Application of the FOI law in Macedonia

By EDRi · May 24, 2006

The Parliament of Macedonia adopted the Law on Free Access to Information of
Public Character in February 2006. NGO activists made some effort to make
some quality changes to the proposed law and as a result some essential
recommendations were accepted and implemented in the law.

Although three months have past since the adoption of the law, the
Commission for protection of the right for free access to information was
established only last week. According to the law, the Commission should
have been appointed by the Parliament of Macedonia a month after the law was
passed. According to government officials, the Commission will become
operational from September this year, when the implementation of the law
itself must start. It means that citizens can refer to the Commission if
they think that their right to have access to information of public
character is violated. On 11 May 2006 the Commission had a constitutive
session and presented its tasks. In this respect, a lot of activities for
raising awareness must be conducted in cooperation with NGOs in order to
promote the new institution and support the successful implementation of the

The most important task of the Commission is to provide guidance and
procedures for a proper implementation of the law. Moreover, the Commission
must publish a list of institutions that represent information holders.
After that, the holders of public information must appoint an official FOI
person in charge of dealing with FOI requests.

Several NGOs are working on the monitoring of the implementation of the FOI
law and conduct raising awareness activities. So far, NGOs articulated and
sustained activities have had results. Hopefully, their efforts will also
speed-up the process of creating an proper environment for an efficient FOI
implementation in Macedonia.

EDRi-gram : Freedom of Information Act in Macedonia (18.01.2006)

(Contribution by Bardhyl Jashari, EDRI-member Foundation Metamorphosis –