Malta EU Permanent Representation refuses to grant information on meetings with lobby groups

Publication date: 
Thursday, June 9, 2016
Helena Grech
Media title:

A Report penned by the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU) revealed that Malta was one of two EU Member States who refused a Freedom of Information Request on meetings between Maltese permanent representation in Brussels and lobby groups.


In its report, ALTER EU gave a country-by-country description of their requests for lobby-meeting information. In the case of Malta, a request was sent on 6 July 2015, with a follow up e-mail on 21 July 2015. An acknowledgment of receipt and a statement saying that the Permanent Representation will be looking into the request was sent on the same day.

ALTER-EU then had to send another follow up e-mail on 15 September 2015, “referring specifically to the Maltese access to information law.” They received acknowledgment of receipt on 22 October 2015, and were eventually refused on 1 December 2015.

The reason sent to the transparency group by the Permanent Representation was that “due to Part V or Part VI [of the Freedom of Information law,] there is good reason for withholding the document requested.”

In another attempt to get the information, the group asked for an internal review of the decision on 12 December 2015, however on 4 January 2016 they were informed that the decision to reject the request still stands.

In total, ALTER-EU requested the information from 17 EU Member State countries. Out of the 17, Romania, Poland and Ireland disclosed the complete list of lobby meetings, the Netherlands disclosed partially complete list of lobby meetings, Malta and the UK refused access to information, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Portugal, Spain and Sweden did not hold the information requested, and finally Austria, Cyprus, Greece, France and Italy simply did not reply.