Madrid, 20 November 2015 – The refusal by the European Parliament to make public details on spending of MEPs expenses allowances on grounds of personal data protection has been challenged before the European Court of Justice by a network of journalists from each of the 28 Member States.

This initiative was started by Slovenian journalist Anuška Delić who discovered that she could get information about the expenses of members of the Slovenian parliament but not about Slovenian MEPs in Brussels.

Welcoming the legal challenge, Access Info argued that the European Parliament should be setting a standard for levels of transparency in Member States, rather than vice versa.

There is no reason why the spending of public funds by elected representatives should fall under the scope of privacy protection,” said Helen Darbishire, Director of Access Info Europe. “Around Europe there have been scandals around the misuse of parliamentary allowances and there is a high public interest in having access to this information.”

Access Info, which provided expert advice on the development of the MEPs Expenses Project, noted that is the first truly pan-European journalistic initiative to make the Brussels institutions more transparent and accountable to Europe’s 505 million citizens. Access Info supports journalists on conducting such transnational research through its Legal Leaks Toolkit and trainings, a project run together with n-ost.

The Lawyer taking the case is Nataša Pirc Musar, former Slovenian Information Commissioner and an honorary member of Access Info. The journalists running who submitted requests include Gavin Sheridan (Ireland) and Staffan Dahloff (Denmark),  also honorary members of Access Info.

Statement from the MEPs Expenses Project here: alt

Press Release from the MEPs Expenses Project here: alt

For more information, please contact:

Helen Darbishire | Access Info Europe
Send an e-mail or call +34 913 656 558