The European Parliament urges the Commission to protect whistleblowers

With the adoption of Virginie Rozière‘s report today (24.10.2017) in plenary session in Strasbourg, the European Parliament is sending a strong signal to the European Commission, demanding an EU-wide legislation protecting whistleblowers across the 27 Member States. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) warmly thanks the Members of the European Parliament (MEP) who voted in favour of a full protection for whistleblowers. A total of 666 MEPs took part in the vote: 399 (60%) voted in favour of the report, 101 (15%) voted against and 166 (25%) abstained from voting. Proposed by Virginie Rozière (S&D), the report demands an EU-wide protection…

EU Court to decide on the right to know about MEPs’ expenditures

The upcoming public hearing at the Court of Justice of the European Union in the case of 29 journalists (from every EU member state) against the European Parliament will take place on October 19, 2017 in Luxembourg. This important case relates to twenty-nine journalists who have filed 27 complaints with the European Court of Justice against the European Parliament which refused to give information on how members of the European Parliament (MEP) spend their allowances. The journalists asked for documents regarding the money MEPs receive on top of their salaries, including a general allowance, travel allowance, daily subsistence and funds for staffing,…

Right to Know Day

Right to Know Day, Brussels, 28th September 2017 Organising parties: ITCO intergroup, supported by Access Info Europe and AntiCor Belgium Mission and objectives: It is our mission to host an event in Brussels that brings together Freedom of Information (FOI) advocates from across Europe. The main objectives of this event will be:   To celebrate Right To Know Day which is held on 28th September each year, by raising awareness about the right of access to information and sharing inspiring stories of FOI from around Europe   To compare good and bad practices when it comes to Freedom of Information…

Right to Know Day 2016 #AccessToInfoDay

On the first officially-recognised International Right to Know Day, European civil society groups and professional organisations (including the European Federation of Journalists) working on the right of access to information today raised concerns that a lack of government transparency is damaging democratic processes, thereby facilitating rising mistrust and demagogic populism in Europe. Recent monitoring by civil society organisations has demonstrated that while significant progress has been made – there are now 111 access to information laws globally and governments regularly publish key datasets on spending and services – there remain serious shortcomings with transparency of decision making which is shielding…

Cyprus must improve access to information law, says EFJ

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has joined Access Info Europe (AIE) in calling the Cypriot Government to improve its draft access to information law in order to meet international transparency standard. According to the global Right to Info Rating, the Republic of Cyprus freedom of information bill is set to become one of the worst in Europe. Access Info Europe (AIE) and the Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD) studied the draft text using the 61 indicators of the Right to Information Rating and found that Cyprus scores a dismal 57 points (out of 150) which positions itself near the buttom…

transparencyregister

EU lobby register: still failing to deliver real transparency

New research published today shows that too many major lobby organisations, including financial lobbyists the City of London Corporation and Credit Suisse; major corporations such as Electrabel, Anglo American and General Motors; law firms such as Covington & Burling and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer; and lobby consultancies, are not listed in the lobby transparency register despite being active in EU lobbying.[1] The research by the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU)[2] (in which the European Federation of Journalists is a member)  is being published on the same day as the re-launch of the Commission-Parliament joint lobby transparency register. The…

Juncker Commission breaks promise to create a mandatory lobby register, say transparency campaigners

According to ALTER EU transparency campaigners [1], the proposal by the Juncker Commission – as part of its 2015 work plan announced today – to introduce a mandatory lobby register on the basis of an inter-institutional agreement is misleading because such an agreement will not be binding on lobbyists. A revised lobby register based on an inter-institutional agreement will lack mechanisms for verifying whether the information in the register is correct and will mean that there is no possibility to apply effective sanctions when incorrect information has been provided. This is the situation currently and a new inter-institutional agreement will…