11 Mar 2022

Is the Guardian of the Treaties Doing Enough for EU Transparency? MEPs don’t seem to think so!

2022-03-11T12:52:13+01:00

Madrid, 11 March 2022 – On 10 March 2022, following the scandal about the Commission refusing access to President Ursula von der Leyen’s text messages, the European Parliament held a plenary session to discuss application of the EU’s access to documents rules, known as Regulation 1049/2001. Yet, the Commission President, much like her text message conversation with the CEO of Pfizer, was nowhere to be found. Rachel Hanna, Legal Researcher at Access Info reports. The Commission’s decision to refuse an access to documents request regarding text messages exchanged between President Ursula von der Leyen and the CEO of Pfizer on

Is the Guardian of the Treaties Doing Enough for EU Transparency? MEPs don’t seem to think so!2022-03-11T12:52:13+01:00
9 Mar 2022

Transparency to Track Hidden Wealth

2022-03-09T14:28:54+01:00

9 March 2022 - As the Russian onslaught on Ukraine continues, 127 leading transparency, anti-corruption, journalist and open data organisations today issued a statement calling on European Union Institutions and Member States to act urgently to open company and beneficial ownership registers so as to facilitate tracking the hidden wealth of Russian oligarchs and to ensure effective sanctions. The EU and its allies have rallied to support Ukraine, but without a robust system of transparent company and beneficial ownership data, detecting hidden Russian wealth is difficult, given that many use family members and networks of shell companies to conceal their

Transparency to Track Hidden Wealth2022-03-09T14:28:54+01:00
9 Mar 2022

Act now – open up company and beneficial ownership registers across Europe!

2022-03-18T15:32:55+01:00

This statement, signed by 127 leading transparency, anti-corruption, journalist and open data organisations call upon the European Union Institutions and Member States: act now and open up all company and beneficial ownership registers across the European Union to the public! This is crucial in exposing assets and money of Russian oligarchs in the EU. We are deeply horrified by Putin's incursion into Ukraine and the violation of the rule of law, human rights, and state sovereignty. We support the European Union in collectively taking a strong stance to defend democracy and our common values. The sanctions imposed - freezing assets,

Act now – open up company and beneficial ownership registers across Europe!2022-03-18T15:32:55+01:00
3 Mar 2022

Call for Transparency of Discussions on the Future of Europe’s Digital Market

2022-03-03T15:55:38+01:00

Madrid, 1 March 2022 – Access Info is one of 43 organisations which today called on EU leaders to ensure full transparency of debates over the future regulation of our digital environment, including services and marketplaces online. As three-way negotiations are proceeding between the European Commission, European Parliament and the Member States in the Council of the EU, the organisations expressed concern at the lack of transparency of the texts being discussed. Rather unusually, there has been little transparency of the so-called “trilogue” negotiations on the Digital Markets and the Digital Services Acts, in spite of this being required by

Call for Transparency of Discussions on the Future of Europe’s Digital Market2022-03-03T15:55:38+01:00
2 Mar 2022

Immediate transparency of company ownership is imperative to unveil hidden wealth of Russian oligarchs in the EU

2022-03-10T11:23:42+01:00

Madrid, 2 March 2022 – Helen Darbishire and Rachel Hanna of Access Info Europe explain why transparency is essential to ensure the effectiveness of the sanctions against Russia.  Following the invasion of Ukraine, there has been global outrage at Russia’s blatant disregard for international law, human rights, and the principle of state sovereignty. In an attempt to deter Putin from escalating military action in Ukraine, the EU and its allies have come together to decide on sanctions that directly target Russian oligarchs, freezing their assets – often the fruit of corruption and money laundering –  and impeding them from conducting

Immediate transparency of company ownership is imperative to unveil hidden wealth of Russian oligarchs in the EU2022-03-10T11:23:42+01:00
14 Feb 2022

Access to meetings calendars? Access Info submits Amicus Curiae Brief to the European Court of Human Rights

2022-03-11T11:57:13+01:00

Madrid / Strasbourg, 14 February 2022 – There is strong comparative evidence from across Europe that national access to information laws apply to the meetings calendars of senior public officials according to a submission made by Access Info to the European Court of Human Rights. This evidence has been presented in the form of an Amicus Curiae (“friend of the court”) Brief submitted in relation to the case of Citizens Network Watchdog Poland vs. Poland currently under consideration by Europe’s top human rights court. This case arose when the organisation Watchdog Poland requested the calendars of the Polish Constitutional Tribunal

Access to meetings calendars? Access Info submits Amicus Curiae Brief to the European Court of Human Rights2022-03-11T11:57:13+01:00
28 Jan 2022

European Commission President’s text messages are documents and can be requested says Ombudsman

2022-01-28T15:13:58+01:00

Madrid / Brussels, 28 January 2022 – Access Info has hailed today’s decision by the European Ombudsman that Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s text messages with the CEO of Pfizer about Covid vaccine purchases are documents to which the public can request access. Access Info is calling for an urgent reform to ensure that the EU’s twenty-year-old access to documents rules are brought into line with the digital age. Rather remarkably, the European Commission had told Alexander Fanta, a journalist with netzpolitik.org, that because it does not register text messages, these cannot be requested. This refusal came to a

European Commission President’s text messages are documents and can be requested says Ombudsman2022-01-28T15:13:58+01:00
24 Nov 2021

Spain signs the Tromsø Convention on Access to Official Documents

2021-11-24T21:43:00+01:00

Madrid, 24 November 2021 – Access Info today welcomed the signature by Spain of the Council of Europe Convention on Access to Official Documents – the Tromsø Convention – fulfilling its commitment to do so under Spain’s current Open Government Partnership Action Plan. The Tromsø Convention was signed by Spain’s Representative to the Council of Europe, Manuel Montobbio, on 23 November 2021, in the presence of Assistant Secretary General Bjorn Berge. The commitment to sign and ratify the Tromsø Convention was secured by civil society, with active involvement of Access Info, as part of the co-creation of Spain's IV OGP

Spain signs the Tromsø Convention on Access to Official Documents2021-11-24T21:43:00+01:00
21 Oct 2021

It’s time for EU Member States to deliver transparency of fisheries control

2021-10-22T09:22:25+02:00

Madrid, 22 October 2021 – As negotiations get underway in Brussels on future regulation of the fishing sector, Access Info is calling on EU Member States to support increased transparency in fisheries control, in line with the proposals made by the European Parliament in March 2021. At stake is the reform of an existing rule, the controversial Article 113, which prohibits the European Commission from sharing fishing controls data with other persons, even with national and European parliamentarians, unless the relevant Member State has given express consent. Access Info has repeatedly criticised this problematic secrecy clause, which dates back to

It’s time for EU Member States to deliver transparency of fisheries control2021-10-22T09:22:25+02:00
4 Oct 2021

Pandora Papers: How long before we have open company registers?

2021-10-04T22:14:48+02:00

Helen Darbishire, Director of Access Info Europe, reflects on what the Pandora Papers tell us about anti-corruption and integrity instruments in Europe, and calls on the European Commission to move urgently on opening up company registers. Helen is a member of the Steering Committee of the Open Government Partnership, and is Chair of the UNCAC Coalition, a global civil society network working to combat corruption. Madrid, 4 October 2021 – The Pandora Papers leak reveals, once again, that the mega rich are using legal loopholes to avoid taxes and the corrupt are transferring money out of poorer countries into more

Pandora Papers: How long before we have open company registers?2021-10-04T22:14:48+02:00