Trainings and seminars
Access to Information Programme frequently conducts trainings and seminars on implementation of freedom of information legislation in Bulgaria and the region of Southeast Europe. These trainings are attended by representatives of local and national government administrations, journalists, NGOs, and citizens, and are presented with the assistance of several Bulgarian and international partners. You can find descriptions and materials from some of our past trainings, seminars, and conferences below.
Access to Information Programme Launched a Campaign on New Standards in Access to Information. In order to enhance the execution of the right of access to information in Bulgaria in line with 2008 amendments to the Access to Public Information Act and push for the ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on Access to Official Documents, Access to Information Programme (AIP) initiated Public Awareness Campaign on New Standards in the Access to Information Area. The campaign is supported by a grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA Financial Mechanism.
Successful tactics for the use of APIA by journalists
In 2008 and 2009, AIP has organized and held workshops with journalists from local media in twenty Bulgarian cities within the implementation of the project Local Media and Freedom of Information in Bulgaria, financed by the MATRA Programme of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. At these seminars, cases of journalistic investigations completed with the help of the APIA and following litigation proceedings were presented. Tactics for successful use of the law by journalists were also presented. The Dutch FOI expert, Mr. Roger Vleugels, presented tactics and cases of journalists from Holland. The special documentary “Media and Access to Information - Five Investigative Reporter Stories” which presents five emblematic access to information litigation proceedings of journalists from national media was shown at all workshops and copies were left for broadcast by local TV stations.
The movie is accessible at: http://www.aip-bg.org/matra/documentaryen.php with English and Russian subtitles.
National “Access to Information Litigation in Bulgaria” Conference was organized and held on March 27, 2009 in Sofia. The conference was organized and held by AIP in the frame of the project Promotion of Open Government through FOI Legal Assistance and Litigation, financed by the Open Society Institute, Human Rights and Governance Grants Program, Budapest.
Among the 90 participants were lawyers, judges from administrative courts, representatives of NGOs, media, activists, citizens who have submitted ATI requests and have appealed refusals in the court. The Chairperson of the Supreme Administrative Court, Mr. Konstantin Penchev addressed the audience at the opening. Foreign experts from Ukraine, Georgia, Spain, Macedonia, the Netherlands, and UK took part in the conference.
The Freedom of Information Advocates Network (FOIAnet) celebrates International Right to Know Day.
At a press conference on Sep. 28, 2004, AIP presented awards to citizens, media and NGOs who have actively exercised their rights to freedom of information. Two awards - a positive and a negative one - were given to public institutions. Other FOIAnet members who celebrated on September 28 can be found here.
Government officials and civil society groups from across Southeast Europe met in Budva, Montenegro, on September 9-10, 2004 to discuss how Southeast European countries plagued by corruption and low public trust in government can benefit from greater transparency
On May 14-15 2004 in Sofia, AIP brought together a number of organizations focusing on monitoring and advocacy for FOI implementation to present their experience in the area. The conference was financially supported by the Council of Europe/Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe.
"Implementation of the Freedom of Information Laws- Litigation"
AIP organized this workshop on _____ within the framework of the project "Freedom of Information Litigation", financially supported by Open Society Institute - Budapest. Lawyers from countries where the right to access is regulated by law (Bulgaria, Georgia, Moldova, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary) as well as countries where Access to Information Laws are about to be adopted (Armenia, Macedonia, Russia, Croatia, Montenegro, etc.) were invited to participate. The participants presented the FOI regulations in their countries, the practices on access to information, and experiences with litigation.
"Access to Public Information Act and the Recommendations of the Council of Europe" Round Table
On May 21 in the Radisson hotel in Sofia, AIP organized this forum for journalists, MPs, foreign experts, and jurists to discuss the proposed Amendments to APIA and Recommendation R(2002)2 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on access to official documents. This program was made possible with the financial support of the Government of Luxemburg.
AIP and ABA CEELI held the following training workshops for representatives from the the local administration and territorial branches of the executive power:
These seminars for public officials in the administration aimed to create a better understanding during the implementation period of APIA.
"The Condition of the Access to Information in Bulgaria"
On May 10, 2002 Access to Information Programme Foundation organized this seminar in Adacta Hall of Rila Hotel. AIP presented the Personal Data Protection Act, Protection of Classified Information Act, Recommendation R(2002)2 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on access to official documents, and the draft amendments to APIA. During the second part of the seminar the team of AIP presented the Register of Administrative Structures and Acts of Executive Power Bodies. Concrete cases and court appeals were also discussed.
On February 14 and 15, 2002 in "Adacta" hall of Rila hotel, Access to Information Programme, together with Article 19 - Global Campaign for Free Expression, held this workshop for representatives from central administration on the fulfillment of their obligations under APIA. The workshop was organized within the framework of the project "Practical Access to Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe" financially supported by European Commission.
On January 11, 2002 in "Adacta" hall of Rila hotel Access to Information Programme Foundation presented a report on this sociological survey . The authors of the report are Gergana Jouleva, (AIPF) and Docho Mihailov of Agency for Socio-economic Analysis (A.S.A.). The survey was conducted by the Access to Information Programme Foundation (AIPF) and A.S.A. The report was published in the frame of the project "Advocacy for the Implementation of APIA and Judicial Review" financially supported by the Open Society Foundation - Sofia. You can find detailed information on the seminar here.
"International standards in freedom of information. Bulgarian legislation. Practices"
On December 17, 2001 in Nova Zagora the Access to Information Programme Foundation team organized a seminar . AIPF team had been invited by the Nova Zagora municipality administration and organized the workshop in the town. Gergana Jouleva, AIP Executive Director, presented the mission, goals, and priorities of the organization. Fany Davidova, AIP, presented the procedures for seeking and providing information according to Bulgarian legislation and practices while AIP lawyer Alexander Kashumov presented the international standards in the freedom of information area and the draft law for the Protection of Classified Information. In the discussion that followed the presentations, a debate ensued over the draft law on the Protection of Personal Data. On December 18, 2001 the AIP team conducted a training workshop in Karnobat.
Access to Information Programme organized a training workshop on 22-23.02 2001, Sofia, Bulgaria on the implementation of Access to Public Information Act (APIA). In this meeting participated representatives from local government administration; regional government administration and representatives from variety associations of municipalities in Bulgaria. The meeting was held according to the project Practical Access to Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe. ARTICLE 19 - International center against censorship has the leading role and AIP is the Bulgarian partner in the project.
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