Madrid, 1 September 2017 – European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is planning to publish the travel expenses of the EU’s 28 Commissioners according to reports today by Le Soir newspaper and Politico.eu.
This move comes in the wake of a campaign by Access Info and 120 requesters from across Europe, which generated intense media coverage earlier in August.
Reports suggest that publication of the data will only happen once per year and will be designed to give the public a “picture” of the travel costs.
Access Info is calling for more frequent publication, noting that once every month should be possible given best practices for proactive publication of budget data from around Europe.
“The European public is calling for more than a ‘picture’, they are calling for real accountability!” said Helen Darbishire, Executive Director of Access Info.
Access Info’s campaign has so far resulted in Commissioners’ travel expenses for just January and February 2016 being released, and these in scanned PDF format.
“In the era of open data, regular detailed updates put online in an open format should be perfectly possible,” added Darbishire.
Little more is known at this stage about the proposal, which was presented by President Juncker to the Commissioners at a closed-door retreat in the Belgian city of Genval on Friday morning, according to people present who spoke to journalists.
A Commission spokesperson told Access Info that no further details are available at this juncture, and that concrete proposals would come “at a later stage … in the coming weeks.”
Access Info is calling on the Commission to be open about decision making around this proposal, in order that civil society and the wider public can debate the plans and there can be discussion
In July, a total of 53 requesters who participated in the Access Info campaign submitted a formal complaint about the treatment of their requests by the European Commission to the European Ombudsman; the Ombudsman’s office has opened an inquiry.
For more information, please contact:
Luisa Izuzquiza, Communications Officer | Access Info Europe
Helen Darbishire, Executive Director | Access Info Europe
Send an e-mail or call +34 913 656 558