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EParticipation/eDemocracy in different types/stages of democratic societies PhDr. Irina Zálišová, EPMA Director, www.epma.cz Remarks on research and practice.

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Presentation on theme: "EParticipation/eDemocracy in different types/stages of democratic societies PhDr. Irina Zálišová, EPMA Director, www.epma.cz Remarks on research and practice."— Presentation transcript:

1 eParticipation/eDemocracy in different types/stages of democratic societies PhDr. Irina Zálišová, EPMA Director, Remarks on research and practice in EU Regions (for CAHDE meeting, October 8, 2007, Strassbourg)

2 Strassburg, CAHDE, October 8- 9, 2007 Background information EPMA (European Projects & Management Agency, co-founded by the Vysocina Region, CZ) linking research and practice in EU eDemocracy projects. Partner for 6FP, 7FP - IST, Leonardo II, eContent projects (eGovernment, eParticipation, eBusiness, PSI re-use, Digital Literacy, Safer Internet –national node) Chairing of eGovernmennt Work Group of - European Regional Information Society Association, established with the EC’s support, under Belgian Law in 1998, 28 founding member regions/ now 37 member regions, including Vysocina Policy Recommendations for EC, regional Guide to Good Practices in eGovernment -just published. Evaluation of eGovernment &eParticipation projects, European eGovernment Award, Ministerial eGovernment conference in Lisboa (September 2007) Annual Eastern European eGovernment Days –the 6th in April 23-25, 2008, Prague (190 experts from academia and government +business),

3 Strassburg, CAHDE, October 8- 9, 2007 eParticipation & DEMO-net project Partner in the DEMO-net NoE to involve researchers from universities and public administrations into defining the Value framework for eParticipation at least for regional level,www.demo-net.org Social, political, economic participation, enabled by ICT (political-strategic issues, organisational -covering also legal aspects), public value generation issues, social and socio-economical, socio-technological and pure technological issues) II. phase of Demo-net : from research roadmap to Community of Practice (ePCP) Specific Interest Groups (industry, elected representatives, government executives, third parties)

4 Strassburg, CAHDE, October 8- 9, 2007 Significant factors for evaluation: 1. Maturity of civil society in general –specifics and forms of democracy & historical context, –national political environment, parties and their programmes, –real engagement of citizens in the political life, –responsiveness of politicians/ elimination of political elitism –control mechanisms of civil society: role of communities – local and thematic, role of NGOs, etc. –transparency and openness of political representation, –political, economic and social trust

5 Strassburg, CAHDE, October 8- 9, Communication between governments and citizens (context of social interactions) –Traditional forms of communication for particular culture/nation –Political Semantics and Semiotics (the sensitive use of proper signs, messages and even words: e.g. aversion for the word “engagement” in NMS) –Strategies and tools for interaction at national, regional and local levels of governance (combined model of state national governance and self-governance) –Pre-conditions for fully interactive communication (dialog of distinct stakeholders, triple helix models, etc) –ICT for new social interactions (technological foresights, Web 2.0, social networking tools)

6 Strassburg, CAHDE, October 8- 9, Stage or level of information society –main socio-economic indicators& national technological potential, –ICT literacy of citizens, politicians and PA staff, –internet penetration, PC and mobile equipment and other indicators of information society) –technological trust (different from political, social, economic trust)

7 Strassburg, CAHDE, October 8- 9, The impact of eGovernment implementation –eGovernment efficiency is visible (indicators as reduction of cost per unit, increase of productivity, sharing processes and data re-use, people change - behaviour, skills, leadership, awareness, etc.) – eGovernment effectiveness is present (indicators as social dialog, growth of public value alongside with inclusiveness of public services, simplification of procedures/reduction of administrative burdens, accountability, growth of public value, multi/channel approach, integration, etc.) –Strengthening of Democratic attributes (Trust, Openness, Transparency and Accountability and of cause Participation) by ICT means.

8 Strassburg, CAHDE, October 8- 9, 2007 ICT reinforced citizen´s engagement and democracy (eParticipation)

9 Strassburg, CAHDE, October 8- 9, 2007 eParticipation in the Czech Republic 1. Absence of the political order to introduce mature eParticipation tools and technologies at any level of governance. The interaction is mostly presented as “one-way” communication. –Act on Freedom of Information already in 2005 (Act No.106/Sb) as the precondition for better governance, 2. The overview of interactivity of web pages of Czech PA at different levels - the majority of municipal and regional PA is only fulfilling their information duty according to the Act on Freedom of Information (Trnka, D.Spacek) 3. Slow strengthening of interaction side of communication (Golden Crest ). Official documents are published on the internet only after their creation and adoption by relevant public authority.

10 Strassburg, CAHDE, October 8- 9, 2007 eParticipation in the Czech Republic 4. Czech citizens remain passive, have no interest to communicate with their PA. (the society in transition, the very process of transformation from „quiet“ socialistic period into demanding phase of competition in the capitalist society”). Is it related to issue of Trust? 5. Significance of Local Agendas for (e)Participation (e.g., environmental, US radar in Brdy arised high local engagement) 6. The danger to implement too sophisticated ICT platforms for eParticipation before all pre-conditions are present, (potential lost of Trust of citizens - Greek example of Christoforos Korakas, at eParticipation Symposium in Budapest 2006), until citizens engagement is not taken into account in decision making process.

11 Strassburg, CAHDE, October 8- 9, 2007 eParticipation in the Czech Republic 7. The danger of political elitism, under existing forms of Representative Democracy in new democracies. Politicians are not willing or not able to take into account the view of citizens and are not successful in social communications (Czech conflict in communications around the issue of American radar in Brdy as example of a shortfall between central government and local PA, supported by citizens). The need for Transparency and new social interactions (eParticipation), identified by DEMO-net stakeholder’s workshop as political challenge for Europe, could be especially urgent for new member states, including Czech Republic.

12 Strassburg, CAHDE, October 8- 9, FP, IST - Preparatory Action in eParticipation –seeking for mechanisms to influence the process of decions-making –October 1 – 5, evaluation of the European Commission 2nd Call for proposals in eParticipation with impact on legislation and decision-making process –39 proposals: 43% were citizens driven initiatives, 44 % were decision-makrers driven

13 Strassburg, CAHDE, October 8- 9, 2007 Guide to Regional Good Practice in eGovernment eGovernment WG of IANIS+ (workshops, seminars, on-line Forum, exchange of regional Case studies, submitting Policy Recommendations (DG INFSO, eGov unit) Co-authors: Irina Zalisova, Jeremy Millard, annex by Daniel van Lerberghe, published by Septemer 2007, financed by DG Regio, EC/,

14 Strassburg, CAHDE, October 8- 9, 2007 Some remarks to examine different cultural realms in Europe, rather than to look at each Member State individually. These range from the Scandinavian participatory and the Anglo-Irish market-driven models of Northern Europe, through to the more static, public sector driven responses of Central Europe, to Southern Europe’s stronger reliance on family, community and city-region driven approaches, and to the formerly heavily bureaucratic but now transition societies of Eastern Europe. (Viz the typology by Jeremy Millard. DTI)

15 Strassburg, CAHDE, October 8- 9, 2007 Specific position of regions regions are large enough to overcome the fragmentation of the local level, regions are small enough to manage eGovernment Transformation at European scale, regions need to support expertice for governance of all Interoperability (IOP) aspects political legal managerial economic techno- logical

16 Strassburg, CAHDE, October 8- 9, 2007 Regional Experiences Development of ICT is going faster, than organizational changes. Need for new kind of social interactions for capacity building, enabling organizational change in regions. Multidisciplinary (political, social and cultural) analyses of the new Democracies & eGovernance. Stimulation, models and examples of how to develope ICT supported organizational change (Change of Social Interactions) Knowledge and measurement of economics of eGOV projects, for creating balance between ROI (Return of Investments) and Public Value of eGOV projects; Exchange of Good Practices is very helpfull (Networks as IANIS+, new EU portal

17 Strassburg, CAHDE, October 8- 9, 2007 eGovernment Transformation/ Resistance to Change Facing the need for organizational change, regional European PA behave different, depending on the cultural and economic background, level of ICT adoption, on the maturity of the democratic system. Human aspect of the organizational change seems to be the most critical point in all EU regions

18 Strassburg, CAHDE, October 8- 9, 2007 Regions in new MS regions from NMS –except Estonia - are providing significantly less number of eServices, and not 100% electronic (strongly combined with the “paper” phase) regions from NMS still have a complicated transition period with a lot of difficulties with not fully developed democratic mechanisms, where even a small mistake in re-organization of public administration structure and processes could block the transformation process for a significant period.

19 Strassburg, CAHDE, October 8- 9, 2007 Regional Experiences & Recommendations Regions are large enough to overcome the fragmentation of the local level, but they are small enough to know what’s going on in European research and implementation. Regions suffer even more compared to the national level from lack of commitment and cooperation, lack of skills, lack of funding, and the lack of appropriate legal frameworks. Apart from research and deployment resources, regions need to be consulted much more and given higher priority in things like i2010, Lisbon II, CIP, etc.

20 Strassburg, CAHDE, October 8- 9, 2007 Regional Experiences & Recommendations Accountability and participation Ensure accountability / responsibility matches power. Address the ‘democratic deficit’, both in engagement and voting, but ensure: –is spread as widely as possible (does not increase relative voice of those already loudest) –participation is matched by responsibility (e.g. for decision) –participation is supported by knowledge and awareness of (often complex) trade-offs

21 Strassburg, CAHDE, October 8- 9, 2007 Balancing regional position...between local citizens - and central governments...

22 Strassburg, CAHDE, October 8- 9, 2007 Regional Experiences & Recommendations Balancing acts Balance simplicity (which is easy but tends to be one- size-fits-all) with complexity (which is difficult but ensures better fit). Balance change and adaptability with stability and continuity. Improve political decision-making made by politicians (legal frameworks and law making), and law enforcement. Improve policy (non-political) decision-making. Balance transparency and privacy.

23 Strassburg, CAHDE, October 8- 9, 2007 Regional Experiences & Recommendations Commitment and SWOT Top political commitment and top civil servant champions are necessary. Regulation and the legal basis may need changing. It is useful to see the eGovernment initiative within the big picture, to see where its outcomes will fit in the wider strategy – be strategic but know also your limitations. Assess and manage risks (and take some sensible risks!) Understand your strengths and weaknesses. Identify and anticipate opportunities as well as threats and barriers, all of which can be legal, technological, managerial, cultural …


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