The initiatives of this category deal with the transformation of democracy in the digital age. Open Government initiatives, often referred to as e‑government, e‑parliament or democracy 2.0, aim to re‑establish the link between citizens and officials by increasing transparency and collaboration. They create spaces for citizens to share their vision for society and debate policy choices or to oversee the integrity of democratic institutions and the quality of public services. Do such initiatives help to improve institutional performance or do they pose a challenge for democracy in terms of data protection and privacy?

Parliamentary Education Centre, Houses of Parliament – Education Service, United Kingdom

In 2015 Parliament opened a new, world-class Education Centre, with the aim of transforming young people’s democratic engagement. The centre will enable one million school children aged 5-18 to visit Parliament over the next decade and is centred around three core messages: Parliament is relevant ; Parliament is yours ; Parliament is evolving.  The centre brings Parliament and democracy to life through its innovative design, presentation and use of technology. Visits are free for all schools and a Transport Subsidy is available to support the costs of school travelling from further afield. Innovative technology is at the heart of the new Education Centre and plays a key role in its vision to make democracy education accessible and inclusive for all young people. The Centre provides a wholly unique learning experience.

On-site experience with political processes, democracy & the rule of law, ProDemos - House for Democracy and the Rule of Law, Netherlands

In the Netherlands ProDemos successfully reaches many young people with programs suited to all levels of education and on location. In 2015, more than 83.000 pupils experienced the program in The Hague, which includes a visit to the House of Representatives. Next to that, more than 30.000 pupils were reached at their own schools, at the own municipality, at a court or at another on-site location. We like to share our experiences, to allow more young European citizens to gain on-site experience with the political process, democracy and the rule of law.

ICANN’s approach of multi-stakeholder governance

The Internet has attributes of a general purpose technology affecting directly or indirectly the daily lives of every person on the planet, every economy, culture and society. This new global commons should be shared and protected, and the means of governance of the Internet should serve the global community as a whole, rather than the particular interests of a small number of actors such as corporations or states, or driven by decisions made in policy making venues that are open only to a few. Internet governance should adhere to the principles of democratic governance. These governance principles have been illustrated in practice by the emergence of pioneering, so-called ‘multi-stakeholder’ models of governance. However, some crucial questions remain unanswered: What will be the source of legitimacy and the processes which ensure transparency and accountability of Internet governance?  How can we make sure that the rights of Internet users will be protected in this new environment?  How can Internet governance venues that address crucial Internet policy issues be held accountable, and do we need criteria that specifically address and establish standards of accountability and transparency in Internet governance?

Community of Democracies Working Group on Enabling and Protecting Civil Society

The Community of Democracies (CoD) is a global intergovernmental coalition of states, founded in 2000 to bring together governments, civil society and the private sector to support and strengthen democratic rules, norms and institutions around the world. The Working Group on Enabling and Protecting Civil Society, one of six working groups established by the member states to embody and concretise the values of the CoD , is chaired by Canada and made up of 13 governments, four civil society organizations with expertise in laws governing civil society, three advisory organizations and observers. Since its inception in 2009, the Group has been working to support the essential role that civil society organisations play in a well-functioning democratic society. The Group engages in quiet diplomacy, advocacy and technical assistance activities to prevent the adoption of restrictive laws that target civil society and to foster the development of those enabling laws that allow civil society to thrive. It has been effective in coordinating diplomatic actions to counter legislation that excessively restricts civil society, and its work has contributed to restrictive draft laws in several countries having been shelved or amended.

Investigation of mass surveillance and prosecution of cyber- crimes - Challenges  or failed expectations?

Edward Snowdens disclosures, illegal wire taping of mobile-phones, not only used by politicians, and possible activities of  secret services using methods of mass surveillance - the public called for a response through investigation and prosecution. On the other hand,  investigation units stress the need to collect  mass data-base to prohibit and detect criminals and terrorists. These two sides of the coin will be presented, enlightened and disussed.