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The Road to Pan-European eParticipation Services

12. March 2010 – 12:57 by POLITECH

ePetitioning represents a key to eParticipation and eDemocracy services. Therefore, the European Commission is currently co-funding two projects under its eParticipation Preparatory Action: EuroPetition (www.europetition.eu) and eMPOWER (www.ep-empower.eu). However, the main problem with creating pan-EU eParticipation services, such as ePetitioning systems, is interoperability between the different eID systems amongst the Member States. It is of great importance to develop a reliable method of identification for ePetition in a cross-border context such as in the EU. As simple online identification in which only a name and e-mail address are required, are not sufficient for an ePetitioning process responding to the requirements put forward by under the article of the Lisbon Treaty referring to petitioning the European Parliament (Article 11 of the Consolidated Version of the Treaty on European Union as amended by the Lisbon Treaty).

Although the EU is currently running various cross border eIDENTIFICATION (eID) trials, there is no pan-European framework yet. In fact, implementing such framework poses several issues of interoperability between eID systems put in place by the different Member States, such as the Belgian eID is not interoperable with the Austrian one. Therefore, the issue of interoperability between Member States is crucial to create efficient pan-EU identification process enabling the provision of EU-wide eParticipation services. Several pilots, such as the STORK project (Secure Identity Across Borders Linked), are currently funded by the European Commission to solve this important issue and enable not only the provision of pan-EU services in the framework of the EC Service Directive and eGovernment, but also in regards to cross border eParticipation services, such as e-Petitionning. Such example shows how eGovernment developments are crucial for eParticipation processes and development.

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  1. 2 Responses to “The Road to Pan-European eParticipation Services”

  2. By Peter Cruickshank on Mar 12, 2010

    Good points!

    I had a shot at sketching out the risks and controls that are required over at my blog:

    It looks at European Citizens Initiatives (ECIs) in particular, but could be applied to any environment where it is necessary to check participaiton levels against a threshold.

    Use of common eID frameworks could be part of the solutions – depending on whether the verification is delegated to national authorities, or has to be done centrally.

    I’d love to get feedback on this.

  3. By Peter Cruickshank on Mar 12, 2010

    I should add that another part of the puzzle is the use of common data standards for exchanging informaiton about the e-partitipation instruments – eg petitions and signatures.

    The EuroPetition project did some work on defining an XML standard for exchanging information on petitions as this came up as a requirement in England. It would be good to hear that emPower has been looking at this area too.

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