Main objectives: The main objective of these workshops was to inform cantonal representatives about recent developments concerning the right to access to information (e.g. recent cases of the Swiss Federal Court and the Swiss Federal Administrative Court as well as recent recommendations by the Compliance Committee of the Aarhus Convention). The workshops also served as a platform for cantonal representatives to share their personal experiences and discuss challenges concerning the right to access to information.
Implementation: The workshops were held periodically. Usually a questionnaire was circulated among the representatives beforehand. After each workshop there was a follow-up process.
Result: The cantonal representatives have been updated on recent developments, and provided with a better understanding about granting access to environmental information. The workshops have also been important in detecting existing challenges at the cantonal level, enabling improvement in federal support for the cantonal representatives working in this domain.
Why do you think this example shows how the Aarhus Convention made a difference in your country?
Since Switzerland has joined the Aarhus Convention the right to access to environmental information is now granted not only at the federal but also the cantonal level. The workshops have proved to be an important tool to promote the principles of the Convention among the cantons.