One of the things that has, over the years, helped me maintain some faith in the functioning of the European Union was that – if push came to shove – you could find out what was going on within the walls of the institutions, and find out what the EU institutions were doing supposedly on citizens’ behalf.
One of the pioneering projects in this regard was FarmSubsidy.org, trying to shine the light on how the funding of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy was used, and the website blossomed as more data was made available. Yet this year things have gone backwards – with the cover of a Court of Justice ruling about the privacy of recipients, 92% of recipients have not been published. Sorry, but if the EU is spending my money – taxpayers’ money – I want to know who is getting that cash, and how much of it.
This comes on the back of another story – the failure of efforts by Andrew Duff MEP to introduce roll call votes into committee meetings in the European Parliament, voted down by the Constitutional Affairs committee.
Then there are Ronny Patz’s ongoing headaches to simply get documents from the EU institutions.
In short all of this does not really add up to a positive picture of the openness of the EU institutions!