Author Archive

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ADD ME! Activating drivers for digital empowerment in Europe

23. July 2010 – 10:43 by Evika

Add Me! is a pan European network bringing together into a common framework and learning environment the different social and institutional organisations that support or can support disadvantaged groups in becoming major beneficiaries of public services to which they are entitled. In this context, three main groups of people are being addressed: elderly poor and retired seniors; youngsters not in education, employment and training (NEET), and non-EU teenagers that are integrating into a local community with their families or by themselves; individual civil servants from small or medium size local governments, mainly those administrations that do not pertain to large metropolitan areas and suffer the digital divide. The network is formed by a relevant number of organisations from 8 European countries interested in building a strong network to empower organisations working on daily basis with disadvantaged groups in the use of government services that make use of the information and communication technologies

You are all invited to join us at

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Closing the loop between policy makers & citizens by harnessing the dynamic potential of Social Networking Sites

27. April 2010 – 11:45 by Evika

The WeGov project will develop a toolset that allows full advantage to be taken of a wide range of existing and well established social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, Bebo, WordPress etc.) to engage citizens in two-way dialogues as part of governance and policymaking processes. A key feature of our approach is to allow policy makers to move away from the limitations inherent in the current practice of using bespoke and dedicated platforms (e.g. specific opinion soliciting websites hosted by government) and instead make full use of the high levels of participation and rich discussions that already take place in existing social networking communities.

In particular, engagement between policy makers and citizens will be mediated via tools that will:

  • make it possible to detect, track and mine opinions and discussions on policy oriented topics.
  • will allow discussions to be seeded and stimulated through injection of policy discussion points into relevant communities in a secure and managed way.
  • will allow the origins and evolution of opinions to be tracked to provide auditable records of provenance, guard against misuse, and ensure trust and privacy for all involved.

Our target audience includes:

  • MPs and IT staff from Parliaments,
  • Citizens and other stakeholders, such as networks, regional bodies,
  • NGOs,
  • Businesses,
  • International organizations,
  • and the media.

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eParticipation in the service of consumer policy

24. June 2009 – 14:44 by Evika

Consumers are the key players in the European economy. According to Meglena Kuneva, EU Commissioner for Consumer Affairs. ‘There are now more than 490 million consumers in Europe and their expenditure represents over half of the EU’s gross domestic product (GDP). Consumers are essential to economic growth and job creation…’  However, EU legislation in the area of consumer protection is hardly comprehensible for many consumers and raises a multitude of questions. Questions like: ‘How is the safety of toys guaranteed?’ – ‘ Which additives are allowed in food?’ – ‘Will the European market for electricity be liberalised?’ bother Europeans more and more.

The lack of clarity and security concerning consumer rights seriously dents citizens confidence and trust to the Community legislation. eParticipation applications can be a remedy to this situation.

Project VoicE ( ) has a thematic focus, namely the EU legislative activities in the area of consumer protection. The selected focus ensures that the issues debated will have a tangible impact on everyday life of European citizens. As consumer protection issues have an imminent effect on all of us, citizens are likely to be interested in the issue. The discussion focus on five main topics:  Energy, Telecommunications, Nutrition, Toy safety and Consumer market observation.

The project VoicE establishes an Internet platform with the objective to promote the dialogue between citizens from Baden Württemberg, Germany and Valencia, Spain and policy makers from the European Parliament, the Assembly of Regions as well as from other EU institutions and regional assemblies. The portal provides a user-friendly channel for elected officials to interact directly with their constituents, and vice versa. Elected officials have the possibility to keep constituents abreast of news and upcoming events and to gauge public opinion by posting surveys and topics for deliberation. Within the platform’s sections, users are able to view topics under discussion, to access related documents, express their views accordingly and answer featured surveys. The user is able to keep track of all events related to her interests through the calendar, as well as the agendas and meeting minutes of the council’s sessions.

After one year of successful implementation the project is now extended. VoiceS project aims to build on VoicE by implementing new and innovative tools via:

·         the integration of semantics and ontologies and the resulting broad selection of new functionalities,

·         the integration of a game-based learning concept to enhance accessibility and transparency, and

·         effective marketing and promotional efforts, especially focused on social networking.

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Reconnecting citizens with politics and policy making – what is happening now and what should be done in future

7. April 2009 – 09:53 by Evika

A joint workshop between the European eParticipation study and the Demos@Work project will take place in the framework of the

7th Eastern European eGovernment Days, the 22nd of April 2009

in Prague (15.30-18.00 pm)



This workshop will present initial results from these two initiatives, giving participants an opportunity to learn at first hand what the research is demonstrating and how future work should be designed.

The European eParticipation study has undertaken a comprehensive review of eParticipation across Europe at all levels, including the European level. It now has a very good understanding of the main shaping factors, the benefits and barriers, as well as who is doing what, how and with which impacts.

To exemplify in more detail some of the above issues, the Demos@Work project will provide a detailed illustration of how European-wide discussion between elected representatives and civil society on emerging policy issues can have a potential impact on all countries within the European Union. The issue selected is the harmful effects of smoking. Real-life demonstrations and analyses will be given, accompanied by relevant contributions from policy-makers and MPs.

In order to register please contact
Evika Karamagioli
T: +30-210-6121340

Praha, Hybernská 18, Justi?ní Akademie

For more information please refer to the following website




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Towards an accessible information society ?

23. December 2008 – 12:57 by Evika

According to the recently published Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions “Towards an accessible information society”(1.12.2008) eAccessibility and Web accessibility in particular have emerged as a high societal priority due to the growing importance of the Internet and the explosive growth in online information and interactive services, namely online banking, shopping, government and public services, and electronic communication with distant relatives and friends.

ICT-enabled government, participation and democracy can contribute to the objectives of inclusion in a variety of ways: by providing new ICT-enabled channels for delivering government services and making these services more accessible for people with special needs (eServices eAccessibility); making the democratic p process and governmental decision making more transparent, consultative and participatory through online information provision in all relevant languages and formats, deliberative initiatives and empowerment of advocacy groups that serve at-risk groups (eEngagement), and, by harnessing the same tools in a targeted fashion to make inclusion policies and initiatives themselves more transparent, participatory and accountable and by stepping up the provision of content relevant to groups at risk of exclusion.

Participation within an inclusive governance model is possible only if political, economic, technological and social barriers are removed and access to these opportunities is equitably distributed. Easy access to (ICT) is a prerequisite for participation. Facilitating this access entails, inter alia, removing barriers, making ICT tools easier for everyone to use, and encouraging people to use them by raising awareness of their economic and social benefits.

Progress in this area remains fragmented and slow, despite such targets and many actions involving public authorities, industry and civil society. Accessibility of public websites remains stuck at 5%. Only 10% of people aged over 64 are Internet users while the average in Europe is 47%. Without further intervention, the gap will only be halved in 2015 instead of 2010. The latest assessments conducted for the Commission show that accessibility of websites, communication terminals, TV sets and other ICT remains problematic, with lower-educated, economically inactive and elderly people at the greatest risk of being left behind.