The folks at freedominfo.org (whose work mirrors our own on an international scale) are reporting that Croatia has adopted a new freedom of information law in conjunction with efforts to join the European Union.
“After almost 10 months of intensive work within working group of the Ministry of Administration, public consultations, additional advocacy, research and lobbying, following several years of advocacy campaigns by civil society organizations and experts in Croatia, we finally did it – a new FOIA encompasses highest standards of transparency and oversight,” according to Vanja Škorić, Senior Legal Advisor with the group GONG, a non-partisan citizens’ organization founded in 1997 to encourage citizens to actively participate in political processes.
“Practically all GONG inputs and amendments were accepted in the final adopted draft,” Škorić reported.
The new FOIA law (not yet available in English) creates a new position, an information commissioner, who will be elected by the Parliament, and grants the commissioner oversight mechanisms include the right to inspect documents and apply administrative sanctions.
The law will apply a proportionality and public interest test to all information requests.
The country’s 2003 law ranks eighth in the ratings of 93 FOI laws by Centre for Democracy and Law and Access Info.