Non-governmental organizations along with investigative journalists, academics, and access to information campaigners from 48 countries in Europe and beyond called on Members of the European Parliament to act urgently to protect EU transparency rules.
The call comes as the European Union engaged in a review of its access to documents regulation that could result in freedom of information being severely curtailed across Europe.
Proposals put forward by the European Commission would substantially reduce the number of public documents by denying access to e-mails and other documents sent within the EU that are not “formally” transmitted, and by allowing individual Member States greater powers to keep their communications with the EU secret. The proposals ignore the principle of openness enshrined in the founding treaties of European Union and would roll back rulings by the European Court of Justice which support a wider right of access to documents.
The campaign urged MEPs in the LIBE Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs to vote against the Commission’s proposals. A debate on the issue took place in Parliament on Tuesday 1 February 2011. Leading human rights and journalists’ organizations have signed the letter to MEPs.
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