This report, Leave No Trace, contains the first comprehensive research into the laws, guidelines, and practices on record keeping across a range of 12 European jurisdictions and the European Commission. It reveals an extremely weak legal infrastructure and hugely variable practice on record keeping, which is undermining the public’s right of access to information: it is impossible to obtain documents that do not exist. The report contains a comparative analysis of the of laws, guidelines, and practices as they relate to the creation and maintenance of information needed for participation and accountability. The direct consequence of the lack of clear-cut
This Legal Analysis, based on a study of the access to information laws in eleven (11) countries and that of the European Union, evaluates the extent to which these laws provide transparency of the documents needed to follow and participate in decision making by public bodies. A valuable resource for academics and activists alike, it has sections on the strength and scope of Europe’s access to information laws, on requirements to create records, and on proactive publication obligations as they relate to documents needed to track decision making. With a focus on key classes of information such as minutes of
[Article first published by the Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso] Long established and widely recognized, the right to access to information is severely curtailed in many European countries due to deficient implementation of existing law In case you missed it, this year marks the 250th anniversary since the world’s first transparency law was adopted, in Sweden in 1766. At a quick glance, it seems we have a lot to celebrate in Europe – every country on the continent (bar Cyprus and Luxembourg which have draft laws) now has a transparency law that gives citizens the right of access to government-held information.