ENA launches Freedom of Information campaign

Tallinn, July 9, 1998. The Estonian Newspaper Association (ENA) has opened a page on its website, devoted to freedom of information (FOI). Citizens are urged to fill in a form, making their observations regarding access to public information. At the end of August, the ENA will send the responses and proposals to the Interior Ministry, which is drafting an Access to Public Information Law.

Estonia lacks an Access to Public Information Law, although the Constitution’s Article 44 refers to one. So far, it is often that officials say to an information request: “But where is it written that I have to give this information to you?”.

All too often, an official in possessiion of public information can rule in a highly arbitrary manner as to what information to issue to whom and when. This is because of lack of clear rules. It is easy for a government department to declare documents as “meant for internal consumption only“.

In order to end the confusing situation, an access to information law should be written without further delay. The parliament instructed the government to write one already in 1997 but there has been little action on the part of the government so far.

The ENA believes that the the proposals from the public submitted to its FOI page will help the drafters of the law at the Interior Ministry in their work.

The FOI page is at, in Estonian only.



Estonian Newspaper Association

Pärnu mnt 67A
10134 Tallinn Estonia
Tel. +372 646 1005
Fax. +372 631 1210

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