KNOWLEDGE

Summary EaP eDemocracy Conference 23 October 2018 “Politics in the Digital Age”

Summary of the EaP eDemocracy Conference “Politics in the Digital Age”

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, hosted 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 provided an opportunity for 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 – the opportunity to discuss the the topics of participation, inclusion, and transparency in eDemocracy. The conference was coordinated by Noella Edelmann, Department for Governance and Public Administration.

Conference participants were welcomed by Noella Edelmann, Scientific Coordinator of the Conference. The conference was openend by Gerald Steiner, Dean of the Faculty of Business and Globalization, Thomas Buchsbaum, Special Envoy on Eastern Partnership & Representative of the Austrian EU Presidency, Jacopo Leone, OSCE/ODIHR  and Robert Krimmer, TalTech, Tallinn University of Technology.

Political Communication in the Digital Sphere, Digital Transparency for Accountability &

Stakeholder Involvement in the Political Sphere

The keynotes considered the ways digital technology, digital culture transform societies and their governments, and lead to better services, increased transparency and accountability. In his keynote Rasto Kuzel from MEMO98 (Slovakia) consideres the role of mass media in political communication, how it has  changed in recent years and what implications these changes have on democratic institutions. Here he spoke about the issue of media manipulation, populism on platforms, campaigning, fake news and Trumps use of social media. He points out the particular role of social media in political elections, by drawing on his extensive practical experiences gained from the observation of election observation and international organisations. Social media changes political communciation provides access to information and news and is important for the integrity of the election procees, by reporting and providing a platform. It allows candidates to communicate and reach the audience, monitor and report results. And whilst 2.2 billion people who Facebook, user behaviour and expectations varies, for example to according to age . He shows the advantages, points out the lessons learned so far as well as the dangers that have to be kept in mind.

What are the benefits of digital tools? Alexander Trechsel (University of Lucerne) considers how transparency impacts the accountability of elected governments and the public administration serves as a fundamental principle of democratic societies. He draws on the CoE principles of good governance, especially on its principle 4 transparency and accountability.  Citizens are to have access to all government infomration that is not classified as secret,and freedom of information is seen as paramount for transparency and to enable participation. But this has opened a Pandora’s box. Administrations are to be smoother, more efficient, more transparent or simply “better”, and citizens can access more public data than ever before. In his keynote, Alexander considers some of these issues and concerns such as data storage, GDPR which are not just about regulation, but about politics and power.

Involvement and engagement are complex and Elke Löffler, Unviersity of Birmingham, looks at co-production in communities as supporting meaningful public participation in political decision-making. 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? She considers co-production a “fetish” term in engage, it is to help efficiently use resources, bring people in to civil society and public services and thus achieve  social inclusion. Co-producing with the conference participants and drawing several example to show that one the one hand there are several objectives to be achieved, but at the same time there are several barriers to co-production. Nonetheless her research reveals that there are several initiatives, that more is happening than is assumed, and, most critically, that a lack of evaluation leads to a misunderstanding as to what can be done and what can be achieved.

Keynotes

Rasto Kuzel, MEMO98 (Slovakia)

Video: Rasto Kuzel’s Keynote

Video: 5 Questions to Rasto Kuzel

Alexander Trechsel’s (University of Lucerne)

Video: Alexander Trechsel’s Keynote

Video: 5 Questions to Alexander Trechsel

Elke Löffler (University of Birmingham)

Vídeo: Elke Löffler’s Keynote

5 Questions to Elke Löffler


Fotos (All photos Copyright Wolfgang Simlinger)

(c) Dieter Zirnig


Further photos (copyright Wolfgang Simlinger) can be accessed here: http://img.gg/NZ89D0T

Related Reports and Information

Contact

If you need further information, please contact noella.edelmann@donau-uni.ac.at

Conference Organizers

  • Department for E-Governance, Danube University Krems
  • Ragnar Nurkse Department of Innovation and Governance, TalTech, Tallinn University of Technology

Conference Partners

  • OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR)
  • Estonian Center of Eastern Partnership (ECEAP)

Conference Committee

  • 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:

EaP eDemocracy Conference 23 October 2018 “Politics in the Digital Age”

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.

Programme

 

22 October 2018

19.30: Welcome reception

“Salzstadl”
Donaulände 32, 3500 Krems

 

23 October 2018

8.30: Registration

Audi Max, Danube University Krems

9.00: Official opening

Friedrich Faulhammer, Rector of the Danube University Krems

Thomas Buchsbaum, Special Envoy on Eastern Partnership & Representative of the Austrian EU Presidency

Christian Rupp, Austrian Chamber of Commerce and Platform Digital Austria

Robert Krimmer, TalTech, Tallinn University of Technology (Estonia)

 

Moderator:

Noella Edelmann, Danube University Krems (Austria)

 

10.30: Break

 

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: Rasto Kuzel MEMO98 (Slovakia)

“How has the role of mass media in political communication changed in recent years and

what implications do these changes have on democratic institutions?”

Panellists:

Meri Davtyan, Mission Armenia NGO (Armenia)

Mikheil Mirziashvili, Centre for Democracy Development (Georgia)

Øystein Sæbø, University of Agder (Norway)

Lucia Aprodu, Institute for Strategic Initiatives Communications and Digital Transformation (Moldova)

Moderator:

Robert Krimmer, TalTech, Tallinn University of Technology (Estonia)

 

12.30: Lunch

 

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?

Keynote: Alexander Trechsel University of Lucerne (Switzerland)

Panellists:

Aleksand Dudchenko, Kyiv City Council (Ukraine)

Levan Avalishvili, Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (Georgia)

Maarja Toots, Tallinn University of Technology (Estonia)

Alexey Kozliu, Human Constanta (Belarus)

Moderator:

Jacopo Leone, ODIHR/OSCE (Poland)

 

15.30: Break

 

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 Loeffler

Governance International, UK & Institute of Local Government, University of Birmingham (UK)

“Improving public value through citizen voice and action”

Panellists:

Anna Melenchuk, Institute of Innovative Governance (Ukraine)

Harutyun Azgaldyan, Ministry of Education and Science (Armenia)

Rashad Shirinov, OSCE/ODIHR expert (Azerbaijan) and Radboud University Nijmegen (The Netherlands)

Andrei Rusu, Information Society Development Institute (Moldova)

Lejla Turcilo, University of Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Moderator:

Jelizaveta Krenjova, eGovernance Academy (Estonia)

 

17.30: Summary & Closing

Thomas Buchsbaum, Special Envoy on Eastern Partnership & Representative of the Austrian EU Presidency

Robert Krimmer, TalTech, Tallinn University of Technology (Estonia)

Peter Parycek, Danube University Krems (Austria)

 

19.30: Farewell Dinner

“Restaurant Blauenstein im Haus der Regionen”
Donaulände 56, 3500 Krems

 

Conference languages

English and Russian, simultaneous translation will be provided.

Related Reports

eDemocracy and the Eastern Partnership Summit Declaration 2017

Draft Non-Paper on Supporting the Development of e-Democracy in the EU’s Eastern Partner Countries, by Dr Kristina Reinsalu and Dr Jelizaveta Krenjova-Cepilova, initiated and funded by the Estonian Center of Eastern Partnership, (Version September 2018)  eDem_non-paper_Sept_2018

E-Partnership Conference October 2017 Estonia, Summary Session Report on e-Democracy  Report_Rapporteur_eDemocracy

 

Conference Location

“Audi Max” of the Danube University Krems

Airport Taxi

If you need a taxi transfer from or to Vienna Airport, please contact airporttransfer2000@gmail.com and transmit your arrival/departure date, time & flight numbers. The basic rate for one route is EUR 78,- (4 pax)  and will be split up among persons/car.

Registration and further Information about the Conference

You can registere here for the event: https://www.eap-events.eu/edemocracy.

All further administrative information regarding registration, please contact olha.mostova@cecoforma.com

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 noella.edelmann@donau-uni.ac.at

Conference Organizers

  • Department for E-Governance, Danube University Krems
  • Ragnar Nurkse Department of Innovation and Governance, TalTech, Tallinn University of Technology

Conference Partners

  • OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR)
  • Estonian Center of Eastern Partnership (ECEAP)

Conference Committee

  • 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:

Altmetrics are Gaining Momentum in Higher Education

This article was first published in the Europe of Knowledge Blog and is based on a master thesis about Altmetrics at Danube University Krems and the University of Tampere. Are communties of attention a fruitful direction in open science? They are certainly discussed and seem to be on the rise in policy papers.

Altmetrics (alternative metrics)

Altmetrics are gaining momentum in higher education (Holmberg, 2016). This post is based on my master’s thesis (Fraumann, 2017) that explores the usage of altmetrics with a focus on research funding. Altmetrics track down and count the mentions of scholarly outputs in social media, news sites, policy papers, and social bookmarking sites. Then altmetrics data providers aggregate the number of mentions. This allows an observation of how many times research has been viewed, discussed, followed, shared, and downloaded.

(more…)

#GovCamp Vienna 2017 Review

Nichts dem Zufall überlassen! lautete das Motto des GovCamp Vienna am 1. Dezember 2017. Bots, Blockchain, Demokratie, Open Data, Privatsphäre und Transparenz – dies waren einige der Themen, die wir beim diesjährigen GovCamp aufgegriffen haben. Wer beschäftigt sich damit in Österreich? Welche Technologien greift die öffentliche Verwaltung auf? Wie kann die Zivilgesellschaft davon profitieren? Hier findest Du unsere Review, ein paar Video-Casts und viele Bilder.

Review

Die #GovCamp Vienna 2017 Review als PDF downloaden!
Die #GovCamp Vienna 2017 Review im Magazine-Style durchblättern (issuu)

Das waren die #GovCamp Vienna 2017 Sessions

  1. Digital Days – Rückblick 2017, Input für Planung 2018 – Nicole Swoboda
  2. data.gv.at – Feedback für künftige Weiterentwicklungen – Robert Harm
  3. Wien Bot – Vom StartUp zum Unicorn – Sindre Wimberger, Betty Schwarz
  4. Open Source und eGovernment CMS Lösungen – Josef Dabernig
  5. communidata.at – Svitlana Vakulenko
  6. eDemokratie – Beyond the Horizon! – Claus-Markus Piswanger
  7. Ist die Digitalisierung ohne entsprechende Strategie möglich? – Hermann Madlberger
  8. Lokale Agenda 21 – Jugend, Partizipation und Demokratie – Sandra Löcker-Herschkowitz, Katja Arzberger und Filip Govaerts
  9. Liquid-Participation.at – Qualitätsstandards für Online-Partizipation? – Ursula Seethaler
    und Max Harnoncourt
  10. Feedback der Wirtschaft zu OGD Aktivitäten Wiens
  11. GovLab Austria – Transparenz und Partizipation in Rechtssetzung
  12. StadtKatalog und der Seestadt-Bot – Philipp Naderer-Puiu
  13. Jugend hackt – Magdalena Reiter
  14. Blockchain – Nutzen für die innovatie Verwaltung – Brigitte Lutz
  15. RIS Verwaltung und Partizipation mittels GIT
  16. Soll Österreich der „Open Government Partnership“ beitreten? – Johannes Lutz
  17. Einsteiger Workshop Virtuelle Realität – Peter Kühnberger

Das sind einige Video-Casts der #GovCamp Vienna 2017 Sessions

Bilder

Engagement im öffentlichen Raum – Ideen von BürgerInnen und die Praxis der Umsetzung

Slot C, Raum 10a #GovCamp
Host:  Büro Stadtluft, Gebietsbetreuung

Werden BürgerInnen mit Ihren Ideen eher unterstützt oder entmutigt durch oft lange Amtswege?


GovCamp 2016 – Alle Sessions
GovCamp Vienna 2016
Digitale Kompetenzen junger Menschen
MyData in Verwaltung – Jetzt will ich’s Wissen
Cityapp Wien
WienBot
Informationsfreiheitsgesetz – fragdenstaat.at
Offene Wahlen

In zum Einstieg in die Diskussion und zur Veranschaulichung der verschiedenen Standpunkte dienenden Rollenspiel kommt hervor, welche Positionen in einem konkreten Fall aufeinander treffen können. Ziel soll die Diskussion der Optimierung von Behördenwegen sein.

Rollen:

  • Antragstellerin: möchte im Frühling mit der Anlegung eines Gartens auf dem derzeitigen Parkplatz vor dem Haus beginnen, sucht die Gebietsbetreuung auf und möchte erste Antworten bekommen
  • Eigentümer des Nachbarhauses hätte gerne einen Parkplatz vor der Haustür
  • Hauseigentümerin findet, ein Grünraum vor dem Haus könnte zur Rattenplage führen, will nicht, dass der Wert ihres Hauses sinkt
  • Mitarbeiter der MA 28/Straßenamt: versteht das Anliegen der Antragstellerin, ist aber gebunden an politische Vorgaben
  • Mitarbeiter der MA 42/Stadtgartenamt: mit minimalen Mitteln muss so viel wie möglich umgesetzt werden, unter dem knappen Budget leitet Ästhetik von Maßnahmen
  • Polizistin: Vorschriften sollen eingehalten werden, Vandalismus fällt auch in ihre Zuständigkeit
  • Bezirkspolitiker: Platzsparend soll Grün eingesetzt werden
  • Rolle der Gebietsbetreuung: konstruktive Zusammenarbeit der Behörden ist Voraussetzung, Verständnis für die Anliegen des jeweils anderen

Die Antragstellerin sucht die Gebietsbetreuung auf und argumentiert für ihr Vorhaben, den Parkstreifen vor dem Haus zu begrünen. Die Finanzierung sei bereits über Crowdfunding sichergestellt. Der öffentliche Raum gehöre uns allen. Die Gebietsbetreuung unterstütze gerne den Beitrag von BürgerInnen zur Gestaltung von öffentlichem Raum. Ein gemeinsamer Ortsaugenschein habe sich hier bewährt. Alle beteiligten diskutieren über Vor- und Nachteile des geplanten Projekts. Während des Rollenspiels wird die Emotionskurve der Antragstellerin aufgezeichnet. Die Gebietsbetreuung schlägt die Antragstellung unter Berücksichtigung aller Inputs gemeinsam mit der Antragstellerin und einen weiteren Diskussionstermin vor.

Es werden Rückmeldungen aus dem Auditorium zu kritischen Punkten und Vorschlägen für Prozessoptimierungen eingeholt. Diskutiert werden unter anderem folgende Punkte:

  • Argumente auf eine andere Ebene heben
  • Politische Unterstützung im Vorfeld holen
  • „Marketing“ für das Vorhaben, z.B. Visualisierungen zeigen – Heranziehung von Best Practice Beispielen zur Veranschaulichung
  • Weniger Emotionalität, mehr Sachlichkeit (z.B. Aufteilung der Beteiligten auf zwei erste Treffen)

Trotz der Führung von Vorgesprächen, sei der Ablauf von Ortsaugenscheinen nicht prognostizierbar. Es sei wichtig, sich darüber bewusst zu sein, wie viele Rollen in solchen Fällen beteiligt sind. Die Standardisierung von einzelnen Prozessen solle in Betracht gezogen werden.