The Regional Parliament of Veneto is grateful to Mr. Lührs and Mr. Feil and to all the founders and associated members of the network for having this opportunity to participate to a modern network which principal purpose consists in helping growing up in the field of e-Participation.
The E-Democracy Office has the purpose to develop projects which aim at helping citizens to get in contact with the regional public administration as well as with its structure, its processes, its members but above all with the channels the citizen can exploit in order to participate to the public life of the Region, but also to that which finds expression in towns.
Living in the Age of techno-communication, our mission (as well as the ones of the network members) is to use the “virtual media”, that is the channels which help us and young users to be frequently connected, in order to develop a net to help participation of people. Therefore, our Portal “Terzo Veneto” (http://www.terzoveneto.it) integrates participation processes by using on-line consultations as a flanking instrument to be employed near the traditional contact methods and tools for coordinating institutional activities.
The platform now provides users with a range of on-line services in order to manage, organise and launch initiatives aimed at promoting participation, as well as coordinating and co-operating in the assessment and organisation of initiatives for citizens and animating the local political and social debate. Traditional Internet tools, such as e-mail, mailing list, newsletter, newsgroups, fora, etc. are used to provide communication and information.
As E-Democracy Office, e-Participation is one of the fields in which activities are directed on one side to help the development of a modern and efficient administration and on the other side to support a more populated participation of people to the decisions of the institutions, but also to study new typologies of communication system.
In the recent past we have developed a lot of projects which aim at these missions.
First of all CORO – On-line Consultations: its mission consists in “giving voice” to the various stakeholders of the Regional Parliament, aiming at creating a “virtual management” phase for the various consultations concerning regional bill projects. “Coro” wants to build a virtual environment intending to help the citizen and the several agencies to interact with the Regional Parliament, in a constructive way, in order to define laws and administrative actions while evaluating the overall reactions of the whole citizenship with the help offered by this instrument.
Then CIVIL LIFE for schools (recently exposed in Exposcuola 2008 in Padua) is setting up a project where specific communication tools have been designed with suitable language and contents: this area includes a dedicated forum, a video space, targeted surveys and direct links to the websites of regional high schools. This represents a first attempt to approach young people through a dedicated space enabling direct interaction with the Regional parliament by presenting its main activities.
The VIDEOGAME ELECTION PLAY: it is an innovative game that enables both young and old users to make their direct and personal acquaintance with the places and circumstances in which decisions are taken in the context of democratic life, by virtually experimenting social and political accountability and representation. Taking role play as a model, the website provides an opportunity to face all the real challenges met by electoral candidates: preparing a political agenda, choosing running mates, using the media, public confrontation, snares and tricks by political rivals.
The TERZO VENETO YOUTUBE CHANNEL has been activated, for YouTube is the most famous space of communication and video-sharing. So we decided to create a specific channel dedicated only to the E-Democracy activity of the Regional Parliament. The new channel makes audio-visual material of the regional Parliament available to Internet users, with the precise intent to reach the citizens in a more direct way for a democratic way of sharing that will be more active and effective at the same time.
At the end we must not forget to talk about the CITIZEN’S DICTIONARY, a glossary of the less common terms which can be found in the Regional Parliament’s web pages. The dictionary facilitates the understanding of the different on-line services, enabling users to browse the web site even if they are not familiar with the administrative procedures or with the language of bureaucracy.
So, if we want to create an European space of strong communication and relationships with the citizens and also among the public institutions, in order to involve all the subjects who recognize in the creation of “wide bridges of communication and participation” their mission, we think it represents the proper way to act.
We hope that our collaboration with the network will be long-lasting.