WHAT WE DO
10 YEARS DEFENDING AND PROMOTING THE
RIGHT OF ACCESS TO INFORMATION IN EUROPE
About Access Info Europe
Access Info Europe is a human rights organisation established in Madrid in 2006 and dedicated to promoting and protecting the right of access to information.
Access Info runs a range of projects designed to leverage the right to information in order to increase participation and accountability, to defend human rights, and to advance democracy.
Activities include a mix of research and monitoring, standard-setting, law reform campaigns, and strategic litigation. Access Info also provides support and training for civil society and journalists. We have contributed to developing civil society activism on transparency in Europe, building a network of national organisations dedicated to securing increased transparency in practice.
In order to secure greater transparency of public decision making, we focus on a range of thematic areas including human rights (extraordinary rendition, policing of protests, detention and control of migrants), spending of public funds, company registers, media ownership transparency, and environmental issues. Control of lobbying is another strategic priority, which we do through campaigns for stronger standards and new laws, as well as by obtaining information on lobbying activities.
As well as our successful national campaigns at the national level, transparency of the European Union is a priority. Access Info Europe has won a case against the Council of the EU at the European Court of Justice, has successfully fought against attempts to weaken the EU’s transparency rules, and regularly helps journalists and civil society organisations obtain EU documents. The AsktheEU.org platform encourages the public to request information about how the EU works.
We run the RTI Rating, which measures the strength of access to information laws and is widely used as an advocacy tool.
Our support to journalists includes the Legal Leaks Toolkit – available in an international and 13 national language versions – has been used by journalists across Europe.
Access Info Europe is also actively engaged in the Open Government Partnership and its director Helen Darbishire is a member of the OGP Steering Committee.
Access Info Europe is a human rights organisation dedicated to promoting and protecting the right of access to information in Europe as a tool for defending civil liberties and human rights, for facilitating public participation in decision making, and for holding governments accountable. This mandate is established in our statutes.
Access Info Europe’s vision is that the right of access to information contributes to more open, participatory, just, and equal societies.
Our vision is that there exists in Europe an empowered and informed citizenry which makes use of and defends the right of access to information.
Our vision is also that there is full recognition of the public’s right to information as a fundamental human right by all relevant national and international bodies.
Access Info Strategy 2014-2016
Access Info runs projects which are in line with its mission and according to a strategy which is periodically revised and approved by the Executive Board and International Advisory Board.
The current Strategy is for the period 2014 to 2016. It contains details of our Team and governance structures, as well as they way we work, and our networked approach to activism.
The Access Info Strategy sets out our theory of change, and analyses the European and global context in which we work. We assess the current state of the right of access to information, the progress made and the relationship with the open data movement and the opportunities provided by the current focus on the importance of open government. We analyse the challenges arising from the current political, social and economic context in Europe, including the financial crisis and also the perpetual war on terror and surveillance of citizens. We examine the obstacles to EU and national level transparency in the wider European region and assess the opportunities for an advocacy organisation such as Access Info to have an impact on that context.