Democracy and participation

Access to information to counter fake news on EU


Who is behind this?

Mathias Huter

Forum Informationsfreiheit


Who is joining forces?

Citizens Network Watchdog Poland


K-Monitor Association


Access Info Europe


Forum Informationsfreiheit, K-Monitor and Watchdog Poland will implement the project in their respective countries. Access Info Europe will offer guidance and support advocacy efforts.



Idea pitch

Austria, Hungary and Poland experience pressure on democratic space, have disastrously poor access to information rules and a prevailing culture of secrecy. To keep citizens informed, combat fake news about the EU and fight corruption, we need to ensure that citizens in can easily ask for information from the EU. Our tools will guide citizens, journalists and activists when requesting information from State and EU bodies, our own requests will help inform national political debates.

Where does your idea take place?

Austria, Poland, Hungary, Spain

Why does Europe need your idea?

Access to information held by government bodies and EU institutions is key for citizens, journalists and civil society to be able to scrutinize political decisions and contribute to debates on national and EU levels. Transparency can help combat fake news about the EU and strengthen its legitimacy.

What is your impact?

More citizens, journalists, activists and researchers will become aware of their right to information, request documents from EU institutions and use them to shape public debates. EU institutions and Member States open up as a result of growing public pressure for transparency.

How do you get there?

Easily understandable manuals for Austria, Poland, Hungary and Spain (no or no up-to-date guides are currently available) will show citizens how to request information on the national level and from EU bodies (incl. in English). Documents will be under an open license, we will produce YouTube how-to videos, possibly also an educational online game. We will press for stronger ATI on the national and EU level, including by filing requests & complaints, and by highlighting best practice approaches.

What is your story?

Our organizations seek to advance transparency and government accountability. We believe that citizens must be able to access information held by State bodies. Transparency is not only a powerful tool to reduce the risks of corruption and abuse of power but can also help to counter populist debates.

Who are you doing it for?

Access to information (ATI) guides are aimed at citizens, journalists and civil society groups. We will offer workshops, and advertise our outputs (using Google Ad Grants), engage national and EU authorities to advocate for more transparency, file ATI requests and, if denied, appeal.

What do you need from the Advocate Europe community?

Did you know that you have a right to receive information from EU bodies? Have you requested information from State or EU bodies? If not, is there a particular reason; if yes, did you face challenges? What are key political issues where you think more transparency would help inform public debates?


forum informationsfreiheit



Idea created on Jan. 14, 2018
Last edit on Jan. 19, 2018

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