PROJECT: Future of Freedom of Information in Serbia
Partners Serbia are implementing the project Future of Freedom of Information in Serbia (FFIS) - Strengthening Capacities of Civil Society and Young Generations for Defending the Right to Know. The Project is financed by the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Serbia and the Project partners are Bureau for Social Research (BIRODI) and Law Scanner.
This two-year Action supports active involvement of CSOs and young people (university students) to defend the right of the public to know, in order to entrench implementation of transparency and accountability standards in Serbia. By performing a series of analytical, capacity building, networking and advocacy activities, the Action challenges the existing models of citizens' access to information and aims at improving the freedom of information (FOI) standards in the country. Furthermore, by strengthening mechanisms for citizens’ participation and free media reporting, the Action additionally promotes and supports the rule of law especially within European integration process, thus contributing to the process of reforms and overall process of democratization.
The Action will work directly with civil society organizations throughout Serbia, including the CSOs media, to improve their knowledge and skills and enhance their cooperation in defending the FOI. Through sub-granting scheme, the Action will support at least five local CSOs, to investigate and report on respect of the FOI in their local communities, thus improving their programmatic (training, mentoring and transfer of know-how) and managerial (administration and management of sub-grants) capacities, and enhancing their influence at the local level. The Action will facilitate a multi-stakeholder consultative process gathering public institutions, CSOs, media, independent institutions, which will help to improve implementation of FOI standards and obligations by competent public institutions. Key public institutions responsible for implementation of FOI legal framework, the Anti-corruption Strategy and the Action Plan, as well as the Action Plan for Chapter 23 (Ministry of Justice, Ministry of State Administration and Local Self-Government, Anti-Corruption Agency, Anti-Corruption Council...) will be the primary target of the Action's advocacy activities, aimed at improving the FOI legal framework and practices.
In addition, the Action will work on promoting values of transparency, accountability and openness of the government among university students, through outreach events and campaigns aimed at bringing these values closer to younger generation. It will increase capacity of university students on main FOI, transparency and accountability concepts (including open data, open government, freedom of expression, press freedom, investigative journalism, whistleblowing, prevention and fight against corruption, media literacy and fake news, grass-root movements, digital activism) and will support them to develop digital content, video materials, blogs and reports on transparency, openness and accountability issues based on gained knowledge. During the implementation of foreseen activities over the course of the Action, the network of critically oriented, open-minded young people will be created, committed and endeavor to contribute to the process of democratization of the country.