|28 September 2011 is the 9th International Right to Know Day, and Access Info Europe will be celebrating the occasion as follows:
Launch of AsktheEU.org
Access Info Europe will be launching AsktheEU.org, a web portal via which anyone can file access to information requests with the institutions, offices, bodies and agencies of the European Union.
Based on mySociety’s successful WhatDoTheyKnow.com, AsktheEU.org will allow users to rate the responses received and to file appeals. The website will generate statistics, including on the time EU bodies take to respond to requests, the exceptions applied, and the rate of administrative silence.
Brussels Seminar: What the EU can learn from others
On the morning of International Right to Know Day, at the invitation of EU Ombudsman Nikiforos Diamandouros, Finnish Minister of International Development Heidi Hautala will debate best practices on open government with Thomas J. White of the US Mission to the EU and Helen Darbishire from Access Info Europe.
» Seminar programme and registration
Legal battle over EU transparency gathers pace
Three new players have joined the legal battle over the future of transparency of the Council of the European Union, to be decided by the European Court of Justice (second instance).
The Czech Republic and Spain have announced they will join Greece and the UK in supporting the Council’s fight to keep the names of Member States making legislative proposals secret.
Access Info together with the UK NGOs including the Open Rights Group, the Campaign for Freedom of Information, and Unlock Democracy will use International Right to Know Day to draw attention to the hypocrisy of the UK’s involvement in the case given that it is a leading promoter of open government on the international stage.
On a more positive note, the European Parliament has committed to joining Access Info Europe in the case, to be confirmed by a formal decision on 10 October by the Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee.
» Click here for more information about the Court Case
» Click here to write to your government about this issue
» Click here to congratulate your MEPs for backing the public interest in EU transparency
Spain: Political parties urged to recognise right to know
In the run up to Spain’s 20 November legislative elections, Access Info Europe is calling on all the political parties to pledge to adopt an access to information law which recognises a fundamental right of access to information.
Spain is one of the only countries in Europe not to have an access to information law. For this reason, Spain’s membership of the recently launched international Open Government Partnership has been called into question by Access Info Europe.
On 28 September Access Info’s Madrid HQ will be organising a roundtable between the leaders of Spain’s main political parties, journalists and civil society organisations.
» Click here for more information about the event
From the Access Info Europe team …
Thanks to all our friends, partners, funders and volunteers for supporting our work to make Europe more open, transparent, accountable and participatory.
Happy International Right to Know Day!
With best wishes from the Access Info Europe team,
Helen, Lydia, Vicky, Pam, Kersti, Daniel, David, Alvaro & Alicia