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The Europe Roundup: Gdansk Roadmap For Digital Inclusion

BY Antonella Napolitano | Monday, September 26 2011

  • EU | Gdansk Roadmap For Digital Inclusion
    The European Commission is launching Gdansk Roadmap, an initiative aimed at gathering practical solutions to common problems and providing practical help to decisionmakers working on e-inclusion projects.
    The Roadmap is structured in 5 + 1 priorities which will reflect the diverse needs of all stakeholders. The document will be discussed and approved by the delegates of the conference Innovation for digital inclusion that will take place in Gdansk (Poland) next October 5th-7th .

    Citizens who want to share ideas or start a project can contribute to the draft of the document by describing their experience with a very simple tool called co-ment.

    Project advisor David Osimo explains why they chose it:

    The hidden gem in co-ment is that it allows to embed the commentable document on any website. Thereby, with very little cost we were able to publish this online consultation 2.0 on the Europa website. But the disruptive innovation happens when you allow any other stakeholder to embed the document (as iframe). In this way, you not only ask stakeholders to provide input to the EU-level discussion: you ask them to co-host the consultation. Already several stakeholders, such as Telecentres, have published the document on their website. 

    The power of this technological solution is that it makes visible and concrete the kind of subsidiarity and silos-breaking effect that Europe longed to achieve. Government are often warned that they cannot expect people to come to their website, they should rather reach out where people already are. This is especially true for the EU, where the discussion is often limited to the “Brussels bubble”. Embedded consultation allow stakeholders to build local discussion that directly feed the EU level debate.

    Proponents of the most interesting ideas will be asked to explain their proposal directly to Neelie Kroes, European Commission Commissioner for the digital agenda.

  • France | On The National Open Data Policy

    "Publishing data online by default, to the largest extent possible, is crucial, for it is through comparisonand combination that researchers can gain knowledge and developers invent new applications"

    Séverin Naudet, Director of Etalab, giving guidelines of the French open data at the Open Forum European Summit in Brussels (here's the full keynote address).

    Etalab coordinates the activities of the French government departments and is supporting the Public Administration to facilitate the widest reuse of open data.
    The French national data portal is expected to be launched in the first week of December.

  • EU | Council of Europe calls for state cooperation to respond to disruptions to the Internet

    States have a duty to ensure the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms of their citizens and they are called upon to respond to their legitimate expectations regarding the critical role of the Internet. As a result, it is the role of states to ensure the protection of the public interest in international Internet-related public policy. 

    On September 23rd the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe has adopted two recommendations and two declarations that call on states to uphold free speech online.
    As the press release says:

    In a Recommendation on the protection and promotion of the universality, integrity and openness of the Internet the Committee laid out a framework of co-operation for member states with a view to preserve a global, stable and open Internet as a means of safeguarding freedom of expression and access to information. The Council of Europe will present these documents for discussion with other Internet stakeholders at the upcoming Internet Governance Forum (Nairobi, 27-30 September).

    Head of CoE Social Policy Department Gilda Farrell explained us what is the role of CoE recommendations: "A CoE recommendation is not a piece of legislation but rather an invitation to all the EU countries to take action according to some indications. There is not any form of control on the states. Its objective is to create so that civil society can ask the states to comply to the guidelines and take action".

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