The importance of eDemocracy experiments * The picture in the PC, depicts the “ostrakon”: The fragment of a clay pot, used instead of ballot paper in the ancient Athenian Democracy “A 21st century organization for e-democracy”
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* The picture in the PC, depicts the “ostrakon”: The fragment of a clay pot, used instead of ballot paper in the ancient Athenian Democracy
The access2democracy non-profit N.G.O. was established in Athens and New York by a group of prominent, like-minded world citizens, and aims to become a leading international organization in the field of e-democracy.
access2democracy aims to promote the principles and practice of participatory e-democracy within the global arena. Hence we aim to enhance democratic values and institutions and citizens’ access to decision-making processes.
Our Honorary Board
Maria Livanos-Cattaui: SG, International Chamber of Commerce
Lawrence Lessig: Prof of Law at Stanford Law School, Chair Creative Commons
Kumi Naidoo: SG & CEO of CIVICUS
Nicholas Negroponte: MIT Media Lab
George A. Papandreou: Leader of the Opposition, Greece - former MFA
Bill Richardson: Governor of New Mexico US, former U.S. Ambassador to U.N.
Amartya Sen: Nobel Laureate, Lamont Univ. Prof. Emeritus at Harvard
More about us at : www.access2democracy.org
Citizens indifference, disengagement, mistrust - a strong feeling of being «left-out»:
Increasing abstention of citizens from the political process, giving away even their dominant democratic right: voting in elections /
CoE Green Paper: Projection 2020: abstention 65% in W.Europe
Democratic deficit even in “established” democracies
Governments need to find a way to engage the citizen
Increasing number of issues becoming of global nature and cannot be dealt with effectively at the level of National governments
Global governance institutions not adapted to their new role and are not accountable to citizens affected by their policies – Major ongoing ReformsWhy eDemocracy?
Global problems need Global solutions to
formulate Global policies and take Global action
Communication has always been a prerequisite for
Democracy, and ICTs can offer new modes of communication
collaboration and exchange across the globe
eDemocracy builds on the potential of ICTs to:
Promote the emergence of a participatory and deliberative
democracy that will bridge the gap between policy makers and
citizens providing the first with support and legitimacy and the
second with transparent access to information and participation to
the policy making processes be it at a local, national or global
eDemocracy is more about democracy than technology
Promote active citizenship and participation in policy formation through Deliberation. Not just participation in elections every 4 or so years.
About the creation of a “culture of Democracy” where citizens will be participants and not passive recipients of policy.
Deploying ICTs is not enough
Like in every other sector (eBusiness, eGovernment etc), ICTs must be integrated through structural transformations to make any difference.
ICT ‘Layer’ over a bureaucratic administration more bureaucratic
ICT ‘Layer’ in a badly managed company bad Mgt. more prominent.
The multiplier effect of ICTs applies for eDemocracy as well
eDemocracy is not
Just about eVote or the creation of a “push button” democracy
“yet another” eGovernment service
A ready made solution to tackle the democratic deficitWhat eDemocracy is … and what it is not!
At the occasion of the United Nations Summit on Sustainable Development (UN Earth Summit), September 2002
The First Online Global Poll on the Environment and Sustainable Development issues
Aug.19 - Sept.13, 2002
The People and Policy makers are ready to embrace such initiatives There is a real potential for Agenda setting in Global Issues Forums
from Citizens, through eDemocracy Platforms
e-Vote has attracted extensive media coverage around the world
Crucial to the success of eDemocracy initiatives is: Political commitment and good outreach plan for maximum public involvement, as well as a sound technological/conceptual platform
Importance of tackling the digital divide, to include those without access to technology residing in rural or peripheral areas, as well as the disadvantaged peopleLessons Learned
The massive participation demonstrated that European citizens are eager to participate in the policy formation process and are willing to adopt eDemocracy
party in Greece launched At the occasion of Greek national elections: 03/2004
building on the “eVote” experience, it opens up party structure and
programme to all, through a full spectrum online dialogue,
Over 12000 participants
Inaugurates a new era in the way Greek political parties engage in
open and public political dialogue with the citizene-dialogue
“Here, your voice counts”
The low level of partisanship and citizen disillusionment faced by many parties could be tackled by opening up a full spectrum dialogue with the citizen on the issues that concern him, engaging him in policy formulation.
Citizens are willing to adopt eDemocracy platforms to become engaged in party politics and participate in a deliberative process.Lessons Learned
Bi-communal project funded by UNDP and USAID
Create neutral and effective channels of communication and promote reconciliation between the two communities through an open dialogue on vital issues of mutual interest to Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriotse-Voices Cyprus: Lets Talk
In deep rooted conflicts, citizens are not geared towards dialogue with the “other”. No eDemocracy platform alone is going to change that. It is a matter of offline reconciliation work backed by the policy makers and important “trusted” personalities and institutions.
The social economic cultural and political environment are crucial to the acceptance of such initiatives
Sources of funding might create suspicion and apriori rejection of the initiative by the citizens. (Given that 76% of Greek Cypriots voted against the UN-Annan Plan, a UN funded project was perceived as promoting the plan regardless of its real objectives)Lessons Learned
…in the pipeline
Sharing and pooling of information and resources – HT infobase, Facilitate
transnational coordination of activities among NGOs, transfer of
international best practice and expertise to local NGOs through Expert
exchange online forums and training
Inter-NGO : articulation of commonly agreed strategies and priorities
NGOs - Policy Makers - victims: set Policy priorities and coordinate action
Direct Linkage to Policy making
Views and priorities emerging from the deliberation, directly submitted to
National and EU Parliaments
Creation of an easily adaptable Universal Platform for Civil Society Collaboration and Participation in the Policy formation process, Replicable to all issues and activity types, fully scalable to cover large networks expanding over large geographical areas.
Project Planned : Create a European Network of NGOs & CSOs on Environment, linked to European Policy making InstitutionsInnovative Aspects
► Citizens are eager to participate in the policy formation process and are willing to adopt eDemocracy
► The adoption of ICTs to “enhance” democracy must be backed with increased accountability, transparency, security, privacy, democratic control mechanisms etc
► Adequate resources & access to expertise is paramount: Human, Financial, Technological
► The sole introduction of ICTs does not automatically make things better. eDemocracy is not a technological platform
► eDemocracy does not compete or substitute traditional institutions. It builds on them.
► eDemocracy can become the canvass of a democratic global governance, but only if accessible to allE-Democracy experimentsMajor Lessons Learned
eDemocracy without accountability and transparent democratic control mechanisms can pose a real threat to privacy
Even though eDemocracy is in its infancy, malpractice has already shown up with “eDemocracy” sites “facilitating” citizen access to policy making, for money.
Citizens are already disillusioned with politics. Making fun of them through badly implemented and dishonest eDemocracy projects will make them completely disillusioned and eventually angry.Dangers of eDemocracy
eDemocracy is still in its Infancy : real experiments are crucial for the development of good practice early-on
Collaboration, exchange and pooling of Information and resources needed at a Global scale, to deliver transferable good practice and learn from others mistakesThe Way Forward
Show me and I’ll remember
Involve me and I’ll understand
(Old Chinese proverb)
Contact us: email@example.com