"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: http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/files/1208greco.htm


Walter Keim, Email: walter.keim@gmail.com
Torshaugv. 2 C 
N-7020 Trondheim, 24. August 2012


Group of States against corruption (GRECO)
DIRECTORATE GENERAL ON HUMAN RIGHTS AND LEGAL AFFAIRS
DIRECTORATE OF MONITORING
Council of Europe
F-67075 Strasbourg Cedex

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


GRECO failed in Second Evaluation Round and must therefore do better in Third Round


Madam/Sir,

monitoring report Greco RC-II (2007) 3E of the Second Evaluation Round dated 1. June 2007 [A] quotes recommendation i:

6. GRECO recommends to adopt appropriate freedom of information legislation and put in place measures facilitating access to information by the public in accordanc with such legislation
GRECO concludes:
11. GRECO concludes that recommendation i has been implemented satisfactory.
This conclusion was obviously wrong, because 7 out of 16 Federal States lacked freedom of information legislation. Even today 5 out of 16 German Federal States, with more then half of the population lack general access to information legislation.

In addition the federal Freedom of Information law is not in line with European, international and democratic standards.

It will be shown here that this mistake has to be avoided in the 3. Evaluation Round.

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 [A].

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 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 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 [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.

GRECO is part of the Council of Europe claiming to promote human rights and democracy in Europe.

Therefore it is important that GRECO does not repeat its mistake from the second round of evaluation and fulfils its monitoring obligations in the 3. round.

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://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/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. OSZE, 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://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/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/
Answer:

Internet:
  1. 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
  2. 29.07.2012, Germany: Report on progress Greco-RC-III (2011) 9E: http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/files/120729bmj.pdf
  3. GRECO (28. Nov. 2012): Non-Compliance Greco RC-III (2012) 15E Interim report: http://www.coe.int/t/dghl/monitoring/greco/evaluations/round3/GrecoRC3%282012%2915_Germany_Interim_EN.pdf
Development:



[Informationsfreiheit]      [Menschenrechtsverletzungen in Deutschland]    [Patientenrechte in Europa]    [Homepage]