NUI Galway Researchers Lead European Policy Project

Thursday, 20 January 2011

NUI Galway Researchers at the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) are leading a European Union, multi-million euro initiative aimed at government transparency and giving citizens a voice in creating policies. The project is entitled 'Puzzled by Policy, Helping you to be part of the EU'. The project aims to help end the detachment and disillusionment of citizens in the policy making process of the EU by improving information resources and tools. Current ways of informing citizens and allowing them to participate can be difficult to access, time consuming to use and yield little results. By providing citizens with an engaging and easy-to-use platform, where they can learn about and engage with policy issues, the initiative hopes to make participation in EU policy much easier. Many Governments today recognise that to deliver effective public policy they need to enhance citizen and community involvement in the policy making process. Unfortunately, many citizens and communities feel that policy development is a process that they do not understand and have little control over. Policy making can be seen by many as an elitist process, taking place only amongst government and the more influential members of society; this project aims to dispel this belief. Professor Stefan Decker, Director of DERI says "New Web technologies can support our democratic systems. They not only make government more cost effective, but also more transparent. Research and development out of Ireland is leading the way." The project combines advanced eParticipation methods with new Web 2.0, social networking and mobile technologies, in order to reduce the complexity of policy-making and legislative processes of EU and national governments and to pro-actively engage citizens in the policy-making process. 'Puzzled by Policy' is funded by the European Commission's Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) – ICT Policy Support Programme (ICT PSP) with a total budget of €3.89 million. It has a consortium consisting of 12 partners from nine European Countries (Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and United Kingdom). The project began in October 2010 and will run for 3 years. For further information, contact Deirdre Lee, Project Coordinator at DERI on 091 495336, email: deirdre.lee@deri.org or log onto www.puzzledbypolicy.eu.
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