A solemn conference on the occasion of the Council of Europe Convention on Access to Official Documents (CETS No. 205), known as the Tromso Convention, was held today at the Palace of Serbia, organized by the Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection and the Council of Europe Office in Belgrade with reference to the current situation in Serbia.
"The Tromso Convention is the first and most important international document adopted by the Council of Europe, and it refers to access to information of public importance in the possession of government bodies. "Although the current Law on Free Access to Information of Public Importance contains provisions that give greater powers in exercising this right, it is necessary to take that one more step for the Republic of Serbia and to ratify the Tromso Convention, as the most important document governing this area," said Commissioner Milan Marinovic.
"Transparency of state institutions is a key feature of good governance and shows whether society is truly democratic and pluralistic. The right of access to official documents is also essential for the development of people and the realization of basic human rights. This strengthens the legitimacy of state institutions in the eyes of the public and builds citizens' trust in them, "said Tobias Flesenkemper, Head of the Council of Europe Mission in Belgrade.
Marija Obradović, Minister of Public Administration and Local Self-Government in the Government of the Republic of Serbia, pointed out that the provisions on exercising the right of the public to know in the mentioned Convention are also contained in the provisions of the Law on Free Access to Information of Public Importance. On that occasion, she also pointed out that from today the public debate on the Draft Amendments to the Law shall start, proposing a wider circle of bodies, obligated to this law. This is regarded as an option in the Convention, while the state of Serbia prescribes it as an obligation with amendments to the law.