Luisa

About Luisa Izuzquiza

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So far Luisa Izuzquiza has created 323 blog entries.
20 Jun 2017

Requesters appeal to EU Ombudsman for access to Commissioners’ expenses

Madrid, 20 June 2017 - Access Info Europe and 53 requesters from across Europe appealed to the European Ombudsman about the European Commissions’ failure to register, process, and respond to requests for the 2016 travel expenses of EU Commissioners submitted five months ago, in January 2017. The joint complaint highlights the Commission’s four major violations of the EU transparency rules: (1) the failure to even register 152 of the requests; (2) the failure to process 188 of the requests; (3) failing to respond to 51 appeals; (4) for outright refusals to process requests for President Juncker, the Vice President Timmermans,

15 Jun 2017

Cyprus government flawed interpretation of European transparency standards

Madrid, 15 June 2017 - Access Info Europe and six Cypriot civil society organisations [1] have raised concerns with the Cyprus government that the future draft access to information law would violate European standards if adopted in its current form. In particular, they warned the exceptions to transparency are seriously out of line with the Council of Europe Convention on Access to Official Documents, in spite of the government claiming to have taken this Convention “into account”. “The Cypriot government cannot claim to have taken the Convention into account as it has fundamentally misinterpreted this minimum standard,” stated Andreas Pavlou,

13 Jun 2017

Spain’s Transparency Lottery

[Article first published on eldiario.es (in Spanish)] Helen Darbishire, Executive Director Madrid, 13 June 2017 - If the person reading this article had to place a bet, which information would you say it’s easier to access: the salaries of advisers to the ministers or the documents that guide Spanish Cabinet discussions at its traditionally secretive weekly Friday meetings? What’s certain is that talking about transparency in Spain is like buying a lottery ticket: the lack of a government transparency policy makes obtaining information feel more playing roulette than exercising a fundamental right. In fact, Access Info managed to

7 Jun 2017

Spanish Government takes open government secrecy battle to High Court

Madrid, 7 June 2017 – In baffling reluctance to be transparent about its own open government policies, the Spanish Government has appealed to the High Court against last month’s lower court ruling that it should provide Access Info Europe with progress reports on commitments under the Open Government Partnership (OGP). “It’s amazing that the Government is fighting so hard to keep secret information about what it’s doing to advance open government,” stated Helen Darbishire, Executive Director of Access Info Europe. The documents on what each Ministry is doing under the OGP Action Plan were first requested by Access Info Europe

9 May 2017

EU Urged to Adopt Comprehensive Transparency Agenda

Madrid/Brussels, 9 May 2017 – On Europe Day, Access Info is calling on the European Union to commit to and implement essential transparency and open government reforms to reverse the growing sense among European citizens that they are distanced from Brussels and that decisions are taken behind closed doors with little or no accountability. Access Info’s mapping, carried out with our partners, reveals that it is not possible for citizens to get information on decisions such as that to drop EU anti-corruption reports or who really negotiated the controversial EU-Turkey deal. Other transparency blackspots relate to areas of public interest,

4 May 2017

Court Victory: Spanish Government must be open about Open Government Partnership activities!

Madrid, 4 May 2017 – In an important victory for advancing government transparency in Spain, the Madrid High Court has ruled that the Spanish Government should provide Access Info Europe with a series of documents related to its participation in the Open Government Partnership (OGP). In a particularly interesting decision in Spain’s still young and evolving jurisprudence on the right of access to information – the Transparency Law came into force in December 2014 – the Court found that for civil society to participate in decision making on open government policies, having full access to relevant information is essential. “We

11 Apr 2017

Pushing for beneficial ownership transparency in Europe

[Article first published by the UNCAC Coalition Blog] Andreas Pavlou, RTI Campaigner and Researcher   Madrid, 11 April 2017 - Earlier this year, the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs and Civil Liberties committees voted to strengthen beneficial ownership transparency rules across the European Union as part of the current revision to the 4th EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive. The proposed changes, if adopted in plenary, would mean EU citizens could access registers of beneficial owners of companies and trusts without having to demonstrate a “legitimate interest”, as is currently the case. This is something that will make it

4 Apr 2017

How two Spanish journalists got major scoops from just one information request!

Madrid/Perugia, 4 April 2017 - In March leading Spanish newspapers El País and El Confidencial published exclusive stories revealing never-before-seen information that exposed remarkable micro-management by the Spanish Cabinet (“Consejo de Ministros”) of decisions such as overspending on public procurement contracts and the granting or revocation of nationality. These stories – including a full page in the weekend edition of El País as well as a series of stories in the digital El Confidencial – were made possible thanks to a single access to information request by Alba Gutierrez of Access Info Europe. By exploiting a loophole in the Spanish

31 Mar 2017

Civil society warn Cyprus’ draft transparency law under threat if excessive exceptions persist

» This article is also available in Greek, here. Madrid, 31 March 2017 – Access Info Europe and 30 international and Cypriot civil society organisations have today urged the government of Cyprus to guarantee that exceptions to access in its draft transparency law meet international standards. The letter urges the Cypriot Justice Minister in charge of the law, Ionas Nicolaou, to reverse the unacceptable inclusion of five absolute exceptions [1] as well as ensure that information may only be refused if its disclosure would or would be likely to harm a protected interest, unless there is an overriding public interest

22 Mar 2017

European Civil Society Organsations Urge EU to Publish Anti-Corruption Reports

Madrid, 22 March 2017 – Access Info Europe, Transparency International EU, and 56 other civil society organisations have urged the Commission in an open letter not to abandon its leadership role in the fight against corruption, after it dropped the publication of long-awaited anti-corruption reports of all 28 Member States earlier this year. The letter, also being sent directly to First Vice-President Frans Timmermans, comes after an access to EU documents request for the actual draft reports was submitted by 14 leading transparency and anti-corruption organisations in Europe, including Access Info. “Access to these reports is essential in giving European