Finnish-Swedish "Freedom of Information Day" (2 Dec) focuses on Europe

Anders Chydenius Foundation in cooperation with the Foundation of Helsingin Sanomat (the main newspaper in Finland) will organise a Finnish-Swedish seminar in Helsinki on Tuesday 2 December. The seminar will discuss European challenges of access to information, which will be introduced by Mr. Miklos Haraszti, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, and Ms. Cecilia Malmström, EU-minister of Sweden, the coming EU Presidency of the latter half of 2009. The seminar will be opened by Ms. Astrid Thors, Minister for European Affairs of Finland.

Since 2007, the 2nd of December has been celebrated in Finland and in Sweden as "Freedom of Information Day" to highlight the Nordic principle of transparency (offentlighetsprincipen). This is to mark the anniversary of the wolrd´s first Freedom of information act (2 December 1766), which was one of the greatest achievements of Finnish enlightment thinker and politician Anders Chydenius in the Diet of Sweden-Finland.

The idea of Finnish-Swedish FOI Day stems from the US tradition of "Freedom of Information Day", which is officially celebrated on the birthday of James Madison in March, as well as from international tradition of a few other countries celebrating "Right to Know Day" in September.