27 February 2020 – Access Info Europe today welcomed the online publication of the European Commissioners’ Mission Expenses from December 2017 to December 2019, which had been previously taken offline by the European Commission.
The renewed publication of the data comes after Access Info denounced its non-availability, submitted a formal request for it via that AsktheEU.org platform, and wrote to Commissioner Vera Jourová, in charge of Values and Transparency; no response has yet been received to that letter.
“We are pleased to see that minimum standards of transparency have been restored, in line with the 2017 Commission commitment to publish this data, even if this only happened after a public campaign in which we informed MEPs, journalists, and civil society, as well as writing to Commission officials,” said Helen Darbishire, Executive Director of Access Info.
“We are nevertheless concerned that the data is hard to find, requiring multiple clicks, and only available in English, which means that there is little real accountability to the vast majority of Europe’s 445 million citizens and residents,” added Darbishire.
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Not knowing whether or not the information was going to be published again by the Commission, Access Info had published a full copy in a rather more user-friendly format.
“Fortunately we had already archived the data,” explained Helen Darbishire, “but it really is the Commission’s job to ensure that basic information on spending of public funds is easily accessible for all European citizens.”
Access Info also noted that information on the missions of the new Commissioners between December 2019 and January 2020 has not yet been published, even though the Code of Conduct for EU Commissioners requires proactive publication of travel expenses every two months.
“Access Info will remain vigilant and continue pushing the European Union to meet its obligations, and eventually go beyond the current very basic standard or transparency,” said Helen Darbishire.
Find the Juncker Commission’s Mission Expenses here
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Helen Darbishire, Executive Director | Access Info Europe
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Paula Domínguez, Communications Officer | Access Info Europe
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