Workshop: Icelandic Modern Media Initiative

Date and Time: 
7 November, 2010 - 14:15 - 16:00

On June 16th the Icelandic Parliament unanimously passed a proposal tasking the government to intoduce a new legislative regime to protect and strengthen modern freedom of expression, and the free flow of information in Iceland and around the world. The unanimous vote included all government members. The Iceland Modern Media Initiative (IMMI) thus became a parliamentary proposal. Birgitta Jonsdottir, the chief sponsor in parliament of the IMMI proposal said: "Iceland will become the inverse of a tax haven; by offering journalists and publishers some of the most powerful protections for free speech and investigative journalism in the world. Tax havens aim is to make everything opaque. Our aim it to make everything transparent." she said.

The values promoted by IMMI are not specific to Iceland but are shared by most Scandinavian and Nordic countries. As a matter of fact, the world's first freedom of information law was passed in 1766 by the Swedish Parliament, with the strong support and help from a political thinker from Finland: Anders Chydenius. Because of this strong tradition for openness and transparency in the Nordic region at large, it is important to create in this part of Europe as broad a support for IMMI as possible. The goal is to make IMMI the basis of a common approach to issues regarding freedom of information, freedom of speech and internet policy. This approach will thus allow to extend the legacy of Anders Chydenius into the 21st century.

Room 4