Name of the lead partner organisation: Centre for Social Sciences of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences

Country of the lead partner organisation: Hungary

Project summary:

Co-Deciding Europe: Civic Tech for Good Governance and Active Citizenship! (CODE Europe) is developing and testing in real life an innovative model for citizen engagement in public policy decision-making based on enhanced tools for e-participation and digital democracy. 

Partners in seven countries – beneficiaries of the Fund for Regional Cooperation – Bulgaria, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Portugal and Slovenia – are working in cooperation with organizations with leading expertise in participatory and digital democracy – the Citizens Foundation of Iceland and the European Citizen Action Service, on the development of a crowdsourcing model to solicit the ‘wisdom of the crowd’ and feed it into policy decision making on regional, national and EU level.  Crowdsourcing of policy decisions will be carried out in five selected locations in the region on the topic of air quality. The expertise on the environmental aspects of the crowdsourcing politos is provided by the European Environmental Bureau. 

The consortium is developing a universally applicable E-Participation Assessment Framework to allow objective comparison of the results of the crowdsourcing pilots.  Alongside the crowdsourcing pilots the project will test a ’social listening’ method using advanced information technologies to monitor citizens’ opinions on air quality, allowing researchers and policy makers to benefit from an analysis of big data, while protecting individual privacy and safeguarding citizens against inappropriate access and use of personal data.

The project contributes to the development of a new deliberative-collaborative model using the advantages of information technologies emerging worldwide which include crowdsourcing of legislation. This method has the potential to help create a more engaged and active citizenship and improved good governance by enhancing the participation of a large number of digitally-savvy citizens not typically engaged in public policy deliberations. By engaging digital platforms reaching beyond the usual stakeholders, the project encourages innovative ideas and ‘hidden’ expertise to participate in the public debate; and last but not least, helps bridge the generational and digital divide and increase the legitimacy of policy-making.

The evaluated results of the crowdsourcing pilots will be used to provide policy makers with recommendations on how to improve digital democracy in Europe; and the citizens’ contributions on ‘air quality’ through the crowdsourcing and the ‘social listening’ experiments will feed into and impact policy-making on national and on EU level. 

The project’s consortium is led by the Centre for Social Sciences of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and includes as beneficiary partners the Foundation of Public Participation, Latvia, the e-Governance Academy Foundation, Estonia, the Centre for Public Policy PROVIDUS, Latvia, the Institute for Electronic Participation, Slovenia, “Science for You” NPC – SciFY, Greece,  ProInfo Foundation, Bulgaria, the OneSource Consultoria Informática Lda, Portugal and Dimos Athinaion Epicheirisi Michanografisis (DAEM S.A.), Greece. The European Citizen Action Service, the European Environmental Bureau and the Citizens Foundation Iceland are the Consortium’s expertise partners.

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