“Right to Know” introduced at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

On October 2, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi and the International Day of Nonviolence, the Nonviolent Radical Party brought to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe the issue of the right to know. Thanks to Senator Roberto Rampi, the Committee for Culture, Science, Education and Media, of which he is a member, decided to include a draft resolution on the right to know among its priorities, and will bring it to the attention of the plenary assembly by the end of 2020. The tabling of the resolution “Media freedom, public trust and the people’s right to know” at the Parliamentary Assembly, where 47 European countries are represented, allows us to continue on our path of inducing the States to guarantee instruments and elements that enable the citizens in the exercise of their right to know. This is the goal of our Einaudian initiative that enlightens the importance of the right “to know in order to decide”, often described as “the last battle of Marco Pannella”.

On the one hand, it involves a formalization of the necessary mechanisms that allow citizens effective access to indispensable information, leading to informed choices and to effectively know the ways and the decisions that are made in their name by their governments, but it also includes the protection of the freedom of press and allows the widest possible circulation of opinions. This means first and foremost making this right effective and having Members of Parliaments, as legitimate representatives, not mere delegates, debating it in the appropriate times and places.

On the other hand, it is necessary to develop tools in the cultural, educational and artistic fields that allow citizens to increase their understanding and interactions with institutions, by giving them the necessary tools to ignite a conscious and virtuous participation in the “res publica” following in the spirit of what President Eisenhower defined “an alert and knowledgeable citizenry”. It is, therefore, necessary to operate both on the institutional front and on the promotion of the democratic rule of law, as well as on an educational and cultural plan. It is a second-generation right that we hope will help remove the obstacles that still prevent too many people from effectively enjoying historically acquired democratic rights, established through numerous treaties and conventions.

Matteo Angioli

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