DMT Request2017-10-10T18:24:26+00:00

IS INFORMATION ON DECISION-MAKING PROCESSES DISCLOSED IN EUROPE?

WE SENT 55 ACCESS TO INFORMATION REQUESTS IN 11 EUROPEAN JURISDICTIONS.
HERE’S WHAT WE FOUND

Research Findings
The Recommendations

ONLY 60% OF INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE

Key information requested to understand how decisions are taken regarding policy and legislation is not available to the public, impeding public participation and scrutiny of decision-making processes. Half of the information requested was denied by European governments
or simply did not exist.

THE RESULTS IN DETAIL:
THE OUTCOMES OF OUR REQUESTS

THE RESULTS IN DETAIL:
DOCUMENT-BY-DOCUMENT

THE RESULTS IN DETAIL: HOW LONG
DID WE HAVE TO WAIT FOR RESPONSES?

WHAT EXCEPTONS APPLIED TO
DENY (FULL OR PARTIAL) ACCESS?

WHAT TYPE OF DOCUMENTS DID WE ASK FOR?

We asked for types of documents we believe to be relevant when trying to follow and understand a specific decision-making process.
This is the kind of information we requested:

This document includes the number of meetings held by the public authority and, in the best scenarios, it can also include date, place, participants and topic of each meeting.
Minutes of meetings contain (detailed) information about the participants and their positions. You might request minutes if you are interested in knowing what participants said and if any agreement was reached.
Interactions between public authorities and private interest representatives are common, and when they take place, lobbyists often submit documents containing their proposals and suggestions. These documents might include e-mails, phone records, or anexxed documents.
This information will tell you the names of the public officials and government representatives who participated or were present in a certain meeting.
This information will tell you the names of the companies to which private interest representatives participating in a meeting with a public authority belong.
This information will tell you the names of the private interest representatives participating in a meeting with a public authority or government representative.

REQUESTING INFORMATION COUNTRY-BY-COUNTRY

Find below the outcomes we got for the more than 200 pices throughout 55 information requests submitted in these 11 European jurisdictions. Keep scrolling to find more details per country: what kind of information did we ask for, what was disclosed, and what wasn’t.

Austria

We looked for information regarding FOI law amendments, awards of honorary titles, pesticides legislation, tobacco law and copyright.

WAS THE INFORMATION DISCLOSED?

55% of information was denied!

Find out a bit more…

Croatia

We looked for information regarding Catholic Church exemptions, tenders for oil exploitation and conversion of citizen's credits to Euros.

WAS THE INFORMATION DISCLOSED?

52% of information was disclosed!

Find out a bit more…

Finland

We looked for information regarding the adoption of a mandatory lobby register at the EU level.

WAS THE INFORMATION DISCLOSED?

50% was not held!

Find out a bit more…

Germany

We looked for information regarding CO2 limits, minimum wage, pharma laws, inheritance taxes and pension reform.

WAS THE INFORMATION DISCLOSED?

54% of information was partially disclosed!

Find out a bit more…

Greece

We looked for information regarding re-use of public sector information, public procurement legislation and infertility treatment legislation.

WAS THE INFORMATION DISCLOSED?

It was impossible to access any information due to Administrative Silence!

Find out a bit more…

Ireland

We looked for information regarding the FOI Act, legislation on policing authorities and miscellaneous and tobacco legislation.

WAS THE INFORMATION DISCLOSED?

77% of information was disclosed!

Find out a bit more…

Italy

We looked for information regarding the FOI Act, legislation on policing authorities and miscellaneous and tobacco legislation.

WAS THE INFORMATION DISCLOSED?

100% of information was denied!

Find out a bit more…

Slovenia

We looked for information regarding telecommunications companies privatisation, Family Code proposal and legislation on net neutrality.

WAS THE INFORMATION DISCLOSED?

70% of information was disclosed!

Find out a bit more…

Spain

We looked for information regarding plans on companies and human rights, own electricity supply and production regulation and Open Government Partnership action plans.

WAS THE INFORMATION DISCLOSED?

36% of information was partially disclosed after appeal!

Find out a bit more…

United Kingdom

We looked for information regarding the Trade Unions Bill, public subsidies for wind farms, Heathrow airport expansion and investigatory powers legislation.

WAS THE INFORMATION DISCLOSED?

55% of information was denied!

Find out a bit more…

European Union

We analysed 15 access to documents requests submitted through AsktheEU.org regarding different EU decision-making processes.

WAS THE INFORMATION DISCLOSED?

54% of information was partially disclosed!

Find out a bit more…

RECOMMENDATIONS ON INFORMATION DISCLOSURE

  • Reduce time taken to make information publically available
Prompt responses to requests are essential to facilitate potential participation in decision-making processes. This also counts when responding to appeals.
  • Apply exceptions narrowly to information related to decision making
Exceptions should always be applied narrowly and always taking into account any overriding public interest in full (or partial) disclosure.
  • Create records
Public authorities have a duty to document information around decision-making processes that is essential to ensure public participation and scrutiny, as well as for the historical record.

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