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To: MEPs
Re: MEPs called upon to protect EU transparency

January 2011

OPEN LETTER: MEPs called upon to protect EU transparency

To all Members of the European Parliament

In the coming months MEPs will be called upon to vote on amendments in the recast of Regulation (EC) 1049/2001 regarding access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents. The legislation sets out the conditions under which the public may have access to documents held by EU institutions.

Access to information is fundamental to transparency, openness, and the democratic rights of European citizens. According to its founding treaties, the European Union (EU) aspires to create an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe, in which decisions are taken as openly as possible and as closely as possible to the citizen. However, the EU Ombudsman and others have warned that a proposal put forward by the Commission would mean access to fewer, not more, documents. The proposal would restrict access most notably by creating a narrower definition of what constitutes a document for the purpose of the regulation; by adding new exceptions to the right of access to documents, in particular in relation to documents drawn up within dispute settlement proceedings initiated by the Commission against Member States; and by granting more discretion to Member States to refuse access to documents they transmit to the EU institutions.

We call on MEPs to amend the Commission fs proposal so as to prevent the access to documents regulation from becoming more restrictive than before and to expand the right of the public to have access to EU institutions, bodies, offices and agencies f documents.

To this end we call on the Members of the European Parliament to:

Support measures to align the regulation with the Lisbon Treaty to extend the scope of the regulation to all EU bodies, offices and agencies in addition to the institutions.

Maintain the current definition of a document to cover all documents and not only ones that have been formally transmitted to some recipients or registered. The definition should also include all information recorded in all formats, including databases.

Bring the regulation in line with the relevant pro.transparency decisions of the Court of Justice of the EU which has ruled that legal advice from legal services of EU institutions in legislative proceedings should be publicly accessible and that Member States do not have an unconditional right of veto regarding disclosure of documents they have transmitted to EU institutions.

Maintain the deadline of 15 days for EU institutions to reply to confirmatory applications and reject the Commission fs proposal to extend this to 30 days.

We call on MEPs to protect the rights of European citizens to access information and ensure transparency of EU institutions.

Signed:

European Region

  • Abenhedstinget, Denmark . Editor, Nils Mulvad
  • Access Info Europe, Spain . Executive Director, Helen Darbishire
  • Access to Information Programme, Bulgaria . Executive Director, Gergana Jouleva, Ph.D
  • ActiveWatch, Romania . President, Mircea Toma
  • Agentia pentru Informarea si Dezvoltarea Organizatiilor Neguvernamentale, Romania . Mihai Lisetchi
  • Aliancia Fair.play, Slovakia . Zuzana Wienk
  • Amigos de la Tierra, Spain . Environmental Director, Liliane Spendeler
  • Article 19, UK . Senior Legal Officer, Sejal Parmar
  • Associacao para a Cooperacao Entre os Povos, Portugal . Director, Fatima Proenca
  • Asociacion de la Prensa de Madrid, Spain . President, Fernando Gonzalez Urbaneja
  • BilgiEdinmeHakki.Org, Turkey . Director, Yaman Akdeniz
  • Birdlife International, European Division . Director, Angelo Caserta
  • Bureau of Investigative Journalism, UK . Managing Editor, Iain Overton
  • Campaign for Freedom of Information, UK . Director, Maurice Frankel
  • Campaign for Freedom of Information in Scotland, UK . Carole Ewart
  • Centre for Advanced Legal Studies, Serbia . Vladimir Vodineli. PhD
  • Centre for Democracy and Law "Miko Tripalo", Croatia . Professor Josip Kregar
  • Centre for Development and Democratization of Institutions, Albania . Executive Director, Ilir Aliaj
  • Centre for Environmental Information and Education, Bulgaria . Daniel Popov
  • Center for Independent Journalism in Bucharest, Romania . Ioana Avadani
  • Centre for Legal Resources, Romania . Executive Director, Georgiana Iorgulescu
  • Citizen Control . Animal Defence, Bulgaria . Board Chairman, Georgi Serbezov
  • Civil Rights Project Sisak, Croatia . Milana Kreca
  • ClientEarth, UK . CEO, James Thornton
  • Climate Action Network Europe . Director, Matthias Duwe
  • Community Media Forum Europe, Belgium . President, Pieter de Wit
  • Confederacion de Consumidores y Usuarios, Spain . Vice President, Ana Etchenique
  • Corporate Europe Observatory, Belgium . Research and Campaigns Coordinator, Olivier Hoedeman
  • Cyprus EU Association, Cyprus . Dervi. Musann.f
  • Danish Association for Investigative Journalism (FUJ) . Brigitte Alfter, Jacob Mollerup, Denmark
  • Dutch.Flemish Association of Investigative Journalists VVOJ, Belgium/Netherlands . Director, Margo Smit
  • eGovernance Academy, Estonia . Member of the Executive Board, Ivar Tallo
  • Eotvos Karoly Public Policy Institute, Hungary . Laszlo Majtenyi and Mate Daniel Szabo
  • Estonian Newspaper Association, Estonia . Managing Director, Mart Raudsaar
  • European Environmental Bureau . Secretary General, John Hontelez
  • European Federation of Journalists (EFJ/IFJ), Belgium . Co.Director, Renate Schroeder
  • European Public Health Alliance, Belgium . Director of Policy and Strategy, Luiza Bara
  • EU Transparency . Executive Director, Jack Thurston
  • Farmsubsidy.org and Fishsubsidy.org . Co.founder, Jack Thurston
  • Fonds Pascal Decroos voor Bijzondere Journalistiek, Belgium . Director, Ides Debruyne
  • Forest Peoples Programme, UK . Responsible Finance Programme Coordinator Tom Griffiths
  • Foundation Open Society Institute, Macedonia . Dance Danilovska . Bajdevska
  • Friends of the Earth Europe . Director, Magda Stoczkiewicz
  • Fund for an Open Society, Serbia . Transparency, Accountability and Public Integrity Program Coordinator, Miodrag Milosavljevic
  • Fundacja Reporterow . Centrum Wspierania Dziennikarstwa w Europie Wschodniej, Poland . Director, Wojciech Ciesla
  • German Civil Liberties Union (Humanistische Union e.V.), Germany . Sven Lueders
  • Global Witness, UK . Co.Founder and Co.Director, Charmian Gooch
  • GONG, Croatia . Executive Director, Sandra Pernar
  • Greenpeace European Unit, Belgium . Deputy Director, Mahi Sideridou
  • Greenpeace International, Netherlands . General Counsel, Jasper Teulings
  • Health & Environment Alliance, Belgium . Director, Genon K. Jensen
  • Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, Hungary . Tivadar Huttl
  • IKME: Sociopolitical Studies Institute, Cyprus . Director, Alecos Tringides
  • Iuridicum Remedium, o.s., Czech Republic . Helena Svato.ova
  • K.Monitor Association, Hungary . Julia Keser.
  • MANS: Mreza za afirmaciju NVO Sektora, Montenegro . Director for Citizens Initiatives, Zorica .erani.
  • Naturefriends International, Brussels Office . EU Policy Officer, Sandra Roling
  • Netzwerk Recherche, Germany . Dr. Manfred Redelfs
  • N.ost: Network for Reporting on Eastern Europe, Germany . Christian Mihr
  • Observatorio de Responsabilidad Social Corporativa, Spain . Lea Brumter
  • Open Data Espana, Spain . Jacobo Elosua
  • Open Data Network, Germany . Daniel Dietrich
  • Open Society Archives at Central European University, Hungary . Counsellor, Ivan Szekely
  • Partnership for Social Development, Croatia . President, Munir Podumljak
  • Peace Institute in Ljubljana, Slovenia . Brankica Petkovic
  • PRO MEDIA, Macedonia . Klime Babunski
  • Providus, Latvia . Linda Austere
  • PublicMedia Association, Romania . Cosmin Pacuraru
  • Publish What You Fund, UK . Director, Karin Christiansen
  • Rainbow Warriors Core Foundation, Aruba, Kingdom of the Netherlands . President, Milton Ponson
  • Romanian Center for Investigative Journalism, Romania . Co.Founder, Stefan Candea
  • SOMA Foundation for Investigative Journalism, Hungary . Chairma, Andras L.ke
  • Statewatch, UK . Tony Bunyon
  • Sustentia, Spain . Carlos Cordero
  • Svenska Journalistforbundet, Sweden . Senior Adviser, Anita Vahlberg
  • Tax Justice Network, UK . John Christensen
  • The Access Initiative European Partner Organizations . Dr. Csaba Kiss
  • Transparency International, Hungary . Executive Director, Adam Foldes
  • Transparency International, Latvia (Delna) . Inese Voika
  • Transparency International Liaison Office to the EU, Belgium . Ronny Patz
  • Transparency International Secretariat, Germany . Andrea Figari
  • Transparency International, Spain . President, Jesus Lizcano
  • Transparency Zero Corruption, Macedonia . President, Slagjana Taseva Ph.D
  • Transport & Environment, Belgium . Director, Jos Dings
  • Tutkiva, Association for Investigative Journalism, Finland . Chairperson, Minna Knus.Galan
  • WhatDoTheyKnow.com . Alex Skene
  • Wobbing.eu . Editor, Brigitte Alfter
  • World Press Freedom Committee . European Representative, Ronald Koven
  • WWF European Policy Office . Advisor, Sandra Jen

Global

  • 5th Pillar, India . President, Vijay Anand
  • Africa Freedom of Information Centre, Uganda . Gilbert Sendugwa
  • African Network of Constitutional Lawyers . Access to Information Working Group, Fatima Diallo
  • Alianza Regional por la Libertad de Expresion e Informacion, Latin America . Executive Secretariat, Karina Banfi
  • Arab Freedom of Information Network . President, Said Essoulami
  • Association Green Alternative, Georgia . Executive Director, Nino Gujaraidze
  • Asociacion por los Derechos Civiles, Argentina . Executive Director, Alvaro Herrero
  • Bahrain Transparency, Bahrain . President, Abdulnabi Alekry
  • Bank Information Center, USA . Middle East and North Africa Program Manager, Amy Ekdawi
  • Canadian Association of Professional Access and Privacy Administrators, Canada . National Chair, Sharon Polsky
  • Centro de Archivos y Acceso a la Informacion, Uruguay . Edison Lanza
  • Centre for Independent Journalism, Malaysia . Masjaliza Hamzah
  • Centre for Law and Democracy, Canada . President, Toby Mendel
  • Center for Promotion of Freedom of Expression and Access to Information, Moldova . President, Vasile Spinei
  • Citizens’ Campaign for Right to Information, Nepal . General Secretary, Tanka Aryal
  • Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, India . Maja Daruwala’s
  • Egyptians Against Corruption, Egypt . Engi M. El Haddad
  • Electronic Privacy Information Center, USA . Marc Rotenberg
  • Freedom Forum, Nepal . Chairperson, Taranath Dahal
  • Freedom of Information Center, Armenia . Shushan Doydoyan
  • Freedom of Information Programme at the South African History Archive, South Africa . Support Officer, Gabriella Razzano
  • Freshwater Action Network, Mexico . M.Sc. Nathalie Seguin
  • Fundacion Directorio Legislativo, Argentina . Executive Director, Maria Baron
  • Fundacion Pro Acceso, Chile . Presidente, Federico Allendes S.
  • Fundar, Centro de Analisis e Investigacion, Mexico . Miguel Pulido
  • Georgian Young Lawyers f Association, Georgia . Tamar Kordzaia
  • Institute for the Development of Freedom of Information, Georgia . Director, Giorgi Kldiashvili
  • Institute for Information Freedom Development, Russia . Board Chair, Ivan Pavlov
  • Instituto de Derecho y Economia Ambiental: IDEA, Paraguay . Executive Director, Ezequiel Santagada
  • Jamaicans For Justice, Jamaica . Executive Director, Carolyn Gomes
  • National Security Archive, George Washington University, USA . Director, Tom Blanton
  • Open Society Georgia Foundation, Georgia . Deputy Executive Director, Tamuna Kaldani
  • Open Society Institute . Assistance Foundation, Azerbaijan . Fidan Bagirova
  • Poder Ciudadano (TI.Argentina), Argentina . Hernan Charosky
  • Right to Know Coalition of Nova Scotia, Canada . President, Darce Fardy
  • Socio.Economic Rights & Accountability Project, Nigeria . Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni
  • Suma Ciudadana, Peru . Coordinator, Javier Casas
  • Transparency International, Israel . CEO, Galia Sagi
  • Transparency Maroc, Morocco . Access to Information Project Coordinator, Saad Filali Meknassi
  • Transparency International, Russia . Marina Savintseva
  • Water Governance Institute (WGI), Uganda . Executive Director, Henry Bazira
  • Zero Corruption Coalition, Nigeria . National Secretary, Babatunde Oluajo

89 European Organisations, 42 Global Organisations

Total : 131

  • À titre personnel:
  • Alexander Kashumov, Attorney at law, Bulgaria
  • Andres Mejia, Colombia/USA
  • Andrew Ecclestone, Honorary Senior Research Fellow, Constitution Unit, University College London, UK
  • Angie Zelter, Wales, UK
  • Annette Schiøler, Journalist, Denmark
  • Anni Løndal de Lichtenberg, Denmark
  • Bent Øberg, Denmark
  • Blanka Hancilova, Austria
  • Bryan Charles, Belgium
  • Christian Bartels, Journalism Student, Denmark
  • Ciarán Toland, Barrister–at–Law, The Law Library, Republic of Ireland
  • Codru Vrabie, Civil society representative on the National Integrity Council, Romania
  • David Goldberg, Law lecturer/FOI expert, Scotland, UK
  • Ermal Nazifi, Lawyer, Albania
  • E. Plebani, Reporter, Italy
  • Eduardo Bertoni, Director, Center for Studies on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information, Palermo University School of Law, Argentina
  • Eduardo Esclapés, Spain
  • Felipe Vicente, Spain
  • Francesca Fanucci, Lawyer and Freelance consultant on freedom of expression, transparency and freedom of information, UK
  • Giner Rico, Spain
  • Greg Michener, Brazil
  • Heather Brooke, writer, journalist and activist, UK
  • Heidi Birgitte Nielsen, Journalist, Denmark
  • Heike Mayer, Germany
  • Ian Davis (Dr.), Human Security and Arms Control Consultant, Scotland, UK
  • Jaume Cot del Valle, Spain
  • Jesus Cabrera, Photographer, Spain
  • John McCarthy, USA
  • José Cavani Ríos, Journalist, Peru
  • Katrine Birkedal Christensen, Journalist, Denmark
  • Kenneth Konrad Knudsen, Journalist, Denmark
  • Laura Robinson, Journalist, Canada
  • Leo Sisti, investigative reporter, contributing reporter for "L’Espresso" and "Il Fatto Quotidiano", Italy
  • Manuel Sánchez de Diego Frdez. de la Riva, Law Professor, Spain
  • Mariana Berbec Rostas, LL.M., human rights lawyer, Romania/Hungary
  • Mario Gutiérrez Sanchez, Student, Spain
  • Marion Brians, France
  • Marjan Kroflič, Slovenia
  • Markus Knigge, Belgium
  • Michael Ewing, Coordinator of the Environmental Pillar of Social Partnership, Republic of Ireland
  • Mónica Caballo, Librarian, Spain
  • Nadejda Hriptievschi, Legal Consultant, Public Defender Office, Republic of Moldova
  • Päivi Leino–Sandberg (Dr.), Finland
  • Patrice McDermott, Director, OpenTheGovernment.org, USA
  • Prashant Sharma, Doctoral Researcher, India
  • Raül Romeva i Rueda, Member of the European Parliament, Greens/EFA, Spain
  • Sarah Elizabeth Holsen, Research Assistant, Institut de hautes études en administration publique, Switzerland
  • Silvana Fumega, Access to Information Independent Consultant, Argentina
  • Sorin Schiopu, editor, Radio Targu Mures, Romania
  • Stephen J Avalyan Newton (Prof.), International Governance and Change Management Specialist, Armenia
  • Tarmo Vahter, member of the advisory board of Journalismfund.eu, Estonia
  • Thorkild Knudsen (DJ), Journalist, Denmark
  • Tom Devine, USA
  • Ulf Öberg, Lawyer, Advokatfirman Öberg & Associés AB, Sweden
  • W Mecklenburg (Dr.), Lawyer and Physicist, Germany
  • Walter Keim, Norway

56 individuals + 131 organisations:

Total: 187 signatures

Last updated on 13 June 2011

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