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Diplomatic Secrecy Will Undermine the Transparency of the Foreign Service


  • The Foreign Service Act, which requires officials to maintain diplomatic secrecy, goes into effect in June. However, the definition of this secrecy itself is very general and prone to arbitrary interpretations.

  • This approach to diplomatic secrecy, along with the possible disciplinary liability of officials for failing to respect it, may induce a refusal to grant access to public information.

  • The new exception to the principle of transparency in public life was introduced despite the existence of parallel provisions on the protection of classified information that may apply to information held by the Foreign Service.

  • he German experience, where information the disclosure of which could harm foreign relations is classified, shows that such a general formulation of exceptions to the principle of transparency of public life may greatly limit the possibilities of a citizen when access to public information is denied.

    Contact the author:

    Piotr Oliński, FOR Junior Analyst

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Piotr Oliński