Far from winding down for Christmas, this week sees a lot of European eParticipation-related activity in Brussels and Strasbourg. The launch of the eGovernment Action Plan, the presentation of the Citadel Statement and the expected adoption of regulations on the European Citizens’ Initiative by the European Parliament in Strasbourg mean that this is a busy week for European eParticipation enthusiasts.
At the “Lift Off Towards Open Government” in Brussels, Digital Agenda Commissioner and Vice President of the European Commission Neelie Kroes will launch the eGovernment Action Plan 2015. Following the launch, the conference will hear from eParticipation and eGovernment actors from the Commission and across Europe.
At the pre-conference yesterday, Geert Bourgeois (Vice Minister-President of the Flemish Government and Flemish Minister for Administrative Affairs, Local and Provincial Government) launched the Citadel Statement, a pan-European declaration that aims to identify what local government really needs to deliver on the vision set forth in last year’s Malmo Ministerial Declaration on e-government. The Citadel Statement, the result of an open discussion in which anyone could makes suggestions and vote on other people’s suggestions, is broken down into the following headings:
- Common Architecture, Shared Services and Standards
- Open Data, Transparency and Personal Rights
- Citizen Participation and Involvement
- Privacy and Identification of Individuals
- Rural inclusion
Finally, the European Parliament will vote on regulations that specify in more detail arrangements regarding the European Citizens’ Initiative. The Lisbon Treaty made provision for one million citizens to force the Commission to consider initiating legislation in any area within its remit. A recent petition online called on the Parliament to adopt “effective regulations for the European Citizens’ Initiative”; see my previous post.