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Letter to the German Parliament on Freedom of Information

From: "Walter Keim" <walter.keim@gmail.com>

To:  Parliamentary Parties German Parliament
Cc: EU Council, EU Commission, EU Convention, EU Parliament
Bcc: International Press  
23. June 2003  

Subject: Swedish solution for Law on Freedom of Information

The resistance of bureaucracy against Freedom of Information was too strong in Germany. According to the magazine DER SPIEGEL chancellor Schröder stopped the law. Some lawmakers in the administration are so discouraged, that they nearly have given up and don't make any progress.

Civil society demands Freedom of Information. The majority of the German parliament Bundestag was and still is willing to vote for a freedom of information law. In 4 of 16 federal states (Länder) there are Freedom of Information laws. The informastion commissioners of these states declared 2003 the year of Freedom of Information.  In the local state Schleswig-Holstein the Parliament had an important role in the process to introduce Freedom of Information, see Dr. Thilo Weichert: Informationsfreiheitsgesetz Schleswig-Holstein, DuD, Mai 2000.

Swedish administration has after 200 years not given up resistance. The Swedish parliament concludes, that therefore it is necessary to be strict. The solution in Germany can be that the parliament itself proposes a law.

Freedom of information increases transparency which is a precondition for democracy. The "right to know" gives citizens access to public documents, a precondition for freedom of expression and opinion that can be found in all developed countries. The coalition contract of autumn 2002: http://www.bundesregierung.de/Regierung/Koalitionsvertrag-I.-Praeambel-,1774/VIII.-Sicherheit_-Toleranz-und.htm#1.10 mentions plans for a law proposal.  

Put an end to the embarrassing fact, that Germany (with the exeption of 4 federal states) is the only civilized and developed country without Freedom of Information before this becomes a shame. Use a law to tell the administration what to do. You have the power to tame bureaucracy to realize citizens rights and participation. Then Germany will no longer be an alien in the European "area of freedom" with "respect for human rights" (EU Com 2002/0247) and fits into EU: http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/files/Com2002_0247.htm#1.2

The EU Commission has stopped plans from 1991 Communication (93) 191 for Freedom of Information to include member states because "Germany will most certainly follow the example of its European partners." http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/330166.htm. Therefore no form for action is taken. 

I refer to the "European Parliament resolution on the situation as regards fundamental rights in the European Union (2000) (2000/2231(INI))" document A5-0223/2001. Point 3 "notes that it is the particular responsibility of the European Parliament (by virtue of the role conferred on it under the new Article 7(1) of the Treaty of Nice) and of its appropriate committee to ensure (in cooperation with the national parliaments and the parliaments of the candidate countries) that both the EU institutions and the Member States uphold the rights set out in the various Chapters of the Charter". A petition to the European Parliament on Freedom of Information was admitted

The EU Convention welcomes the proposition to consider Freedom of Information.  The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU gives Freedom of Information in Article 42, access to documents in Article 41 (2), the right to complain in Article 43 (Ombudsman) and the right to answers within reasonable time in Article 41 (1). The "European Codex of god Administration" defines latest two months to get an answer (Article 17).   As European my opinion is that both you and your government should respect the fundamental rights of the Charter of the European Union.  

As human being I have this right and I therefore demand that the human right of freedom of information: http://www.juridicas.unam.mx/publica/rev/comlawj/cont/1/cts/cts3.htm, http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/files/Mendel-627.htm is respected.  
Sincerely,  

Walter Keim  

Who is responsible for the lack of freedom of information:  http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/I_accuse.htm
Support freedom of information: http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/foi.htm#e-mail, http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/petition_eu.htm
Support patients rights: http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/patients.htm#e-mail
Warum sind Patientenrechte defizitär in Deutschland? : http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/anklage.htm

Old versions: 0.0, Newest version.

This Internet publication is a "hearing": Please send comments to: walter.keim@gmail.com.

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

FOI in EuropaFreedom 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. A new Recommendation Rec(2002)2 was adopted 2002. Both EU and nearly all countries in the EU and Europe adopted such laws. However citizen rights 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. Here is a petition to the European Parliament.

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.

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

Support FOI by E-Mail to the Federal Government in Germany

Freedom of Information came 1766 to Sweden, 1951 to Finland, 1966 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. Germany is the only country in the EU without such a law. In order to keep up with the international development freedom of information should also be adopted in Germany.

Support the German Freedom of Information Law, by the following E-Mail to the German Government (click here):
I support the call to the German Government for a democratic and accountable Freedom of Information Law on access to public documents.

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

Visitor No. since 23. May 2003