3. Resolution on freedom of information
EFJ Annual Meeting, Prague, 24-25 May, 2003
Submitted by NUJ, Ireland
This AM notes with concern the decision of the Irish government to undermine Freedom of Information legislation in the Republic of Ireland by amending the Freedom of Information Act to enable restrictions on access to information by citizens.
The Irish Freedom of Information Act has been used by the European Federation of Journalists and the IFJ as a model of best practice. This development therefore is of particular significance. The introduction of restrictive measures and the use of charges as a means of discouraging FOI requests is a retrograde step and runs contrary to the concept of Freedom of Information.
This AM therefore calls on the European Federation of Journalists and constituent unions to accelerate campaigns for the strengthening of domestic and European laws, including the introduction of directives, governing freedom of information.
AM commends the work of the Swedish Union of Journalists in carrying out a test of the EU rules on access to official documents and welcomes publication of their report "A More Open Europe".
AM instructs the Steering Committee to accelerate the campaign for freedom of information legislation governing the institutions of the European Union, including the European Commission, the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament as part of the EFJ’s ongoing commitment to open and transparent government, building on existing policy.