Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 32 n° 220

Posts Tagged ‘Michael Cashman’

European Parliament stands in Court for the EU’s citizens right to know

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 22 ottobre 2013

English: A Committee Room in the European Parl...

English: A Committee Room in the European Parliament (Brussels) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The recent ruling of the European Court of Justice should open the eyes of member states to the necessity to update EU legislation on access to documents. EU citizens need a clearer and wider access to the decision-making process, said Civil Liberties Committee rapporteur on the regulation on access to documents.The European Court of Justice ruled on 17 October 2013 that the Council’s policy of releasing legislative drafting documents with the names of member states tabling amendments blacked out was not in conformity with EU law (Council v Access Info Europe Case C-280/11 P).The European Parliament intervened by joining the case in support of Access Info Europe.
Michael Cashman (S&D, UK), rapporteur for the original Regulation 1049/2001 on access to documents and its current revision, lauded the European Parliament’s historical move for defending citizen’s rights:
“I congratulate Access Info Europe for helping, through this case, to clarify EU legislation and keeping all of us accountable. I am proud our House has stood by EU citizens and stood for what it has been continuously fighting for: more transparency of the decision-making process.It is a shame that the other two Institutions, the Council and the European Commission, prefer to challenge civil society and the citizens they represent rather than recognising that the current legislation needs to be revised and not only interpreted by the judges.
The current revision is in a deadlock in Council, and in June 2013, the European Parliament called for the co-legislators to start the negotiations again for a deal that will ensure better access by EU citizens to EU documents.I am hopeful that such decisions of the European Court of Justice will open the eyes of member states to the necessity to update our legislation accordingly and to stop relying on jurisprudence. Our citizens need a clearer and wider access to the decision-making process and the ECJ has confirmed this today. Now, let’s get around the table and do the work”.

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Public access to documents: towards more transparency in the EU

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 24 novembre 2011

The European Parliament in brussels

Image via Wikipedia

The scope for restricting public access to documents held by EU institutions would be severely curtailed by amendments, made by the Civil Liberties Committee on Wednesday, to a draft law on public access. The committee’s bid to thus enhance transparency, accountability, and democracy in the EU will be put to a plenary vote in December.The Lisbon Treaty created a new legal framework for access to documents and the now legally-binding Charter describes such access as a “fundamental right”. The citizens’ right to access to documents will cover all the EU institutions, bodies, offices and agencies, and not only the European Parliament, Council and Commission, as was hitherto the case.The purpose of the amended version of Regulation 1049/2001 is to give the fullest possible effect to the right of public access to documents and to lay down general principles and exceptions to such access on the grounds of public or private interest. “The committee has today sent a powerful message to the Commission and the Council that the European Parliament will not agree to dilute the existing rules and, on the contrary, wants us to be more transparent for our citizens. What we are talking about is a right that allows citizens to make sure that we are accountable: parliamentarians accountable for what we do in their name, the Commission for what it does in their name, and, equally, the Council of Ministers. How can citizens do that if the way we work and who does what within all of the different institutions, agencies, offices and bodies remains a well-kept secret, open only to those who know? If the plenary backs this progressive approach with a strong majority, we will enter the fight with the Council in a very convincing position”, said Civil Liberties Committee rapporteur, Michael Cashman (S&D, UK).
MEPs inserted a broader definition of “document” – a concept that lies at the very heart of the regulation – than that proposed by the Commission.

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