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IPM: Interactive Policy Making

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Have you ever wished you could give your views on European Union policies which affect you and know that you are being heard? IPM provides that listening ear which will give Member State administrations and EU Institutions insight into the reactions and opinions of citizens and enterprises to EU policies. Policy makers across Europe will be able to share relevant information, target concerns through new initiatives and assess the impact of existing policies. 

Last update: 02/2007

What is IPM?
In April 2001, the European Commission adopted a Communication on Interactive Policy Making [IPM - C(2001)1014] which aims to improve governance by using the Internet to collect and analyse reactions of citizens and enterprises across the European Union (EU) Member States. This initiative is used by the European Commission to evaluate existing EU policies and to facilitate open consultations on new initiatives.
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The Interactive Policy Making (IPM) initiative aims to help both Member State administrations and EU institutions to understand the needs of citizens and enterprises better, thanks to web-based technologies. It is intended to assist policy development by allowing more rapid and targeted responses to emerging issues and problems, improving the assessment of the impact of policies (or the absence of them) and providing greater accountability to citizens.
How does it work?
Customisable web applications employed either for the collection of spontaneous reactions from across the Member States - Feedback Mechanism - or for consultations of stakeholders - Online Consultation Mechanism - have been developed.
A web interface also allows the joint collection of data that can then be disseminated and shared by the Member States and the European Commission. The IPM Feedback Mechanisms also allow for an in-built alert system that highlights problems related to the application of EU policies in the Member States.
This approach has been developed in cooperation with national representatives in the Internal Market Advisory Council (IMAC) and is in line with the objective of the eEurope Action Plan. ESTAT will provide expertise on data analysis.
  • A new web portal ("Your voice in Europe"), a single access point for European Commission consultations, has been designed with IPM Online Consultation Mechanism. Citizens, enterprises and all other stakeholders are able to tell the Commission what they think about new policy initiatives.
  • The availability of the consultations' results through the portal as soon as the consultations are closed, will contribute to more transparency and accountability in the EU policy-making process.
  • The IPM Online Consultation Mechanism is used for the European Business Test Panel, a joint project between the European Commission and Member States aimed at evaluating the impact of new proposals on business. Enterprises become more involved in the consultation process by being given the opportunity to provide input on new initiatives and feedback on the application of existing legislation.
  • The results collected via the IPM Feedback Mechanism are analysed by the European Commission and then discussed with Member States. These results help to identify where there are problems, as well as to which sector or policy area they relate.
  • The Feedback Mechanism is also used by local intermediaries (i.e. Chambers of Commerce) together with EU Member State Administrations for local policy making.
  • The full IPM open source software package is at the disposal of Member State Administrations, Businesses and Citizens, at no licensing cost, under the EUPL V 1.0. For more information on EUPL, please visit OSOR.EU.
Who will benefit?
Citizens and Businesses: The participation of citizens, consumers and enterprises in open consultations will allow a fresh perspective for new initiatives, as well as feedback on the implementation of existing legislation. As a result, the policymaking process becomes more democratic and can better serve the needs of the different stakeholders.
Public Administrations: The IPM initiative helps the European Commission respond more quickly and accurately to the demands of citizens, consumers and enterprises, with a view to making EU policy-making more transparent, comprehensive and effective. The Internet helps the Commission gather people's opinions in a transparent and accessible manner, so that everybody can see and benefit from the results of their input. Other European institutions and national public administrations will be able to propose new and more effective policy initiatives based on practical experience from across the EU Member States (introducing new legislation or amending the existing).
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The role of IDABC
IPM is one of the initiatives of the IDABC Programme in the field of 'business applications' and its development is financed with IDABC support.
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Technical information

Project start date               
Project status                     
Operational as a generic service
Responsible service          
Steering Committee, chaired by Directorate General for Informatics (DIGIT)
Project coordinator           
Hans-G√ľnter Kohl
Countries involved            
All EU Member States