Political Communication

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:

Call for Papers: CeDEM Asia 2018, Yokohama (Japan) – extended until March 2, 2018

July 12-13th, 2018, Yokohama (Japan)

Smart (or Dumb) Governance: Digital Innovation in the Era of Populism and Political Polarization

Call for Papers

CeDEM Asia 2018 aims to bring together academics, policy-makers, industry professionals, and civil society activists to discuss the role of social media, mobile technology, big data, and digital innovation in the future of citizenship and governance in Asia and worldwide. The conference aims to promote the exchange of ideas, networking, and collaboration on the topics of citizen engagement, campaigning, political polarization, populism, e-government, smart cities, and other emerging topics.

Main conference themes: political polarization, campaigning, populism, civic engagement, e-government, smart cities

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