Access to Information in the Nordic Countries. A comparison of the laws of Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway and Iceland and international rules
Freedom of information, openness and transparency are words that are freely used in public discourse. Public bodies and politicians are referred to as ‘open’ if they give information and are willing to enter into dialogue with the outside world. Politicians demonstrate openness when they make themselves available for interviews, attend public meetings and take part in discussions. There is typically a high degree of openness in the Nordic countries. The word ‘transparency’ is much used in an international context, with varying meanings. The word can have a broad meaning, in line with ‘openness’, or it can indicate a more specific requirement for authorities. ‘Transparency’ can also refer to clear and easily understood information. In ‘Access to information in the Nordic countries’ the term ‘access’ has a more specific meaning than ‘openness’ and ‘transparency’. ‘Access’ refers to the right to have access to authentic information about the activities of public bodies, their researches and bases for decisions etc., without the information being mediated or controlled by some authority or by politicians.
Nordic Council of Ministers, Nordicom