Access Info Mission and Strategy
Access Info Europe is a human rights organisation dedicated to promoting and protecting the right of access to information in Europe and globally as a tool for defending civil liberties and human rights, for facilitating public participation in decision-making and for holding governments accountable. This mandate is established in our statutes.
Access Info's mission is that the right of access to information be enshrined in law and deliver greater transparency in practice.
Our vision is that everyone in Europe has the right to know what their elected representatives are doing with the power entrusted to them, and how the public’s money is being spent and that everyone can access the information they need or are interested to know.
Access Info was created in June 2006 to meet a need in Europe for an organisation dedicated to promoting the right of access to information. We work to defend access to information as a fundamental human right in and of itself, and as an instrumental right which is essential for participation in government decision-making, for holding governments accountable, and for defence of other human rights.
Formed by European and international experts in access to information, Access Info is registered as a not-for-profit, non-governmental association under Spain's Law on the Right of Association (Ley Orgánica 1/2002, de 22 de marzo, reguladora del Derecho de Asociación. Access Info's was founded on 26 June 2006 and registration was confirmed by decision of Spain's Ministry of Interior on 2 October 2006, registration number 587828). On 2 August 2010, Access Info was also registered as an NGO for development, thanks to our work on aid transparency. (Ley 23/1998 de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo and Real Decreto 993/1999 de Reglamento del Registro de ONGD).
The Statutes were revised in February 2008 to emphasise the breadth of Access Info's mandate which is to turn the right of right of access to information into a living tool for protecting civil liberties and the rights of all including excluded groups, for promoting participation in governance, and for advancing transparency to reduce corruption and promote integrity in government.
Access Info runs projects which are in line with its mission and according to a strategy which is periodically revised and approved by the Executive Board and International Advisory Board.
In the strategy document, Access Info sets out the rationale for its existence and activities. Based on research carried out across Europe in recent years, Access Info has identified a series of problems related to the right of access to information, namely:
- • Huge variations in the same right of access to information in law and practice around Europe;
• Lack of awareness among European CSOs and citizens of the relevance and usefulness of the right of access to information to defend human rights and, for those who do try to exercise the right, difficulties in obtaining information;
• Much information is still outside the reach of access to information laws because of lack of agreement on standards for the scope of the right and because of governments’ unwillingness or failure to publish information proactively.
Our work is structured in three strategic lines designed to address the these problems:
• Advancing the Right to Know: promoting access to information in law and practice across Europe;
• Using the Right to Know: helping NGOs, journalists, and citizens to get information;
• Thinking Info! standard-setting and policy discussions on the right to information.
These strategic lines result in three activity areas conceived from the perspective of Access Info’s internal strategy but also to make sense when communicating our work to external actors. This logic is also used in the structure of this website in the hope that people approaching Access Info with little prior knowledge of our work should be able rapidly and easily to identify what we do, how we are doing it, and to find relevant information.