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Connecting Citizens and Parliaments
 Posted on 24/02/2014 - 18:04
Idea Outline
The parliamentary questions application will enable European citizens to establish an innovative, direct, public and democratic channel of communication with their elected officials

The Challenge
In recent years, certain European CSOs have been tackling the issue of opening parliamentary information through digital solutions, facilitating access to and information about parliamentary activities such as voting records and representative’s profiles and activities. Despite these efforts to increase transparency and accountability, less attention has been paid to developing applications that promote civic engagement and proactive participation. The written Q&A is a common mechanism in European parliaments, through which opposition MPs can ask the government about issues of their concern. Governments are required to both deliver and publish responses within a particular period of time. This information gathering mechanism is especially important in countries where FOI laws are weak.

The Solution

Based on research of existing projects and best practices around the globe, the application would work as follows:

1. A citizen launches a question about an issue of interest to her.
2. The project team revises the questions to ensure compliance with established standards.
3. Viewers can rate, support, and discuss the question, revealing the amount of interest amongst other citizens.
4. This process gradually creates a public pool of questions, navigable using a search engine that classifies each question.
5. Parliamentarians can consult and ‘adopt’ the questions they consider most relevant, either for their particular work or because of the elevated interest generated.
6. Once the government publishes its response, users can rate their satisfaction with the answer.


Target group and social impact
The application will benefit every citizen, since any citizen can send a question, search for past answers, vote and comment, increasing levels of awareness and civic engagement. The application will also serve as a source of information for the media and civil society organizations.




Competences of the applicant
Fundación Ciudadana Civio (www.civio.es/en) is a Madrid-based non-profit organization using digital technology to promote government transparency and accountability. Our aim is to increase citizens’ participation and awareness, helping foster a stronger democracy. For more information, please visit: http://www.civio.es/en/#latest-work.


Video Link
None posted
Social Category
  • Civic Empowerment and Community Engagement

  • Tecnology Category
  • Audiovisual
  • Data
  • Open Source
  • Social Software
  • Web/Internet

  • Please log in to Rate this Idea

    Is unbelievable that we need to pressure our public workers to do that. Very necessary. Lots of energy!!

    I think a simple app that condenses the submission of subjects for debate would better suit. you could lose 2 on the list and let a plain vote by readers dictate if it goes to level 2!

    Idea Submitter

    Thank you, Worms! Is a good point. If we are able to make the research and invest more time in the idea, I'm sure we'll be able to come up with more options like the one you propose, so the app can be adapted to the specifics of each parliament.

    As Spaniards we believe in Europe but Europe does not believe in itself. It is.time to change and take a strong and decissive step to approach institutions to citizens

    I hope that the offer is approved. It might be the first littls step for a more nearby government.

    Very good idea.

    We must make progress in oGov, we have to get that institutions are easily accessible to the citizens

    I think this idea is very important for to clarify a litle more the spanish parlament...Congress of Diputies...in Spain
    actually is very dark...