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The Europe roundup: ECI proposal at Re:publica 2010: a view from the eurobloggers

BY Antonella Napolitano | Wednesday, April 21 2010

  • EU | ECI proposal at Re:publica 2010: a view from the eurobloggers
    German conference Re:publica, held last week in Berlin, included an interesting panel on the European Citizens' Initiative. Speakers were eurosocialiste, Martin Teubner, Jon Worth and Julien Frisch, eurobloggers and editors of Bloggingportal (here you can have a look at Jon Worth's presentation).
    Frisch has a strong point of view on the issue, very critical on how ECI's implementation has been handled:

    We eurobloggers on the panel were very sure that the ECI as proposed by the Commission so far is undoable for ordinary citizens, it is way too restrictive and it doesn't take into account the great possibilities that modern communication offers. It is a European Initiative for Large Organisations, those who already have access to the EU institutions thanks to their money and the human resources.

    It puts undue burdens on citizen organisers of an ECI, e.g. by demanding to register their online collection system in each of the EU member states, a bureaucratic procedure that will very likely lead to different results in every second member states, even after the Commission has proposed harmonised rules. Not to speak about the need to register ID card numbers when signing the petition.

    Finally, Frisch invites to heavily lobby the European Parliament on the initiative, a topic that eurobloggers have been analysing from the start, as Mathew Lowry's summary shows.

  • Spain | Citizens' contest Abre datos: how did it go?
    AbreDatos, the 48-hours contest on open data, finished a few hours ago and the results are pretty interesting. The applications developed by citizens during this weekend varied from investigating how public money is spent in Spain to create a public view of the traffic cameras of the city. The Spanish public expenditure distribution is a good example of how technology creates opportunities for citizens in the political management of the government. Some proposals were more "functional", creating search engines to help choosing  the right school or even an electrical appliance.
    All the projects are available online.
  • UK | BloggingPortal joins UK Digital debate
    Joe Litobarski and the editors at BloggingPortal are asking their community to vote for the foreign policy question they proposed in the UK Digital debate and list 10 reasons why you should do it. Here's Joe's question:
  • EU | eParticipation online debate: discussing mistrust between governments and their citizens
    "Mistrust between governments and their citizens is a major barrier for the development of e-participation projects in Central and Eastern Europe". It is one of the findings of the ongoing debate taking place at PEP-NET to explore topics related to eParticipation. Citizens are in fact excluded from the possibility to participate and level of trust are very low.
    According to Chuck Hirt of Central and Eastern European Citizens Network, “two critical things are needed. Government officials need to realise that involving citizens is of value and start investing to ensure that this really happens. The second is that much more needs to be done to help citizens learn how to be involved in public matters". The debate will continue until Friday with livechats and a forum.