Policy Paper: the Right to Know

The Right to Know: an emerging global issue. Implications for parliamentary assemblies.
Policy Paper

On 22 June 2021 the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe approved a Resolution tabled by Sen. Roberto Rampi (MP, SOC: Socialists, Democrats and Greens) on the right to know, defined as the citizen’s civil and political right to be actively informed of all aspects regarding all stages of the policy-making and administrative / rule-making process, in order to allow for the full and democratic participation, and hold public goods administrators to account according to the standards of human rights and the Rule of Law.

This definition is taken directly from the Global Committee for the Rule of Law “Marco Pannella”. In this way, the Council of Europe acknowledges the ingenuity and political battle for the right to know of the legendary former MEP and Italian MP Marco Pannella, active on this issue since the days of the Iraq War in 2003, until his death in 2016. Today the right to know is an emerging global issue, spanning from state secrecy to the systematic manipulation of information.

This Policy Brief informs on the recent developments in the Italian Senate, where the Human Rights Committee approved a Resolution exactly one year after the Council of Europe, explains the difference between ‘information’ and ‘knowledge’, and explores the implications of this emerging global issue for Parliaments.

Claudio Radaelli