Madrid, 17 March 2016 – As the European Parliament’s Constitutional Affairs Committee (AFCO) gears up for a crucial debate on recommendations on the future of EU integrity, transparency, and accountability, Access Info Europe has called on MEPs to support proposals in favour of strengthening EU transparency mechanisms, including by giving the Ombudsman powers to review classified documents and inspect the premises of public bodies.

At the same time, Access Info cautioned that some of the amendments put forward by MEPs in the AFCO Committee, such retaining a limited definition of access to documents (rather than all information), are out of line with international standards.

Other positive proposals included in the Report on integrity, transparency, and accountability in EU institutions by rapporteur Sven Giegold (Greens/EFA, Germany) include sanctions for unauthorised destruction of documents and the introduction of information officers in each EU body.

It is concerning to see that some amendments put forward by MEPs fly in the face of greater EU transparency and seek to undermine the bold recommendations and amendmentsto the report that will be debated by AFCO,” stated Andreas Pavlou, EU transparency campaigner at Access Info Europe.

“The proposals to strengthen the office of the Ombudsman, such as by permitting review of classified documents and inspect the premises of public bodies, vindicate her actions so far to defend EU transparency, a fundamental right in the EU treaties,” he added.

Access Info further welcomed amendments by Giegold calling for an EU commitment to open data and for access to documents in machine-readable formats, as well as for the Parliament to end the practice of destroying MEP’s emails at the end of each legislative term, in order for there to be greater accountability of lobbying activities.

You can find a copy of the report (Dossier AFCO/8/02760) and the amendments on the AFCO committee webpage.

For more information, please contact:

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