The study focuses on the possibilities for citizens and the main business and social actors to use and develop eParticipation in political and administrative decision-making. The aim is to survey and describe the stage of development reached by German eParticipation and draw European comparisons.
The exercise is also expected to produce recommendations for promoting eParticipation within the framework of the German federal government’s programme eGovernment 2.0. Both national and international eGovernment projects will be analysed and best practices identified.
Two questionnaires have been drawn up. One, not currently available on-line, is for business associations and non-governmental organisations. The other is aimed at private citizens, more particularly “internet users who have already, through this medium or other new communications technologies, taken part in political processes”.
Discussion forums on local policy or planning issues, petitions and questions to members of parliament are among the examples given. Survey participants are also asked about their expectations of federal eGovernment. The questionnaire is designed to be completed on-line – mostly by ticking boxes. It is anonymous, which is perhaps just as well. One of the tickable options for the politically active is “I have already taken part in an unauthorised demonstration”.