The issue of energy is everybody’s business: we pay for electricity, gas, district heating. But what is the basis of how much we pay? Who makes decisions on energy policy, and who can have an effect on the decision-making? How can the energy sector be controlled? Can we know the data concerning us? How can we access them?
We can only make decisions in our everyday lives if we have substantive information. Therefore the power can also only make responsible decisions based on concrete data and facts. If the relations are hazy and not transparent the whole country will have to pay the price because unsubstantiated and ill-considered decisions lead to a distorted energy structure. A modern energy system can only function sustainably and efficiently if its conditions are clear and transparent. It is also notable that transparent processes that happen in public leave less space for maladministration and corruption.
It is important therefore that as many people have factual information as possible, understanding the importance of this sector on their lives. In order to achieve this it is essential that interested persons have access to data concerning them, and understand the background and consequences of the decisions of power.
The goal of the Control Energy Program is to facilitate this.
How do we wish to do that?
1. We collect, request, process and publish information, facts and data in order to have a comprehensive view on the sector.
2. We conduct researches and write studies to analyse and reveal the conditions of the Hungarian energy sector. We investigate its institutional and legal background, financial processes, and decision-making mechanisms. We provide generic and specific suggestions to the problems listed here.
3. We launch tenders for investigative news articles. In these we draw the public’s attention with instruments of journalism on shortcomings, inconsistencies, misconducts and corruption in the sector.
4. We take part in a work group where we investigate compliance with the Aarhus Convention (“on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters”) in the field of nuclear energy. This involves the parties playing a key role in nuclear energy management (industry, authorities, government bodies, office of parliamentary commissioners, legal and professional organisations) sitting down together to share their experiences on the implementation of the Aarhus convention in Hungary, and to make suggestions on increasing transparency and public participation in decision-making in the field of nuclear energy.
Common qualities of all the pillars of the program are the controlling role of publicity, revealing and documenting facts, as well as shaping the professional and social approach to these issues.
The Control Energy Project has had a lot of success since its launch in 2009. Its studies were met with great interest, leading to a full-house conference that had high coverage in the press and attracted great professional attention. Following our tenders, a range of investigative articles were published in national media and on the oknyomozo.hu site, the author of such an article received the prestigious Soma Award for the CEP material. During its operation, the program initiated dozens of data request proceedings, with lawsuits where necessary.
CEP: Facts need to be told
The Control Energy Project is a highlighted program of the Energiaklub