7 October 2008

Spanish President Zapatero commits to adopt an access to information law

Access Info welcomed today’s announcement by the Spanish Government and called for the drafting of the law to be open and transparent, with full participation of civil society.

Spanish President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero speaking today at the closing of the 64th Assembly of the Inter-American Press Association in Madrid, announced that his Government will adopted “a new law that guarantees the greatest possible access to public information in Spain”. No further details on the proposed content of the law are yet available.

Access Info noted that the governing Socialist Party (PSOE) already made this commitment in its election manifestos in 2004 and 2008. As Spain is one of the few countries in Europe without a dedicated access to information law and given that the current legal provisions have serious problems – as revealed in the report “When Public Information Is Not Public” (in Spanish) published last week – the new law should be approved as a matter of priority.

Spain’s future access to information law should comply with international standards on the right, as included in the Nine Principles of the “Coalición Pro Acceso”, a platform of 23 organizations which is promoting full recognition of the right of access to information in Spain. The process of drafting the law should be transparent and participatory.