The federal public authorities apply the 'access to environmental information' pillar of the Aarhus Convention by making their environmental information available to the public.

The public authorities have a lot of information on the environment. This information is important to help everyone to make choices, whether they be political, societal or individual choices. The right of access to environmental information is a universal one that everyone (individuals, groups of citizens, associations, companies, etc…) can exercise. 

The public authorities must make environmental information available to the public in two ways, so that the public can easily access this information:

  • On the one hand, as far as possible, they must disseminate the environmental information they have spontaneously on their websites (active advertising).
  • On the other hand, they must respond to written requests from citizens. 

Anyone can therefore approach a federal public administration and request any information it may have concerning the environment (passive advertising). This implies the possibility: to consult this information on the spot, to obtain explanations about it or to receive a copy. Moreover, it is not necessary to state an interest when requesting information.

More information: A question about the environment?

Legislation

The 'access to environmental information' pillar of the Aarhus Convention has been transposed at European level in Directive 2003/4/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council. The federal state transposed the Convention and the Directive into the Law of 5 August 2006 on public access to environmental information.