Madrid, 26 January 2017 – Access Info Europe today launched a public campaign to crowd source access to EU documents requests to obtain full information on the spending by EU Commissioners on travel costs.
The campaign follows the discovery from a request by Access Info team member Alba Gutiérrez that Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker spent €63,126 on an air taxi to Turkey for the G20 summit.
At same time, the Commission’s contracts with private air companies that provide such services was denied to another Access Info campaigner, Andreas Pavlou.
After a two-year battle, Access Info has established that the European Commission will provide information on Commissioner’s travel expenses for two month periods.
To complete all the requests for all 28 Commissioners for 2016, Access Info is calling on the public to help submit the total of 168 requests.
Anyone can participate by going to the campaign website and sending a request. All requests and responses will be made public on the request platform AsktheEU.org, run by Access Info and mySociety.
“With this campaign, we are mobilising members of the public to help break the secrecy about how European citizens’ taxes are being used on official travel,” said Helen Darbishire, Executive Director of Access Info, explaining that her first requests for this information were rejected on the rather remarkable grounds of protecting the privacy of the Commissioners.
After submitting legal appeals and new requests, Access Info won access to a handful of documents about the travel expenses of five Commissioners, these are available here.
“It is shocking that this information is not already available and that Access Info has had to fight during the last couple of years to get just a small part of it,” Darbishire added.
“We are now calling on the public to help us file all the requests necessary to fill in the picture and possibly to uncover any other excessive costs such as that of Juncker’s extravagant air taxi to Turkey.”
For more information, please contact:
Luisa Izuzquiza, Communications Officer | Access Info Europe
Andreas Pavlou, Campaigner and Researcher | Access Info Europe
Send an e-mail or call +34 913 656 558