Euro Petition

01/02/2009 - 31/01/2011

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The EuroPetition project piloted the implementation of a trans-European Local Authority service providing distributed citizen engagement and interaction with the European Parliament’s PETI Petitions Committee and the European Citizens' Initiative. The EuroPetition project is sponsored by the European Commission under EU eParticipation preparatory action.

The open-source e-petitioner system was developed by Public-i from ITC's original system. The system supports coordination and submission of cross-border and pan-European EuroPetitions to local government and the European Parliament's Petition Committee. Five European regions were involved: Andalusia (Spain), Italy, Netherlands, Sweden and the UK and with a reach of around 6 million citizens across the EU. It showed how to strengthen and broaden citizens' participation in democratic decision-making and contribute to better legislation through applying the latest available innovative ICT. 

Edinburgh Napier designed and implemented the project evaluation. (More about the evaluation).  The evaluation concluded that the EuroPetition project had met and often exceeded its objectives. It demonstrated that it is possible to promote the concept of e-petitions to widen and further understand citizen participation in contexts such as Spain where the petitioning concept is new. It has also demonstrated the proof of concept of a pan-European multilingual e-petitioning eParticipation service which can help citizens forge connections with the European Parliament, reducing the democratic deficit across the EU.

EuroPetition can help the European Parliament Petitions Committee to reduce their workload by preventing the submission of invalid petitions and taking advantage of local government to support the petitioning process. At the same time the process can support subsidiarity, increase transparency and citizen engagement. However, this can only happen if the Petitions Committee (ie the MEPs and the Secretariat) takes ownership of the process (and ensures provision of local support), and recognises the gains that it can make by proactively engaging with the petitioners at the beginning of the petition cycle to ensure that concerned citizens the petitions that it does have to formally respond to are within scope and clearly worded. The Scottish and German Parliaments have shown that this can be done without restricting the citizen’s ultimate right to petition.

The positive engagement with defining data standards for e-petitions and the process of defining the ECI presents an opportunity for the EuroPetition service, as it could be adapted to support the ECI process with relatively minor modifications. 

Government Computing interview: Peter Cruickshank emphasises the need for human support for e-petitioners.
Euro Petition is a EU Framework Programmes project funded by EU. Carried out in collaboration with and others. For further information please refer to http://EuroPetition.eu.
 
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Collaborators link icon

  • Bristol City Council
    Bristol City Council
  • Dijksman
  • MAC
    MAC
    The National Microelectronics Applications Centre Ltd
  • Malmö Stadt
    Malmö City, Sweden
  • Nestor
    Nestor is a research laboratory and project management office, which was created as a consortium of the University of Rome “Tor Vergata” in collaboration with the National Union of Mountain Municipalities, Communities, and Authorities (UNICEM - more specifically their branch organization dedicated...
  • Public-i
    Europe’s leading provider of strategies and technologies that support democratic engagement.
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Project Team

Peter Cruickshank
Lecturer
p.cruickshank@napier.ac.uk
+44 131 455 2309
Colin F Smith
Senior Lecturer
cf.smith@napier.ac.uk
+44 131 455 2774

Associated Publications

Edelmann, N., Cruickshank, P. (2012). Introducing Psychological Factors into E-Participation Research. In: Manoharan, A., Holzer, M. (Eds.) E-Governance and Civic Engagement: Factors and Determinants of E-Democracy, , () ( ed.). (pp. 338-361). Hershey, PA.: . IGI Global Publishing.

Cruickshank, P., Smith, C. (2011). Understanding the 'E-Petitioner'. Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, 5, (4), 319-329.

Cruickshank, P., Edelmann, N., Smith, C. (2010). Signing a an e-petition as a transition from lurking to participation. In: Chappellet, J., Glassey, O., Janssen, M., Macintosh, A., Scholl, J., Tambouris, E., Wimmer, M. (Eds.) Electronic Government and Electronic Participation, , () (2010 ed.). (pp. 275-282). Linz, Austria: . Trauner.

Cruickshank, P., Smith, C. (2009). Self-efficacy as a factor in the evaluation of e-petitions. In: Prosser, A., Parycek, P. (Eds.) Proceedings of EDEM 2009 - Conference on Electronic Democracy, , () ( ed.). (pp. 223-232). Vienna: . Austrian Computer Society.