. Both expressed the need to keep improving lobbying transparency but they presented it as an inevitability rather than a problem to be solved: Lobbies exist and are ever better regulated, and should continue to be a key element in EU decision-making processes.

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