The Commission has drawn on digital democracy initiatives from across the world. We participated in the World e-Parliament Conference and have become a popular contact within the UK Parliament for others around the world interested in sharing good practice on digital democracy, openness and transparency.
Launched at the 2012 World e-Parliament conference, the Declaration on Parliamentary Openness is a call to parliaments and legislative assemblies for an increased commitment to transparency, openness and citizen engagement. Dr Andy Williamson told us the UK Parliament should adopt the principles set out in the declaration:
“It’s important to establish a credible and measurable set of objectives. A good starting point for this would be to adopt the principles contained in the Declaration on Parliamentary Openness, which can be summarised under the following four primary headings:
- Promoting a Culture of Openness
Parliamentary information belongs to the public.
- Making Parliamentary Information Transparent
Parliament shall adopt policies that ensure proactive publication of parliamentary information, and shall review these policies periodically to take advantage of evolving good practices.
- Easing Access to Parliamentary Information
Parliament shall ensure that information is broadly accessible to all citizens on a non-discriminatory basis through multiple channels, including first-person observation, print media, radio, and live and on-demand broadcasts and streaming
- Enabling Electronic Communication of Parliamentary Information
Parliament shall ensure that information is broadly accessible to all citizens on a non-discriminatory basis through multiple channels, including first-person observation, print media, radio, and live and on-demand broadcasts and streaming.”
34 The House of Commons should formally adopt the principles set out in the Declaration on Parliamentary Openness.
The conference is the biennial forum of the community of parliaments on their use of information and communication technologies (ICT). It addresses, from both the policy and technical perspectives, how ICT can help improve representation, law-making and oversight and increase parliament’s openness, accessibility, accountability and effectiveness.