Walter Keim
Torshaugv. 2 C
N-7020 Trondheim, 6. January 2002

Mr Antanas Valionis
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania 
Permanent Representation of Lithuania 
42, rue Schweighaeuser 
67000 Strasbourg - France 

CC: <>, <Joschka.Fischer@Bundestag.De>
   "CoE SE Foreign Minister" <>,
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   "CoE DK Foregn Minister" <>, <>,
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Freedom of Information for Europe


Informationsfreiheit in EuropaIinformationsfreiheit in europäischen VerfassungenI appreciate the contribution of the new democracies to freedom of information (also called right to know or public access to official documents or administrative transparency):, and made a valuable contribution that this right is now widely recognized as human right (Enclosure 1: Freedom of Information: An Internationally protected Human Right by Toby MENDEL). 

I appreciate that the political priorities of your Chairmanship will be democratic reforms in Europe and promotion of human rights.

Freedom of information ("right to seek information") is based on § 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights given by UN. Unfortunately the right to seek information was forgotten in § 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Freedom of Information was "invented" 1766 in Sweden. 1966 the USA followed up. European experts needed 15 years to come up with a recommendation. In 1981 the Council of Europe gave "Recommendation No. R (81) 19" on the access to information held by public authorities.

In the 90s this issue became a priority and the Council of Europe asked the Group of Specialists on access to official information (DH-S-AC) work out a legally binding document, but the result is just another recommendation (Enclosure 2: Draft Recommendation Access to Official Documents).

I would like to ask the Council of Europe to end this sad history by making this Recommendation on Access to Official Documents a binding convention.

Unfortunately Germany does not have Freedom of information (Enclosure 3):  nor does it translate Recommendations of the Council of Europe. Please find enclosed my suggestion to the German foreign minister to translate and publish recommendations:

I would like to suggest to consider if it would be helpful that the Council of Europe makes it a duty for member states to translate the Councils recommendations to member states languages.

This letter is published on the Internet:


Walter Keim
Torshaugv. 2 C
N-7020 Trondheim
Support Freedom of Information:
Support Patients' Rights:
Petition to European Parliament:


  1. Freedom of Information: An Internationally protected Human Right by Toby MENDEL:

  2. Draft Recommendation Access to Official Documents:

  3. Petition to EU Parliament:

  4. Letter to Foreign Minister of Germany suggesting to translate Recommendations of Council of Europe:

Support Freedom of Information by E-Mail to the European Council with a copy to the European Parliamentary Assembly.

Informationsfreiheit in EuropaFreedom of Information in European ConstitutionsFreedom of information came 1766 to Sweden, 1951 to Finland1966 to den USA and 1970 to Norway. In 1981 the Council of Europe gave "Recommendation No. R (81) 19" on the access to information held by public authorities. Since then nearly all countries in the EU and Europe adopted such laws. However citizen rights in member states vary and there are no minimum standards. In order to keep up with the international development freedom of information should be strengthened in member states.

Support Freedom of Information, by the following E-Mail to the European Council (click here):
I support the call to the European Council for a democratic and accountable Freedom of Information Convention on access to public documents in member states.

(You may change the text according to your needs).

Thanks to all who have given comments and contributed to improve this petition. Please do not hesitate to mail me if you have comments.

Please feel free to link this site!

Visitor No. since 29.1.2002

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