Transparency delayed is not transparency at all: Italy, Germany and Spain allow slowest replies to public information requests
In practice, compliance with transparency laws in Europe is worse due to lack of resources, arbitrary application of limits or lack of enforceability by administrations.
In Europe there were 17.5 suicides per 10,000 people in pretrial detention, while the proportion was 8.54 deaths in the rest of the prison population.
People waiting for a final sentence often suffer worse conditions than convicted prisoners, even if they're innocent.
Only two European Union member states confirm that they had strategic reserves of the most effective and safe vaccine against monkeypox, a smallpox-like virus.
Ukrainian refugees now arrive under the aegis of the ultra-fast special protection system, but regular reception centres are piling up hundreds of thousands of applications and rejecting many.
The sentence sets a precedent on the transparency of source code for software and algorithms developed by Spanish public entities.
In addition to economic or altruistic motivation, anonymity plays a key role in egg or sperm donation, although an increasing number of countries require disclosure of donor identities.
More than half of European countries prohibit access to assisted reproduction for lesbians and almost a third do so for single women
The situation is much more difficult for trans and intersex people. In addition to the legal barriers, they face economic stumbling blocks: most public health systems cover only part of the costs or have very long wait lists or narrow access criteria.
Barriers in many European countries push thousands of people abroad to access assisted reproductive technology (ART) techniques. In some cases, they take out huge loans to pay for the treatments.
Meetings on public health between top European Commission officials and lobbies increase exponentially due to pandemic
Meetings with dozens of assistants and thousands of civil servants fly under the radar of the EU's transparency register. The heads of the pharmaceutical industry, EFPIA is one of the most active lobby groups. In less than a year and a half since the start of the pandemic they have held as many meetings with senior Commission officials as in the last five years como en los cinco años anteriores.
Regulation of the European Parliament is highly voluntary. Compared to 90% of Swedish, Danish or Finnish MEPs who disclose meetings with interest groups, only one out of ten Greek, Polish and Bulgarian MEPs do so.
In many European countries, the availability of psychological treatment in the public healthcare system is inadequate or even non-existent. Barriers such as long waiting lists, co-payments and inadequate resources push people with anxiety or depression -those who can afford it- to the private system.
Doctors continue prescribing anti-anxiety medications such as lorazepam or diazepam for long periods despite the risk of addictions. Meanwhile, under-investment in psychological care is making things worse.
In the European Union, thousands of people with serious mental disorders live isolated and secluded from society, without receiving all the care they need. At least 150 million euros of European Union funds, intended to improve their situation, have been used for other purposes.
COVID-19 has paralysed mental health care, already weak in several European countries. During the first wave, 75% of psychiatry services were via telemedicine, but it doesn’t work for everybody.
This procedure was used - with no bids and little monitoring or transparency - in 16,589 contracts totaling 6.445 billion euros. The vast majority went to the purchase of supplies such as masks, but officials snuck in public television concessions, swimming pool operations, Tasers and even camels for a Three Kings parade.
Who's paid for the work?
The Spanish Ministry of Health paid more than six euros for each swab for PCR tests. The autonomous communities and municipalities didn't escape the price spikes either. In one case, they paid more than 100 euros for a 5-litre jug of hand gel.
In situations like this pandemic, public entities can issue emergency contracts without opening a file, even orally. But they do have to comply with transparency rules afterward and publish the details within 15 days. In 2020, it took an average of 43 days. And some of them are not even published yet.
For weeks, Spain and Italy were epicentres of the COVID-19 pandemic. Their health defences had an important gap.
Both capital cities have opted for opposing mobility models—with and without restrictions. However the epidemic's impact on their borders has not been in line with their neighbours, but rather, like those at the other side of the European continent.
In the first seven months of 2019 alone, over 6,500 contract awards have failed to comply with the regulation that prevents public authorities from directly awarding several smaller contracts exceeding €15,000 or €40,000 to a single company.
Thanks to this, all citizens may request - and receive - public information produced prior to the implementation of the Spanish Transparency Law in December 2014.
The real cost that public administrations pay for CAR-T therapies is negotiated in secret, although the Ministry of Health does publish the maximum price it is willing to pay.
Half of the European countries levy the same VAT on sanitary towels and tampons as on tobacco, beer and wine
The Spanish government has announced its intention to reduce VAT on sanitary towels and tampons in the 2019 budget. Since 2007, European law allows a reduction to the so-called Tampon Tax, although countries such as Hungary, Switzerland and Denmark continue to apply a general rate on such products.
Eva Belmonte received last Friday in Athens the award for Best Individual Portfolio of the Year, following Medicamentalia’s Best Investigation of 2016 award.
Aznar granted 139 and Zapatero, 62. Rajoy issued 16 and Sánchez, 4. The majority pardon crimes of prevarication and embezzlement.
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