1 December, 2020 – Tromsø Convention enters into force in 10 states

Council of Europe Convention on Access to Official Documents (CETS No. 205), also known as the Tromsø Convention, enters into force in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Lithuania, Montenegro, Norway, the Republic of Moldova, Sweden and Ukraine, on 1 December 2020.

This Convention is the first binding international legal instrument to recognise a general right of access to official documents held by public authorities. The Convention emphasizes the importance of public authorities’ transparency as well as the exercise of the right to access to official documents: i. provides a source of information for the public; ii. helps the public to form an opinion on the state of society and on public authorities; iii. fosters the integrity, efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability of public authorities. The Convention set out the general principles on the right of access to official documents, possible limitations, requests for access to official documents and their processing, the forms of access, and the review procedure. The Convention provides the opportunity for the public authorities to make public official documents which it holds in the interest of promoting the transparency and efficiency of public administration and to encourage informed participation by the public in matters of general interest.

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Bosnia and Herzegovina