"The right to access information held by public authorities is a fundamental human right which should be given effect at the national level through comprehensive legislation (for example Freedom of Information Acts) based on the principle of maximum disclosure, establishing a presumption that all information is accessible subject only to a narrow system of exceptions."
Joint Declaration by the UN, ODCE and OAS Special Mandates for Protecting Freedom of Expression

DeutschDeutsch über gleiches Thema: http://wkeim.bplaced.net/files/1208greco.htm


Walter Keim, Email: walter.keim@gmail.com
Torshaugv. 2 C 
N-7020 Trondheim, den 30. August 2012


EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA)
Rahlgasse 3
A-1060 Vienna 
Austria

Copy: UN Special Rapporteur freedom of opinion and expression, OSCE, PACE, EU Parliament <(Petition No. 0748/2012): GRECO (CoE) failed to uphold human rights and democratic standards, therefore the EUP has to do it


5 German states fail to respect human right of access to information, found for 84% of the worlds population


Madam/Sir,

thank you for your answer 29. March 2007 about the lack of access to information in Germany.

FRA rejected 29. March 2007 to support access to information in EU member states:
The European Commission and/or the Council of Europe play a role in the human rights field. The European Commission is empowered to deal with breaches of Community law in relation to fundamental rights, while the Council of Europe has well established human rights mechanisms.
Please find enclosed that the Council of Europe's unit GRECO "well established mechanisms" failed to secure the human right of access to information necessary in a democratic society [A]. The Council of Europe has been informed, that the EU Commission, EU Parliament and EU Fundamental Rights Agency do not support access to information rights in member states [B].

5 out of 16 German Federal States, with more then half of the German population lack a general operational access to information laws or constitutional protection regime, which is found for 84% of the world population.

Are fundamental rights standards for access to information for EU member states so low that a member EU state lacks respect of a human right enjoyed by 5.9 Billion inhabitants 84 % of the worlds population? 

In addition the federal Freedom of Information law in Germany is not in line with European, international and democratic standards. 5.5 Billion people i e. 78 % of the worlds population have better laws.

Access to documents of public administration is a human right according to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) [1, 4, 5] and jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) [6] on the basis of the European Convention for Human Rights (ECHR) [2] and is seen as a precondition for democracy and important in the fight of corruption. OSCE supports access to information [11].

UN, OSCE and AOS confirm in their Joint Declaration by the Three Special Mandates for Protecting Freedom of Expression 6. December 2004, that Access to Information is a human right [3]:
"The right to access information held by public authorities is a fundamental human right which should be given effect at the national level through comprehensive legislation (for example Freedom of Information Acts) based on the principle of maximum disclosure, establishing a presumption that all information is accessible subject only to a narrow system of exceptions."
Germany does not respect this human right and has problems with corruption prevention:
  1. 84 states with approx. 5.5 billion [10, 11] inhabitants i. e. 78 % of the worlds population give better access to information then the federal Freedom of Information Law in Germany (http://www.rti-rating.org/country-data/).
  2. More then 115 states (http://right2info.org/laws) with more then 5.9 billion inhabitants i. e. 84 % of the worlds population adopted FOI laws or provisions in constitutions. 5 German states with half of the population lack FOI laws.
  3. The UN Convention against Corruption is ratified by 160 states with more then 6.5 billion inhabitants, but not by Germany.
  4. Germany did not ratify the Criminal Law Convention on Corruption and does not follow Recommendation Rec(2003)4 on common rules against corruption in the funding of political parties and electoral campaigns of the Council of Europe as GRECO (Group of States against Corruption) suggested 9 December 2009. Germany's answer 29. June 2012 shows that no progress has been made [A, B].
  5. Germany is the only state in Europe which has not ratified any of these to conventions against corruption.

This embarrassing situation is due to the German press not informing citizens and the public about this situation [7] and therefore many citizens still vote for the conservative party CDU/CSU, the only party in the civilized world denying its citizens the fundamental human right of access to information necessary for a living democracy [8].

It is obvious that this denial of a fundamental human right is a misuse of national sovereignty unknown in other democracies worldwide.

Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union reads:
"The Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities."
When will EU take human rights and democracy in member states seriously? When will the "guarantee for the principles of democracy and respect for human rights" according to Com 2002/0247 and COM(2005)280 become reality? Will the EU Fundamental Rights Agency really continue to accept the violation of the human right of access to information in member state Germany? A human right necessary and respected in all other democracies.

Sincerely,
--
Walter Keim
Netizen: http://walter.keim.googlepages.com
Access to Information Baltic Sea NGO Forum: http://BSNF-ATI.tk/
Is it possible to enforce access to information in Bavaria?
http://wkeim.bplaced.net/files/enforce_access_to_information.html

Sources:

  1. Access to information is a human right according to UN: http://right2info.org/international-and-regional-law-standards#section-0
  2. Access to information in ECHR: http://right2info.org/international-and-regional-law-standards#section-4
  3. 2004 Joint Declaration by the Three Special Mandates for Protecting Freedom of Expression: http://merlin.obs.coe.int/iris/2005/2/article1
  4. "General Comment No. 34 on Article 19 of the ICCPR": http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrc/comments.htm
  5. Complains to UN Human Rights Committee: http://right2info.org/cases#section-6
  6. Jurisdiction European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR): http://right2info.org/cases#section-2
  7. OSCE, April 2012: COMMENTS ON THE DRAFT LAW ON TRANSPARENCY, ACCESS TO INFORMATION AND GOOD GOVERNANCE OF SPAIN: http://www.osce.org/fom/89577
  8. 27.07.2012: Offener Brief: Deutsche Presse größter Versager in der Welt beim Menschenrecht Informationszugang: http://wkeim.bplaced.net/files/120727pr.html
  9. 09.07.2012: Menschenrecht Informationszugang stärken: CDU/CSU ist das trojanische Pferd der Bürokratie im Parlament : http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/files/120709bt.html
  10. Access to Information Laws: http://right2info.org/access-to-information-laws
  11. FOI Laws: Counts Vary Depending on Definitions: http://www.freedominfo.org/2011/10/foi-laws-counts-vary-slightly-depending-on-definitions/
  12. 02.07.2007, Second Evaluation Round. Addendum to the Compliance Report on Germany Greco RC-II (2007): http://www.coe.int/t/dghl/monitoring/greco/evaluations/round2/GrecoRC2%282007%293_Germany_EN.pdf
  13. 29.07.2012, Germany: Report on progress Greco-RC-III (2011) 9E: http://wkeim.bplaced.net/files/120729bmj.pdf
Internet:
  1. 24. August 2012: GRECO failed in Second Evaluation Round and must therefore do better in Third Round : http://wkeim.bplaced.net/files/foi-greco.htm
  2. 1. September 2012: EU does not Support the Human Right of Access to Public Documents in member states. http://wkeim.bplaced.net/files/foi-eu.htm
Development:


[Access to Information]      [Human Right violations in Germany]    [Patients Rights in Europe]    [Homepage]