One of the ways in which Access Info can measure the impact it is having is through your responses to our emails. Below you will find some reactions to our work on the European Union, particularly the successful Court Case against the Council of the EU, and The Secret State of EU Transparency Reforms report.
“It surprises us time and time again how governments committed to transparency by rethoric forget its importance when it comes to them. It is sad that often judicial decisions to remind governments whom they represent and to whom they are accountable. We need to be grateful to Access Info and its likes for clarifying this to them” – Roy Peled, Director General, Movement for Freedom of Information in Israel
“I salute Access Info’s great victory of openness against secrecy. Now it must be clear for everyone where the problem lies: EU Member States do everything they can to prevent citizens from participating in decision-making. There can be no democracy without such a right. It is tragicomical that this sad state of the EU was revealed by Access Info’s legitimate request to learn of the positions of 27 governments on public access to information! I cannot believe that ten years after the adoption of clear rules (regulation 1049/2001) the Council still behaves as if citizens were a mere disturbing factor.” – Heidi Hautala, MEP and European parliament rapporteur on implementation on access to documents regulation
The Irish Information Commissioner, Emily O’Reilly, talked about Access Info in her speech on 26 March 2011, asserting that “accountability, in the absence of openness and transparency, becomes very difficult if not impossible. I doubt very much that there is any good reason why we should not know the position being adopted by Ireland in negotiations on the revision of the EU Regulation on access to information.Fourteen years after the enactment of our own Freedom of Information Act, it is heavily ironic that Ireland’s stance on access to information held by the EU institutions remains, in effect, a secret!” Click here to read the whole speech.
“This judgement should be welcomed by everyone who believes in openess and transparency, and holding governments accountable for what they vote in the secrecy of Council Meetings. The judgement reinforces the case I have made for enhancing the public’s access to the documents of the European Union, only that way are governments made accountable.” – Michael Cashman MEP, Rapporteur on Public Access to EU Documents
“A victory for rationality! Well done. This will have currency in other, like, situations as well”. – Beverley Wakem, Chief Ombudsman New Zealand.
“This ruling is a very positive development and will expand the frontiers of FOI not just in Europe but in Africa as well where open government is a relatively new concept”- Gilbert Sendugwa, African Freedom of Information Centre
To give us your feedback, suggestions or ideas, please email firstname.lastname@example.org