15-17 February 2016
Madrid, Spain

Access Info Europe will hold at its offices a series of meetings with some leading right to information activists from across Europe.

The participants include Access Info’s board members, partners on the ongoing Decision-Making Transparency (DMT) project, as well as representatives of other organisations working on right to information issues.

The key aspects that will be discussed during these 2 days sessions includes: discussing of main findings of the DMT project to date, with special focus on questions of record-keeping and the lack of lobby transparency; Strategizing on how to promote both greater transparency and participation in core government decision making and the role of civil society in to OGP initiative; exploring the possibilities of linking RTI and refugees crisis and; debating about the increasing problem of the use of privacy exception when accessing information about decision-making processes.


Monday, 15 February 2016

14:30 – 18  Decision-Making Transparency

  • Results of the decision-making transparency (DMT) project to date: discussion of main findings
  • Special focus on questions of record-keeping, lack of lobby transparency
  • Discussions to include strategizing for next phase and fundraising for national work
  • Discuss the topics for the expert papers (privacy, proactive obligations, record keeping, decision-making exception interpretation, …)

18 – 20  AIE Board meeting (board members)


Tuesday, 16 February 2016

10 – 11:30  Participation

  • Discussion on finding of the DMT project that much information is not available for participation in decision making.
  • We also note that as part of the OGP processes participation is far less developed than the areas of transparency and accountability.
  • Comparative analysis of possible participation mechanisms.
  • Strategising on how to promote both greater transparency and participation in core government decision making.
  • Development of potential projects.
  • One or two Spanish experts in participation will join the discussion.

12:30 – 14  Migration

  • Access Info’s research LINK and that of many CSOs and journalists shows that there is too little information about migration available from governments across Europe. Given the significance of the migration/refugee situation in Europe, we propose to discuss possible projects focusing on making decision-making and participation around this issue.

16 – 17.30  Privacy

  • The use of the privacy exception is an increasing problem when accessing information about decision-making processes, ranging from information about public officials (for example those participating in meetings of the Council of the European Union and in many national level meetings) and denial of information about lobbying (refusal of names or details of lobbyists in many countries).
  • The invocation of the privacy exception also occurs frequently with respect to expenditure of public funds and other core government activities. Furthermore, a particular challenge that Access Info has been investigating is around the names of company owners, questions of access to company registers which is essential for much human rights and anti-corruption work.
  • In this session we propose to map out some of the main privacy challenges across Europe and to brainstorm common strategies for addressing them, including litigation strategies. We will discuss the involvement of our organisations and networks of pro-bono lawyers in this work.
  • In addition to strategies, we willdefine potential project ideas.

18.00 – 19.00  Concluding session