Dacian C. Dragos, Polonca Kovač, Albert T. Marseille (Eds.), The Laws of Transparency in Action. A European Perspective, Palgrave, 2018

Dacian C. Dragos, Polonca Kovač, Albert T. Marseille (Eds.), The Laws of Transparency in Action. A European Perspective, Palgrave, 2018


This book examines the issue of free access to information as part of the openness and transparency principles. The free access to public information has become one of the most hotly contested aspects of contemporary government and public administration. Many countries in Europe have well-established Freedom of Information laws (FOIAs), while others have adopted them more recently. The problems that occur in the implementation of FOIAs are different due to the legal and institutional context; nevertheless, patterns of best practices and malfunctioning are comparable. The book analyses in comparative and empirical perspective the respective main challenges. Whilst the existing literature focusses on the legal provisions, this book offers practical insights through 13 national profiles and the EU level, on how effective the legal provisions of FOIAs really prove to be.


Dacian C. Dragos is Jean Monnet Professor of Administrative and European Law and Co-director of the Center for Good Governance Studies at the Babes Bolyai University, Romania. Since 2010 he has chaired the Law and Administration panel of the European Group of Public Administration (EGPA). His research publications include several edited books, over 20 chapters in international books, and over 50 papers in scientific journals.
Polonca Kovač is an Associate Professor of Administrative Law and Public Administration at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. She is as a steering committee member of the Network of Institutes and Schools of Public Administration in Central and Eastern Europe (NISPAcee) and a co-director of the Law and Administration panel of the EGPA. She is an editor and author of numerous scientific articles and books, and an OECD/SIGMA expert.
A. T. (Bert) Marseille is Professor of Public Administration at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. He is a co-director of the Law and Administration panel of the EGPA, a member of the steering committee for the promotion of Empirical Legal Studies in the Netherlands, chair of the Section North of the Dutch Association for Public Administration, and an editor of the Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Bestuursrecht.


“This is a very timely collection of essays on the law of transparency in operation. From data-driven research and the unfolding story in the European Union – where we still await a reform of Regulation 1049 – a generous coverage of national European systems and final chapters on comparative perspectives, this collection will be an essential read for those engaged in transparency and access to information. The editors have done well in bringing together such a challenging and stimulating group of essays.” (Patrick Birkinshaw, Editor of European Public Law and University of Hull, UK)

“The editors have curated an impressive body of work in this new volume. They focus not on the passage of Freedom of Information laws but the implementation of these laws—an essential aspect of transparency policy process. This volume is necessary reading for anyone looking to better understand how Freedom of Information laws work in practice in thirteen European countries.” (Suzanne Piotrowski, Rutgers University-Newark, USA)

“This book makes a very valuable contribution to the analysis of a central topic in contemporary public laws: that of access to public data, in other words of public apparatuses transparency. It seeks to evaluate the effectiveness of the related legal provisions from a „law in action” perspective, and it does so by examining thirteen internal legal systems, plus that of the European Union. … it describes the way, quite homogeneous in the whole even if secondary variations can be identified, by which our legal systems have integrated and develop this major progress of the rule of law in the public domain that transparency of public data constitutes. This is a very important book.” (Jean-Bernard Auby, Public Law Professor, Sciences Po, Paris, France, and Director, Chair Mutations de l’Action Publique et du Droit Public)



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