Transparency needs were formulated on the basis of the analysis of opinions of young Europeans who took part in meetings (discussions,workshops, lectures) and the survey conducted from March 2018 to
January 2020 as part of the project Strengthening the civil society rights by information access for European youth (SIA4Y) as well as on the basis of correspondence and discussions with the project partners:
Polish Economic Society, Gdańsk, Poland
SOCIALAS INOVACIJAS CENTRS Latvia;
WeCitizens – WijBurgers – NousCitoyens Belgium;
Aktiivinen Eurooppalainen Kansalainen Suomi Ry Finland;
Stowarzyszenie Gmin RP Euroregion Baltyk Poland;
Eesti Naisuurimusja Teabekeskus Estonia.
During the execution of the SIA4Y project, in all partner countries 9 meetings took place, in which in total over 400 young people participated. Each meeting with the young had a theoretical dimension as
well as a practical one engaging the participants. The general purposes of the meetings was to promote knowledge about the right of access to information. The meetings differed in their specific objectives, which, taking into account national specificities, the activities of organisations dealing with transparency and working with the young, set out their own agendas of meeting topics. The analysis covered the issues and forms of cooperation with young people during these meetings. In addition, a quantitative survey was conducted using a questionnaire “Youth about experience with Freedom of Information”, obtaining
a total of 105 responses meeting the formal criteria. The respondents were aged 12–25.
Each of the meetings was preceded by lectures on the right of access to information given by people actively working for human rights and freedom of information. The thematic areas of the lectures
covered the right to information (RTI), the importance of freedom of access to information for democracy – the FOI perspective and the possibility of exercising the right of access to information (ATI). The parts of meetings that engaged young people were characterised by great diversity. There were three issues raised during active cooperation with young people, namely:
―― involvement of young people in the decision-making process on the example of the civic budget and youth councils;
―― development of communication tools that facilitate the use of ATI and those thanks to which young people will become a group of active citizens;
―― proactive search for information.
Multidisciplinary teams were an important aspect of the workshops. The young cooperated with representatives of various professions and different ages and with diverse experiences. Among them were youth policy experts, social activists dealing with youth activation and social participation as well as employees of institutions – offices and universities. The project partners provided information containing answers to the following questions:
What is Freedom of Information in your country?
When can I use Freedom of Information to access documents (local level, e.g. public institutions)?
How can do I lodge a Freedom of Information Application (local level, e.g. public institutions)?
What fees are required to lodge my application? and RTI/ATI data and statistics, laws, research papers (with case study), projects, education programs about RTI/ATI for youth, list of youth institutions, organisations, councils.
An important source of information on the attitude of young people to the right of access to information were the partners’ opinions about the level of awareness of youth about RTI/ATI and examples of methods of raising of awareness in this case.
Download the full document here: Transparency needs