Projects :: IDEAL-EU
Social networking to save the planet
Almost everyone has an opinion on climate change and how best to address the world’s mounting environmental problems. Until now, however, few have had an effective way to make their voices heard.
Soon citizens of three European regions will have the chance to participate in political debates over climate change and communicate with policy-makers through an internet site being deployed by the IDEAL-EU project.
The project partners will launch a debating and voting platform targeting residents of Tuscany in Italy, Catalonia in Spain and Poitou-Charentes in France. The regional administrations of each of the three regions are partners in the project.
Broadening the climate change debate
The platform will allow citizens to access European, national and regional policy debates on climate change, share their opinions and send recommendations to policy-makers.
Users can launch themes for discussion using a blog-like component, upload their own videos and photos and comment on other users’ opinions, while contributions from policy-makers will be given added prominence.
A voting component will give users the ability to make their thoughts known on any climate change issue – from how best to cut CO2 emissions, to how to deal with the consequences of rising sea levels.
The project partners hope to support the European Parliament’s efforts to raise awareness about climate change and to promote environmentally friendly initiatives at the local, regional and national, as well as EU levels.
High-tech town meeting
Through a variety of promotional activities involving local administrations, schools and non-governmental organisations, the team aims to build up a user-base of between three and five thousand people in each of the three regions. Many of the participants will then be invited to attend the electronic ‘town meeting’.
The work of the project team will come to a head on 15 November 2008 when they plan to meet with the participants from all three regions involved in the trials attending in person or participating via the internet.
The Italian, French and Catalan participants will hold both real and virtual roundtable discussions assisted by translators. Participants will vote on their conclusions at the end.
Helping to promote e-participation
Once they have tested the system with the debates on climate change, the project partners then hope the platform and methodology will be used by other local and regional authorities across Europe as a way to boost citizen participation in policy-making.
By using new information technologies to encourage e-participation, the team hopes more people will have a say in debates and decisions affecting them, be it environmental policy, town planning or taxation.
The goal of the partners is to perfect a platform that can be distributed on a CD and deployed easily in a matter of hours by public administrations anywhere.
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Coordinator: REGIONE TOSCANA, ITALY
|OPEN TECHNOLOGY SERVICES AE||GREECE|
|CONSORZIO TOSCANA TECNOLOGIA E SERVICI||ITALY|
|UNIVERZA V LJUBLJANI||REPUBLIC OF SLOVENIA|
|GENERALITAT DE CATALUNYA||SPAIN|
Last update: 20/02/2009