22-23 October 2018, Danube University Krems, Austria
The Danube University Krems, Department for E-Governance, and the Tallinn University of Technology, Ragnar Nurkse Department of Innovation and Governance, will be hosting the EU’s Eastern Partnership eDemocracy Conference on ‘Politics in the Digital Age’ under the auspices of the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the EU.
The conference will be an opportunity to discuss amongst experts from academia, governments and civil society from the EU’s member states and in particular the EU’s Eastern partner countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, the Republic of Moldova, Georgia, and Ukraine -, as well as international organisations opportunities and challenges of eDemocracy. How can eDemocracy enhance participation, inclusion, transparency and accountability?
With good governance a top priority of the EU in the EaP region, eDemocracy is an important part of today’s and tomorrow’s governance, dealt within Platform 1 of the EaP on ‘Strengthening institutions and good governance”, and was identified at the EaP SOM of 12 March 2018 as a priority theme of the EaP.
Good Governance represents a government approach committed to system founded in justice and peace that protects and ensures human rights and civil liberties. The United Nations describes good governance as characterized by participation, consensus, accountability, transparency, responsiveness, effectiveness and efficiency, equitability, inclusion and following the rule of law. It is responsive to (present and future) needs of society. This conference focuses three dimensions of good governance: participation through political communication in the digital sphere, transparency and stakeholder inclusion. These topics will be discussed in depth, critically assessing the present status and addressing future challenges.
The conference includes 3 panels, each will be preceded by a keynote that will then join the panel. Each panel is followed by an Q&A session that will allow participants to ask panelists and keynotes further questions.
(may be subject to change)
22 October 2018
19.30: Welcome reception
23 October 2018
9.00: Official opening
11.00: Panel 1: Political Communication in the Digital Sphere
Media manipulation, influence on third countries, populism on platforms, campaigning
How is digital public communication overturning the traditional hierarchical model in favour of popular and participatory communication? Is it suitable for horizontal, unmediated exchanges between politicians and citizens, and does it promote and offer a flattened communication structure in contrast to the top–down structure of the traditional legacy media – the kind of interactive communication often praised in populist rhetoric. What are the profound changes? Has there really been a change away from a top–down approach to public communication? Does it really promote dialogue, reach out to the public, or does it represent yet another platform to shape news agenda and public conversation or to lash out at critics, and get media attention? What is the role played by mass media in political participation, how does it impact the relationship between public and established power? How does it disseminate opinion, how does it influence the formation, expression and consumption of public opinion, and do we now have a public sphere where citizens can debate issues in a democratic forum with those in power?
Keynote: How has the role of mass media in political communication changed in recent years and what implications do these changes have on democratic institutions?
Rasto Kuzel MEMO98, Slovakia
14.00: Panel 2: Digital Transparency for Accountability
The accountability of elected governments and the public administration serves as a fundamental principle of democratic societies. The emergence and proliferation of digital tools and the digital transformation of organizations has led to several initiatives, reforms and new principles, such as open data and open governance (e.g. the Open Government Partnership). Does digital technology, digital culture and the possibilities they offer really transform societies and their governments, and lead to better services, increased transparency and accountability? What are the benefits of digital tools and digitalization (cloud services, social media, wikis, open data, big data, data analytics, open‐by‐default initiatives, digital platforms and portals, collaboration and co‐production, etc.), what are the dangers and the lessons learned so far?
16.00: Panel 3: Inclusion: Stakeholder Involvement in the Political Sphere
Deliberative democracy aims to expand meaningful public participation in political decision-making. Involvement and engagement are complex. What are the practical implications for the design of legitimate and effective involvement? Who are the different stakeholders, what roles do they have in the processes and how can they be encouraged to participate? How are political, administrative and judicial decision-making processes connected to parliament, government, civil society, and what role do digital tools play therein? How can digital tools, processes and services increase the involvement of stakeholders? Is reaching a high number of participants the most important aim, or are there are other important goals to be reached, too?
Keynote: Elke Löffler – Governance International, UK & Institute of Local Government, University of Birmingham
17.30: Summary & Closing
19.30: Farewell Dinner
English and Russian, simultaneous translation will be provided.
eDemocracy and the Eastern Partnership Summit Declaration 2017
You can registere here for the event: https://www.eap-events.eu/edemocracy.
All further administrative information regarding registration is available here: EaP Information for participants
You can also find current information on the conference at the respective page of the website of the Austrian EU Presidency.
If you need further information, please contact contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- Department for E-Governance, Danube University Krems
- Ragnar Nurkse Department of Innovation and Governance, Tallinn University of Technology
- OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR)
- Estonian Center of Eastern Partnership (ECEAP)
- Jaan Reinhold (Estonian Center of Eastern Partnership, Tallinn)
- Bernhard Knoll (CEU Democratisation, Budapest)
- Marcin Walecki (ODIHR Warsaw)
This event is co-organised by:
In partnership with: