Recently, I took part in a large, international investigative journalistic project on dumps of oily waste water by ships. In that context, I did a FOIA request to the Dutch government. Whereas the journalists that partook in the same investigation received the relevant documents pretty quickly in their respective countries when they sent out a similar request, I haven't received the information I asked for even after 8 months and a procedure with the administrative judge - who judged in my favour.

This got me thinking about how different European countries perform in terms of responding to FOIA requests on time. Last year in the Netherlands, more than 80% of requests were answered after the legally admissable time. For one ministry (the same one I applied my FOIA request to), it even took on average 206 days - whereas 56 days is the official legal limit.

Therefore, I wonder how the situation is in other European countries. How responsive are different governments to FOIA requests? How long does it take them on average to process and answer them? Has any academic research been done on this?

I'd like to pose these questions on some SE page, but I'm not sure which one would be most appropriate. Is there some SE page where I can post a question on this topic?

2 Answers 2


Politics Stack Exchange has a few questions about 'freedom of information' and how governments deal with that. I'm not sure if your question as-is is too broad or not, and you could (should?) share your own research so far, e.g. what you already found out via search engines.


LawSE has 32 questions tagged but I suggest you have a look at what's on topic first to be sure it's suitable for your needs.

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