The relationship between elected representatives, citizens, civil society and political authorities is evolving. While traditional linkages between citizens and politicians are weakening, e‑tools, including Internet, social media sites and open data, can help mobilise voters, increase citizen participation in new and different ways to improve public service delivery, foster innovation and economic growth, and strengthen democracy.
The Governance Committee of the Congress is responsible for legal and political issues regarding e-democracy and e-governance. In particular it considers questions related to the impact of the increasing use of e-media on the work of political representatives at local and regional levels, the use and re-use of open data and the development of smart cities.
E-democracy: risks and opportunities
Information and communication technologies offer local authorities new opportunities to improve the effectiveness of their work and increase voter participation
Citizens increasingly turn to online collaboration and social networks for political mobilisation and debate. Local authorities need to respond to increasing expectations and demands for more open, transparent, accessible and participatory governance. Congress calls to recognise the positive contribution that e-democracy applications can make to all areas of local governance while minimizing the risks accompanying these developments and avoiding public disillusion.
Transparency and open government
This report highlights the potential of open governance to improve democracy at local and regional levels, explores the concept of ‘Open government’ and identifying local government activities to which it can apply.
The Congress invites local and regional authorities to adopt and implement open government standards and to introduce training courses in their administrations to raise awareness on the importance of transparency. It calls on governments to encourage local and regional authorities to publish key documents and information, promote public consultation processes, and support the monitoring and implementation of transparency measures.
Open data for better public services
The release and the re-use of public data give local governments the opportunity to transform themselves into more transparent, democratic and effective authorities.
The Congress calls upon local and regional authorities to develop strategies to make local authority information datasets open to the entire population and to ensure that data protection and privacy laws and policies are strictly adhered to when data is made available to the public. The Congress underlines theimportance of open data for improving local democracy, to provide guidelines for member States on open data standards and strategies and to address the risk of a digital gap in open data participation.
- Transparency and open government
Resolution 435 (2018) - Recommendation 424 (2018)
- Open data for better public services
Resolution 417 (2017) - Recommendation 398 (2017)
- E-democracy: opportunities and risks for local authorities
Resolution 290 (2009) - Recommendation 274 (2009)
- The digital divide and e-inclusion in the regions
Resolution 282 (2009) - Recommendation 263 (2009)
- Electronic democracy and deliberative consultation on urban projects
Resolution 267 (2008) - Recommendation 249 (2008)
- E-health and democracy in the regions
Resolution 231 (2007) - Recommendation 212 (2007)
- On young people and new information and communication technologies: a new opportunity for local democracy
Resolution 207 (2006)