The European Investigative Journalism Conference

Masterclass: Tactics of FOI in Europe – Thursday 16th of May 2019, 10-17

The Masterclass is a pre-conference opportunity of the European Investigative Journalism Conference & Dataharvest,  taking place at the Thomas More University College in Mechelen.

Want to get access to documents from local, national and European public bodies? Do you know the strength of laws securing access to environmental information? Have you ever thought about tactics when using freedom of information legislation? Did you know, that GDPR actually can help journalists get access to information in certain cases?

Learn from the most experienced when applying the freedom of information legislation from other countries. The Freedom of Information master class brings together some of the most experienced journalists, lawyers and civil society practitioners.

A giant in fighting for transparency in the EU, the Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly, will set the scene with an overview over current challenges and opportunities in EU transparency.

A short general introduction will open the way of thinking to everyone, followed by a series of focused lectures by and for senior practitioners.


10:00-10:05: Welcome

10:05-11:00: What are the most pressuring questions about transparency in the EU right now? The European Ombudsman, Emily O’Reilly, will draw up the current situation of challenges to transparency and then be open for questions.

11.05-11:30: How all FOIs are structured – and where we usually run into obstacles – (tbc)

11:30-12:00: FOI tactics – what to ask for, where and when – Tarjei Leer-Salvesen, Fædrelandsvennen

12:00-13:00: Lunch

13:00-13:20: Access to the EU institutions – the European Parliament – Natasa Pirc Musar, lawyer

13:20-13:40: Access to the EU institutions – the Commission – Luisa Izuzquiza, Corporate Europe Observatory

13:40-14:00: Access to the EU institutions – the Council – Staffan Dahllöf, freelance

14:00-14:30: Getting access to environmental information – Daniel Simons, Greenpeace International

14:30-15:00: FOIa campaigns, strategic litigation, automated FOIa at – Stefan Wehrmeyer, Open Knowledge Foundation Germany

15:00-15:15: Coffee break

15:15-16:15: Selecting the best law for your research: Summing up on parallel/overlapping access laws – international tactics – Daniel Simons, Staffan Dahllöf, Natasa Pirc Musar

16:15-17:00: Your cases – bring your experience, cases for general discussion, exchange of experience, networking.