Profile photo of Civil College

Why eParticipation/eGovernment and eDemocracy community has to deal with ECI?

14. May 2010 – 22:07 by Civil College

opinion of Madarász Csaba

However the debate is reaching new heights by the expressed needs of the European Civil Society actors – gathered last week in Salzburg at the European Citizen’s Initiative Summit 2010 –  by formulating the fears and proposed changes in the Salzburg Manifesto and presented at the public hearing yesterday organized in Bruxelles.

European Civil society is now criticising various aspects of the Commission  proposed regulation, such as the admissibility check procedure, the provided time for the consultation, the needed infrastructure. The vast citizen group is putting attention to the forthcoming challenges: they have already started to build the needed infrastructure to support the practical application of the ECI (read more about it in the Manifesto).

(grab the documents here)

Ladies and Gentlemen! Dear Collegues!

I am wondering, where are we eGovernment, eParticipation and eDemocracy experts in this process? I mean, do we know, what the ECI is about? I am not really sure..But if we get know it’s current state, we might start to feel the natural challenge, to improve it..

What sort of challenge?

To lift ECI, the direct democratic instrument from 0.1 to ECI2.0: with the support of eGovernment.

The current verision of the Commission’s draft regulation is really not designed to our age – I have a personal impression, that communication is not really good between the different DGs. I do not know, what other reasons could limitthe current vision of the ECI, and preventing it to become a flagship of European  trans/policy-governmental project. It really could be!But how?

Here is my recipe:

0. we have the heat and the need coming from citizens to cook together (policy), - this is the ECI

1. We have the Malmö Ministerial declaration, which is showing the path to countries (and even the European Commissioin) towards the web 2.0 and citizen friendly governance (by the way, the Hungarian Government, or responsible actors did not even translated it into Hungarian! Does this makes sense? I mean, do really citizens has to monitor these sort of things??)

2. We have the spice making it tasty for “upgrading” public services in Europe: it is the Open Declaration on Public Services

3. We aslo have the recently adopted Granada Declaration – highlighting the need for e-IDs and e-Signatures, interoperability and open standards, making the issue accessible and interoperable.

4. We also have the EIS - the European Interoperability Strategy as a technical bowl for these kind of issues, like the ECI

So what’s now?

I think it is time to move in. This ship can go, and all the money, that EU has spent on eDemocracy and eParticipation networks, projects, policy and research could loose it’s value if we do not stand up for the needed and obvious improvement of the first direct democracy instrument, provided after the Lisbon Treaty.

This is the practical time, when we need to add our knowledge to the process. No need to fear, it is time for change.


Questions regarding positioning the ECI 2.0:
  1. Is ECI a serivce of Governments or the European Government? Is European Commission a governing organization?
  2. If it is (any of the above) than ECI is a service for citizens and it is related to eGovernment, eDemocracy and eParticipation!
  3. If it is related to the areas – why we have not heard the existing expert networks opinion on this issue? EC pays a lot to sustain, create these networks. EC has to ask advice not only in the light of recent declaration from us on how to create the best ECI!
  4. Does the EC play and administrative role? If yes, than these recently adopted declarations and recommendations are also true for the EC. We need to take a fresh look on the ECI-EC relation in accordance to the questions lifted here!
Important facts about ECI 2.0:
Core technical basics
  1. In align with European Strategy for Interoperability of public services, interoperable system for the management of initiatives need to lay down the basics of ECI 2.0 (this means a standardized interface and functionality, which can be embedded and reached from various portals – for example the one-stop-shop egovernment portals/central government websites after “regular”, national authentication)
  2. The application should be based on open standards for further development by independent parties (we need APIs!)
  3. The system shall pave the way or embed the basics of the European-e-ID
Core designing basics
  1. design the service with different stakeholders
  2. set the basic technical framework and apply the best corwdsourcing methodologies to engage interested countries, developers …
  3. make it a good governance example!
We should not forget, why else eGovernment is important:
1. With the right approach to develop a supporting system – framework for ECI 2.0 -, the time needed for international signature collection, verification can be dramatically reduced
2. Costs related to campaigning and organizing can be also cut back seriously, by embedded supporting instruments (even created by the civil society)
3. ECI 2.0 approach takes down the responsibility from the organizers shoulder to provide a secure and reliable electronic system for collecting and validating signatures.
4. ECI 2.0 becomes an intergovernmental and G2C, C2C, G2G service – which means, that any country/provider can develop extra functionalities for making the application better (later about these)
5. ECI 2.0 can save a lot of trees, energy and water.
How can ECI 2.0 save our European trees, reduce water and energy consumption?
  • using the possibilities of e-government and e-administration is an eco friendly approach
  • 1 000 000 signature on the current format needs approximately 1million sheets of A4 paper.
  • that means 4 tons of paper/initiative which app. means (if it is white paper)  8800 kgs of wood, 140000 liter of water, and 32000 kW of energy from the production side.
  • extra costs and ecological footprint of moving, storing and guarding papers and their human “partners”
Please comment and check some of the related videos here:
Be Sociable, Share!

Tags: , , , , ,

Post a Comment

The PEP-NET Blog uses the gravatar service to display your picture next to comments!