Public or secret - access to information in the Nordic countries
Freedom of information, openness and transparency are words that are freely used in public discourse. Public bodies and politicians are referred to as ‘open’ if they give information and are willing to enter into dialogue with the outside world. Politicians demonstrate openness when they make themselves available for interviews, attend public meetings and take part in discussions. There is typically a high degree of openness in the Nordic countries.In ‘Access to information in the Nordic countries’ the term ‘access’ has a more spe-cific meaning than ‘openness’ and ‘transparency’. ‘Access’ refers to the right to have access to authentic information about the activities of public bodies, their researches and bases for decisions etc., without the information being mediated or controlled by some authority or by politicians.1Secrecy is the opposite of openness. When there is no right of access information can be kept secret, and in some cases information should be kept secret. ‘Access to information in the Nordic countries’ deals with the rights of access for everyone to the official documents and data.