EU decision-makers push for less transparency

darknessovertheEUBrussels/Madrid, 5 June 2012 – With tripartite negotiations between the three institutions of the EU going in an anti-transparency direction, Access Info Europe, ClientEarth, European Environmental Bureau, Friends of the Earth Europe and Greenpeace EU, supported by various civil society organisations, are calling on the Council of the EU and its Member States to withdraw regressive amendments to the EU access to documents regulation so that citizens can still enjoy the current level of EU transparency.

Although the revision of the EU access to documents Regulation appears to be on schedule to conclude before the end of the Danish Presidency of the Council – 30 June 2012 – it seems that the traditionally pro-transparency government has been overpowered by Member States such as France, Germany and the UK, which are seeking to limit the public’s right of access to EU documents.

The influence of these Member States has led to a common Council position, which, if adopted, would increase the opacity of the EU decision-making process, lead to a regression of the right of access to EU documents and weaken citizens’ ability to hold the institutions to account; thus violating the Treaty of Lisbon and the case-law of international courts such as the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights.

Finland and Sweden have made it clear that they disagree with the Council’s attempts to weaken the EU access to documents Regulation, while emphasising the need for greater transparency in the context of the EuroZone crisis. It is now up to the European Parliament to defend the right of access to EU documents as found in the current version of Regulation 1049/2001, which is of a higher standard than both the Commission and the Council’s proposals.

Alongside the petition directed at the EU institutions (Council and Commission, Parliament), we are calling on citizens from France, Germany and the United Kingdom to pressure their governments to take a clear pro-transparency position in the Council so that the right to access EU documents is fulfilled.

Please sign the draft letters by emailing Anne Vandelle with the name of your organisation, the name of its representative and your logo to before Friday 8 June 12:00 noon CET.

Draft letter to France: file_doc odf2odt-16x16

Draft letter to Germany: file_doc odf2odt-16x16

Draft letter to the United Kingdom: file_doc odf2odt-16x16

For more information – please contact:

Pam Bartlett, Research and Campaigns Coordinator, Access Info Europe | +34 91 365 6558