Council of Europe activities in the field of e-democracy

E-democracy is about making use of the opportunities that ICT offer in order to strengthen democracy, democratic institutions and the democratic process. Introducing and developing e-democracy to enable people to become more involved in the democratic process and democratic institutions and to restore the declining interest in politics requires a conscious effort by all stakeholders, and determined leadership.

E-democracy therefore presents a tremendous opportunity for people and public authorities alike, it being understood that all stakeholers join together to harness its benefits and control its potential risks.

Recommendation CM/Rec(2009)1 is the first international legal instrument to set standards in the field of e-democracy. The Recommendation was prepared by the Ad hoc Committee on e-democracy (CAHDE, 2006-2008) and was adopted on 18 February 2009 by the Committee of Ministers at the 1049th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies. It offers all European governments and other stakeholders substantial guidelines and principles when dealing with e-democracy. It is accompanied by an Explanatory Memorandum and a number of practical tools prepared for those who require hands-on information about combining modern information and communication tools and democratic requirements and practice.

During its mandate, CAHDE held four plenary meetings and a number of informal meetings, and organised a Symposium in Strasbourg on “E-democracy: new opportunities for enhancing civic participation” (April 2007).

In addition to the Recommendation, CAHDE developed recommendations to the Committee of Ministers on possible further action in the field of e-democracy, in the framework of the Council of Europe’s agenda on strengthening democracy and good governance. A travelling exhibition will promote the application of the Recommendation in Council of Europe member States and beyond Europe. Exploratory seminars will assess the need for further work in the field of e-democracy, in particular on regulatory issues, bottom-up e-democracy and the use of e-consultations.

Key documents:

. Recommendation on e-democracy: Word version - PDF version (including explanatory memorandum)

. Explanatory Memorandum : Word version

Recommendation and Explanatory Memorandum on e-democracy in Croatian

. Accompanying documents – Practical tools

. Explanatory memorandum

. Indicative Guide No 1

. Indicative Guide No 2

. Indicative Guide No 3

. Indicative Guide No 4

. Indicative Guide No 5

. Glossary of technical terms

. Podcast on e-democracy, by Michael Remmert, Head of Project “Good governance in the information society”

. CAHDE Terms of Reference

. CAHDE Scoping paper

. Committee of Ministers’ decision establishing CAHDE

Meetings:

. CAHDE 1st plenary meeting (18-19 September 2006)

. CAHDE 2nd plenary meeting (8-9 October 2007)

. CAHDE 3rd plenary meeting (20-21 May 2008)

. CAHDE 4th and final plenary meeting (13-15 November 2008)

. Symposium on “E-democracy: new opportunities for enhancing civic participation” (Strasbourg, 23-24 April 2007).

. Meetings of CAHDE Informal Working Group (IWG): (Vienna, December 2006 - Strasbourg, April 2007 – Sofia, July 2007 – Vienna, December 2007 – London, February 2008 – Madrid, October 2008) Link to working documents

. Useful links