Walter Keim
Torshaugv. 2 C
N-7020 Trondheim, 18.4.2002 

Mr Romano Prodi
President of the Commission
European Commission 
B-1049 Brussels 

Freedom of information for Germany


I appreciate that the European Commission suggested 1993 in Communication 93 (191)
freedom of information i.e. access to public documents. Later the Charta of the 
EU Article 42 and Article 255 of the Treaty on European Union were updated it was 
successfully implemented:
You give a very good example by publishing your mail:

I would like to draw your attention to the fact, that the work on the
German freedom of information law is being stopped (see

In environmental matters freedom of information is implemented according to a EU directive (Council Directive 90/313/EEC).  
This was adapted not 31. December 1992 but two years too late on 15. July 1994. German bureaucracy 
tried to hinder Germans with help of high costs to use freedom of information. It was prohibitive to have to pay even if the
access was denied. I appreciate that the European Commission won (Case C-217/97) at the European High Court to achieve
that Germans could benefit from freedom of information in environmental subjects.

Communication 93 (191) included mainly plans for EU, but the Commission proposed that member states should 
also recognize freedom of information. 
I asked the Council to show me documents what the Council replied
To my surprise these documents did not seem to indicate objections to freedom of information for member states.

The German Parliament has abused its sovereignty in this field by denying its
citizens freedom of information, which is now widely recognized as human right. e.g. Toby MENDEL: Freedom of Information: An Internationally protected Human Right (see:
Only 5 countries in Europe (Luxembourg, Switzerland, Croatia, Yugoslavia ) are working on laws, 
all the others have freedom of information in constitutions and/or laws.

I wrote petitions to the German federal Parliament Bundestag, the European Parliament and work on complaints to UN
and German Constitutional Court about freedom of information.

I would like to inform you, that there is a possibility, that Germany will be the only country in whole Europe without
freedom of information at the end of this year.

Of course this situation is the responsibility of Germany. How to cope with this new situation?
Nearly all countries have now implemented freedom of information. Is it now possible to consider to get the Commissions 
plans of 1993 accepted by the Council for freedom of information for member states?


Walter Keim 

Copy: EU Council, European Parliament (Petition 80/2002), Bundeskanzler, Members of German Parliament

8 May 2002: The Commissions answer.

PS: This letter got nr. A (2002) 883311 in the register of President's correspondence. You can find it by specifying Keim as Sender's name and pressing the Search bottom. 

Support Freedom of Information by E-Mail to the European Commission and Council with a copy to the European Parliament.

FOI laws in EuropeFreedom 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 both EU and 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 EU member states.

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

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