About Luisa Izuzquiza

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So far Luisa Izuzquiza has created 315 blog entries.
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

22 Mar 2017

European Parliament Committee supports increase in decision-making transparency

Madrid, 22 March 2017 – Access Info Europe has cautiously welcomed this week’s adoption of the report on ‘Transparency, accountability and integrity in the EU institutions’ by the European Parliament Constitutional Affairs Committee. The report by Sven Giegold MEP takes important steps to improve record keeping and decision-making transparency by calling for the Council to publish the position of member states in minutes of working group meetings, as well as ensure documents created during trilogues (informal talks on legislation between the three main EU institutions) are made directly available online by the Parliament. “MEPs must now build upon the steps

18 Mar 2017

EU-Turkey agreement, one year later: lack of information blockading accountability

Madrid, 18 March 2017 – On the first anniversary of the EU-Turkey deal, Access Info called for greater transparency of the decision making process of the agreement and condemned the inadequate record keeping and misleading statements. One year after concluding the agreement, stranded asylum seekers, human rights and humanitarian organisations, and the general public, are still denied even the most basic information about this agreement, including who is really responsible for it. Confusion increased on 1 March 2017 when the European Court of Justice ruled that the statement (press release) was “regrettably ambiguous” because in fact the agreement is between

18 Mar 2017

One year later: what we (still don’t) know about the EU-Turkey agreement and accountability

Madrid, 18 March 2017 - As I sat at the Access Info Europe offices on the 1st of March reading the latest Order of the General Court of the European Union, I could not help but shake my head every other minute in disbelief. In a case brought by an Afghan refugee threatened with expulsion from Greece against the European Council, the Court had just proclaimed that the EU-Turkey agreement is not a measure adopted by the European Council or any EU institution for that matter, but rather by the EU Member States. Luisa Izuzquiza,Communications Officer   If

17 Mar 2017

Parliament inaction on lobby transparency could sink register reform

[Article first published by the ALTER-EU] Madrid/Brussels, 17 March 2017 - The European Parliament must do more to improve lobby transparency, 100 civil society organisations urged in an open letter published today. MEPs were warned that the European Commission's current proposal for a revised EU Transparency Register would allow for even less scrutiny than the existing one, and that to champion greater transparency across all EU institutions, they must start with their own house first. A few weeks before Commission, Parliament and Council are expected to start negotiating a revision of the joint EU Transparency Register, the Alliance for Lobby

14 Mar 2017

Enquiry about legislative transparency in the Council welcomed by Access Info

Madrid, 14 March 2017 – Access Info Europe today expressed concern over insufficient record keeping in the Council of the EU and welcomed the launch of the European Ombudsman’s strategic enquiry into transparency of one of the EU’s key decision making institutions. A focus of the Ombudsman’s enquiry is whether the Council is complying with a 2013 judgment of the European Court of Justice,[1] a case won by Access Info Europe in which the Court ruled that the public should have access to the positions of Member States in order to permit participation in legislative processes. “Ongoing holes in Council

10 Mar 2017

The risks of transparency in times of rising populism

[Article first published by the UNCAC Coalition Blog] Helen Darbishire, Executive Director Madrid, 10 March 2017 - It’s not often that your own colleagues working on democracy issues actually question the wisdom of pressing for greater transparency, but this has happened to me a few times lately. Most recently, I’ve been asked about the wisdom of pursuing Access Info’s high profile campaign to get the European Commission to publish the travel expenses of EU Commissioners. The fear seems to be that this very peculiar time in European history – with sensitive elections in France and the Netherlands, with