Increased security restrictions in the European Parliament - unable to provide accreditation to ANY visitors who wish to attend ANY meetings until further notice
Dear European Parliament,
Under the right of access to documents in the EU treaties, as developed in Regulation 1049/2001, I am requesting documents which contain the following information:
As I had received an invitation to a workshop for 26th February 2015 on 9th February I had made my travel arrangements.
Two days later on 11th February 2015 I received a cancellation of this invitation saying:
"Following increased security restrictions in the European Parliament, we are unfortunately unable to provide accreditation to ANY visitors who wish to attend ANY meetings until further notice.
In the case of this workshop, this regrettably also applies if you were previously informed that you would be provided with accreditation. Please follow the workshop by webstreaming (see link below)."
I had replied immediately saying that this workshop is very important as I am a person suffering from a regulation that will be discussed during this workshop (not just a visitor). The public is factually kept out. There is no direct feedback loop with the people, the new laws and regulations will be made.
And this in a parliament where not even the MEPs can start initiatives for new laws (only the EU commission, the government can do).
In Europe where the European Citizens cannot participate between the elections. I would not worry that much if the citizens participation would be the same as in Switzerland where people can revoke laws and therefore the government is much more careful and interested in the public opinion.
As my personal, legal issue is still ongoing it would have help me to be there. For sure there are other people, too.
In reference to the comment to use web streaming, I also replied to the secretary that direct contact and direct questions cannot be done via web streaming. Otherwise there would be no need for the so called experts to be personally there.
Kindly let me know:
(1) if there is a reduction in the number of lobbyists going into the parliament ?
(2) what was the average number of lobbyists per day going into the building before and now ?
(3) if there are workshops that have been dropped ? Whats the average per week and how many have been cancelled ?
(4) if personal visits of European Citizens to members of the EU commission have been reduced ?
(5) is there a reduction of other people visiting members of the European Commission ?
(6) if personal visits of European Citizens to MEPs have been reduced ?
(7) is there a reduction of other people visiting members of the MEPs ?
(8) if the PETI Committee, who deals most with the public, has stopped work since this increased security restrictions ?
What worries most and using the wording of a UK website about the British Parliament 'TheyWorkForYou.com', how can the European Parliament and the MEPs serve the European Citizens when there are so many restrictions to keep the public society out ?
European Citizens could get the impression that there is a discrimination on European Citizens.
Our ref : A (2015 ) 2563
Dear Mr Zinser,
We acknowledge receipt of your request. You will receive a reply within 15 working days.
TRANSPARENCY – ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS
EPRS | European Parliamentary Research Service
Directorate for the Library
Public Register Webpage
Dear Mr Zinser,
The Citizens’ Enquiries Unit of the European Parliament (EP) has been
asked to reply to your request for information concerning numbers of
lobbyists and visitors in light of increased security restrictions.
We would inform you that increased security measures within the framework
of the 'yellow alert' only impact external visitors (i.e. people who do
not have a European Parliament access card). Interest group
representatives with EP accreditation on behalf of their organisations may
still access Parliament's premises. The sole difference is that they will
be asked to present an official identification document before entering
the buildings. So there has not been a reduction in number of lobbyists in
light of the security restrictions.
As for the actual number of lobbyists entering the EP each day, this
varies significantly depending on the week. As an example, on 3 March
2015, approximately 300 individuals activated their access card to enter
Regarding cancellation of workshops, it is true that all non-parliamentary
meetings and events have been suspended (unless held by decision of an
official parliamentary body), and all meetings/events/visits involving
more than 100 external participants have been postponed.
With regard to the number of visitors to MEPs, the capacity of Members to
invite up to 9 individual visitors a day has not been altered by the
yellow alert. For other people visiting MEPs, this question should be
addressed directly to the MEPs themselves.
Likewise, your questions regarding the number of visitors to the
European Commission should be addressed directly to this institution.
Finally, with regard to the Committee on Petitions, all parliamentary
committees are continuing with their work. For further information, we
would advise you to contact the PETI Secretariat directly.
We thank you for your interest in the European Parliament.
Citizens' Enquiries Unit
Please note that the information given by the Citizens' Enquiries Unit of
the European Parliament is not legally binding