City of Hamburg

23. April 2008 – 16:19 by Hamburg

The official name “Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg” goes back to Hamburgs membership in the medieval Hanseatic League. These are the roots of the international trade city Hamburg the commercial and cultural centre of Northern Germany. Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany and the second-largest port city in Europe. Apart from national capitals Hamburg is the most populous city in the European Union. The city, defined according to its current administrative area, contains 1.76 million and the so called Hamburg Metropolitan Area with more than 4.5 million inhabitants.

Hamburg is a city-state and one of the sixteen Federal States of Germany. The administration has nine departments for the ministerial targets, two departments directly working for the senate and seven departments doing the communal work. Hamburg has the first German coalition Government between the Christ Democrats and the Green Party. Hamburgs E-Government is an abandonment of the Ministry of Finances. The Ministry has its own working-staff the - so called - “Stabsstelle-E-Government”. This staff unit is directly subordinated to by the Privy Council.

The staff members are responsible for the citywide E-Government-Strategy. One of the major targets is to discover new online-services for all the different target groups. They also promote and support E-Government conclusions within Hamburg, Germany and the EU. The “Stabsstelle E-Government” has an overview over all the activities of the different administration departments.

E-Participation is a part of the E-Government-Strategy. During the past years all kinds of online dialogs had been held.

Hamburg started E-Participation back in 2002 within the EU-Project “DEMOS” (Delphi Mediation Online System). The first dialog was about the vision “Hamburg metropolitan area and growing city” and has been held with Hamburg citizens.

It took quite a while to get the right attention inside the administration departments and with the citizens. After a couple of years with activation and marketing the interest in E-Participation in Hamburg – both: administration and citizen - was growing. In fall 2005 the discussion “family friendly living in Hamburg” was held followed by the “city budget dialog” initialised by the legislative township. The question was “how would the citizens handle the budget to pay the administration costs”? In spring 2007 a discussion about the new conception of the cathedral-place was held. The last dialog was “living-bridge” which was based on a architecture concept (a connection between the city and the docklands). All these dialogs and the depended moderation had been realised by the experts of the TuTECH Innovation GmbH. There are a couple of standards within all the discourses: limited period of time (between 2 and 4 weeks), three phase model, the focus on results, focus on the value and usability of the results for the ongoing political process.

With its online dialog concept Hamburg took the leading position in Germany. This is one of the reasons why it is a pleasure for Hamburg as the only German administration to become a part of the PEP-Net and to share the experience and participate with the PEP-Net-Members. More dialogs will be held in the near future.

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