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Options for Improving e-Participation at the EU Level

: Nielsen, Rasmus O.; Hennen, Leonhard; Korthagen, Iris; Aichholzer, Georg; Lindner, Ralf

Volltext ()

Hennen, Leonhard (Ed.); Keulen, Ira van (Ed.); Korthagen, Iris (Ed.); Aichholzer, Georg (Ed.); Lindner, Ralf (Ed.); Nielsen, Rasmus O. (Ed.):
European e-democracy in practice
Cham: Springer Nature, 2019 (Studies in digital politics and governance)
ISBN: 978-3-030-27183-1 (Print)
ISBN: 978-3-030-27184-8 (Online)
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-27184-8
Aufsatz in Buch, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer ISI ()

In this chapter, Nielsen et al. propose options for improving e-participation at the EU level without changing underlying legal frameworks. In response to the challenges to e-participation, which arise out of current institutional designs, the authors make creative use of the research results presented earlier in the book to suggest ‘low-hanging fruits’ for practical reform. The challenges addressed include the relative weakness of individual citizens’ participation compared to that of CSO’s, the weakness of the Parliament in the legislative process and the continued de-coupling of the EU policy process from the will of the European citizens. While the chapter proposes no easy fixes, it points to some obvious practical steps forward. To improve existing participation mechanisms, the authors recommend providing improved support to citizens using the ECI, investing in the back-office support needed for the EP Petitions Portal to realize its potential and improving the scalability of Your Voice in Europe through advanced data analysis. They also make four novel proposals, first among which is to experiment with participatory budgeting in relation to the Regional and Social Funds. The chapter ends with a plea for a long-term vision of a unified European participation structure to gather and harness the potentials of individual mechanisms.