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eParticipation News digest 12th – 18th December

18. December 2009 – 14:20 by Birgit Hohberg

while following the not very promising discussions in Copenhagen more and more people seem to prepare their Christmas holidays. But there are still some activities going on.

Eurostat survey results about Internet access and use in 2009

Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities, released the results of a survey on Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) usage in households and by individuals in the EU27 Member States, the candidate countries, Norway, Iceland and Serbia. In average 65% of households had access to the internet during the first quarter of 2009, compared with 60% during the first quarter of 2008. The broadband internet connection has grown up to 56% in 2009, compared with 49% in 2008. Having a look at the different Member States there is still a big gap, for instance the Netherlands (90%), Luxembourg (87%), Sweden (86%), Denmark (83%), Germany (79%), Finland (78%) and the United Kingdom (77%) compared to Bulgaria (30%), Greece and Romania (both 38%). See for more details:

The “Bobs Awards” started

In early December the 6. round of the international Bobs Blog Awards by Deutsche Welle started. Till the 14. February people from all over the world can propose and recommend weblogs, podcasts and video blogs for different sections. They can be produced in the following languages: Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, English, French, German, Indonesian, Persian, Portuguese, Russian or Spanish. This year a new category “Special Topic Award” for blogs and podcasts was introduced dealing with the issue of climate change. The winners of the awards will be selected by both an international jury of bloggers and an online voting. Have look at:

European Civil Society Data Protection Award (ECSDPA)

The European Civil Society Data Protection Award (ECSDPA) to be announced on every year on the Data Protection Day, 28 January, is a joint initiative launched by AEDH (European Association for the Defence of Human rights) and EDRI (European Digital Rights), with the support of LSTS/VUB (the Law Science Technology & Society Research Group of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel) and deBuren (The Flemish- Dutch House for Culture and Debat). The prize will reward initiatives which support the visibility and effectiveness of right to privacy and the protection of personal data in Europe. Non-governmental organisations, trade unions, non-profit institutions and any other civil society actor of the 47 Council of Europe member States are invited to participate by submitting their applications till 15 January. More information:

“Conversations At The Beginning Of A New Time”

is a new platform to collaboratively participate in the development of a new picture a the future. The project is focussing on 10 areas, ranging from politics, education, economy to the „clash of cultures”. The list of participating experts comprises for example Iris Brosch, Liane Gabora, Lawrence Lessig, David Weinberger, Stuart Kauffman, Ulrike Reinhard, Don Tapscott and Lee Bryant. See for more details:

Where does my money go?

Recently the British Open Knowledge Foundation started their project prototype “Where does my money go?”. The software visualises where the financial budget of the British Parliament is spend for – with regard to the different budget areas and the regional distribution. Coming up with a very appealing look this project is a result of hard work as the relevant documents and datasets were scattered around different government websites and at the same time required much background information. See for more information:


Designed as an open knowledge wiki platform Participedia aims at accumulating continuously a database of significant initiatives in participatory governance and gather public knowledge to deepen democracy. The content should be mainly created by users describing participation projects from all over the world. See for more information:

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eParticipation News digest November 14st – 26th 2009

26. November 2009 – 17:13 by Birgit Hohberg

In the last two weeks several important conferences and awards in the field of eparticipation and eGovernment took place some Pep-Net members already wrote about. Therefore, the following list should offer just a brief overview:

Strasbourg plenary session: Green light for new EU telecoms rules
Last Tuesday the European Parliament has approved a major overhaul of EU telecoms rules in order to strengthen the rights of phone users and internet surfers and boost competition among telecoms firms. The new rules which will be implemented within the next eighteen months are aiming to enhance consumer rights, safeguard internet freedom, protect data, boost competition and modernise radio spectrum use.  More information:

European eGovernment Awards Winners 2009
In the course of the 5th Ministerial eGovernment Conference on 19 November 2009 in Malmö the five winners of the 4th European eGovernment Awards were announced. The following projects were awarded for their innovative contribution to increasing the efficiency of public services by help of digital technologies:

  • Category 1. eGovernment supporting the Single Market: EU-OPA, the European Order for Payment Application (Austria and Germany)
  • Category 2a. eGovernment empowering citizens: Genvej (Denmark)
  • Category 2b. eGovernment empowering businesses: MEPA, the Public Administration eMarketplace (Italy)
  • Category 3. eGovernment enabling administrative efficiency and effectiveness: Licensing of Hunters via the “Multibanco” ATM Network (Portugal)
  • Public prize: SMS Information System (Turkey)

For more information:

The Ministerial Declaration on eGovernment
At the same Ministerial eGovernment Conference jointly organised by the European Commission and the Swedish Presidency of the EU a declaration was signed by the EU ministers. It outlines a joint forward-looking vision and defines policy priorities to be achieved by 2015. The key objectives to be reached in the next five years are:

  • to empower businesses and citizens through eGovernment services designed around users’ needs, better access to information and their active involvement in the policy making process;
  • to facilitate mobility in the single market by seamless eGovernment services for setting up business, for studying, working, residing and retiring in Europe;
  • to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of government services by reducing the administrative burden, improving organisational processes of administrations and using ICT to improve energy efficiency in public administrations which will result in a greater contribution to a sustainable low-carbon economy.

Please find the full document here:

2009 Progress Report on the i2010 eGovernment Action Plan – Summary report
Last week the 2009 Progress Report on the i2010 eGovernment Action Plan was published. This study is a qualitative progress evaluation of the i2010 eGovernment Action Plan 2006-2010 comprising a qualitative analysis of progress towards achieving the goals of the Action Plan and evaluating its stimulus effect across the Member States. Download (PDF, ~ 1 MB)

EDem10, 4th International Conference on eDemocracy 2010 – Call for Papers
The call for papers started for the EDem10 – 4th International Conference on eDemocracy 2010 – held by the Danube-University in Krems from 6. to 7. May 2010. The EDem10 will focus on different fields and societal effects of eDemocracy projects, ranging from Transparency & Communication, Participation & Collaboration, Architecture, Concepts & Effects to Approaches and Disciplines and Research Methods. Deadline of paper submission is 15.01.2010. More information:

Winners of the European Public Sector Award (EPSA) 2009
The European Public Sector Award 2009 was presented by the European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA) early November in Maastricht. The EPSA aims at bringing together the best, most innovative and efficient performers from the European public sector and publishing these valuable experiences. Among 300 applications the following projects were selected with a multi-step evaluation process of an European expert jury: e-Bourgogne (France), The Cologne Participatory Budget (Germany), Oldham Local Strategic Partnership (United Kingdom), the Management in the San Cugat City Hall project (Spain). In addition, two projects received honourable mention, namely the Gdynia Civic Sector project (Poland) and the Present in School, Absent in Jail project (Romania).
More information:

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BioTalk – An eParticipation Process for Hamburg’s Adolescents about Chances and Risks of Genetically Modified Food

1. July 2008 – 11:41 by Birgit Hohberg

How to motivate hundreds of pupils to discuss the topic genetically modified food and to work out hundreds of argumentation cards voluntarily three weeks on the Internet while having fun?

The project BioTalk had undertaken this difficult approach which sounds slightly unrealistic. In the course of the project the project group developed a specific eParticipation proceeding for adolescents in Hamburg that was applied successfully on the Internet. The project was based on a two-step procedure: in the preparation phase organised in cooperation with teachers, educational institutes and the department of education and sport the project group developed the framework and features of the following online participation process and tried to attract the pupils’ attention by several promotion activities. In the second phase the online discourse and integrated role playing game was set up and carried out on the TuTech’s online discussion platform DEMOS – a participation and argumentation support system which has been applied in several national and international public discourses so far.

The discourse project run through the three subsequent phases of broadening, deepening and consolidating the argumentation process in different kinds of forums and joint work arrangements. During the process the participants were asked to take over up to seven different roles – entrepreneurs, environmentalists, priests, farmers, politicians, scientists and consumers – and to explore the different role specific perspectives and arguments. They were also invited to fix and work out collaboratively those arguments within so called “argumentation cards” which offered a pro and contra field for all of the seven roles. These argumentation cards were based on a wiki-format to enable the team work of the different participants on the Internet.

In the end more than 300 pupils were attracted to join the eParticipation process about chances and risks of genetically modifies food. The discussion went on for three weeks carried by an enormous engagement of the young participants. Altogether, the pupils wrote more than 4000 single contributions. Furthermore, they collaboratively developed 170 argumentation cards covering the pro and contra arguments of seven different role perspectives each and wrote 70 individual stories dealing with specific aspects of the underlying topic. Read the rest of this entry »