Tuesday

17th May 2022

Podcast

Transparency, Interrupted

  • The EU access regulation was part of efforts to build public trust. But lax enforcement may be exacerbating the very narrative the EU is seeking to overcome — that it is an elitist and unaccountable political project (Photo: Helena Malikova)

Freedom of information. Openness. Access to documents. These are names for laws people can use to ask authorities to share information and records.

The European Union adopted its access regulation at the turn of this century. But as work went digital, the access rules have failed to keep pace. A lot still goes unrecorded. Or it goes unregistered, and can't be accessed easily, if at all.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

"There are very important pieces of information that are not coming out," says European Ombudsman Emily O'Reilly. The EU access regulation was part of efforts to build public trust. But lax enforcement may be exacerbating the very narrative the EU is seeking to overcome — that it's an elitist and unaccountable political project.

Also in this episode: tax expert Martijne Nouwen on the mass deletion of European Commission emails; and journalist Alexander Fanta on messages about vaccine contracts on Ursula von der Leyen's phone.

Author bio

EU Scream is the progressive politics podcast from Brussels. Produced by James Kanter with graphics by Helena Malikova and music by Lara Natale.

You may also follow via @euscreams subscribe via iTunes, Spotify or from the EU Scream website.

Quick Take: Enrico Letta

Speaking at the Global Progressive Forum, former Italian prime minister Enrico Letta describes the victim-shaming of Italy and Spain during the financial crisis - and explains how a big bag of money from Brussels may be helping heal the wounds.

Book Club: The Scent of Wild Animals

Liberal lawmaker Sophie in 't Veld says the European Union's survival depends on overcoming creeping sclerosis, ending acquiescence to autocrats, and embracing the kind of political spectacle that captures the public imagination.

The climate allies Europe needs

With the COP26 climate conference about to get underway in Glasgow, major breakthroughs look elusive. Among the spectres at the feast are raging geopolitical tensions, high energy prices, the ongoing pandemic and a lack of diplomatic vigour from Europe.

Hedegaard on the hazards of stalling climate action

In 2009 Connie Hedegaard presided over the Copenhagen climate conference that ended in rancour - and left Europe on the sidelines. Hedegaard went on to become the first European commissioner for climate action.

European shibboleths

Europe is green, humane and has defeated populism. These are common views among the EU chattering classes. But they often seem more reflexive than reflective, and some of them amount to shibboleths.

Foreign fighter diaries

Last week, Thomas lived in Brussels with a white-collar office job. Today, Thomas is in the international brigades, comprised of foreign fighters from all over the world, patrolling Ukrainian streets against Russian incursions, on Europe's new frontline.

Foreign fighter diaries — Part 2

In this episode Thomas and his unit arrive in Kyiv, as part of efforts to try to stop Putin's army from taking the capital.

News in Brief

  1. EU to protect Finland and Sweden until they join Nato
  2. Poland backs Hungary over frozen 'rule of law' EU funds
  3. EU to reduce size and scope of Mali military mission
  4. Band members testify about Bataclan attack
  5. German prosecutors want five years for alleged ex-Nazi guard
  6. UN urges Iran to halt execution of Swedish-Iranian academic
  7. EU: legal Russian gas payments possible, but not in roubles
  8. McDonald's to sell up and exit Russia

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersClear to proceed - green shipping corridors in the Nordic Region
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers agree on international climate commitments
  3. UNESDA - SOFT DRINKS EUROPEEfficient waste collection schemes, closed-loop recycling and access to recycled content are crucial to transition to a circular economy in Europe
  4. UiPathNo digital future for the EU without Intelligent Automation? Online briefing Link
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersHuge support for Ukraine
  6. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBWorkers want EC to limit subcontracting chains in construction

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us