The workshop “The role of CSOs in enabling Civil E-participation in Europe”, organized by Telecentre Europe brought together 30 NGO representatives, e-participation experts and civic activists from national and EU level to share and learn from each other’s experiences with democratic participation in the digital age, as well as to inspire them how to innovate and empower the societal groups with which they work. It was a follow-up of the conference on the same topic held on 8 December and hosted by MEP Schöpflin (EPP, Hungary) and MEP Lauristin (S&D, Estonia) in the European Parliament.

The workshop participants had the opportunity to learn from the unique experience of Telecentre Europe and its members with the awareness raising campaign on e-participation implemented at national and EU level. National partners shared their experiences about organising the first European e-Participation Day on 7 May. Furthermore, experts from the field of e-participation provided participants with examples of best practices for empowering different groups in society through digital inclusion. A workshop scenario for empowering young people and suggestions how it could be tailored in other contexts and for other target groups was presented by Information Society Development Foundation (Poland).

The workshop was attended by 30 participants from at least 15 countries. Due to the high security alert in Belgium in December some of the expected participants cancelled their travel to Brussels.

The event was hosted in the heart of Brussels by the Delegation of the Government of Catalonia to the European Union.

Participants were divided into two working groups based on their preliminary registration and interest: 1) Access to e-government services and Structured e-participation opportunities at EU level, and 2) ICT tools to enable grassroots citizens’ initiatives.

Detailed agenda of the workshop can be downloaded HERE.



ElisaLironi ProfileWorkshop: Access to e-government services & Structured e-participation opportunities at EU level (note: merged)

Elisa Lironi
Digital Democracy and Campaigning Coordinator, European Citizen Action Service (ECAS)

Elisa Lironi develops and leads ECAS’ Digital Democracy agenda by monitoring EU affairs, publishing information and implementing projects in this area. She is currently the project manager of the Digital Ecosystem for E-Participation Linking Youth (DEEP-Linking Youth [1]), which focusses on e-participation as an instrument to foster young people’s empowerment and active participation in democratic life. She also coordinates ECAS’ support centre on the European Citizens’ Initiative and designs the organisation’s advocacy campaigns. Before joining ECAS, Elisa worked as a Policy and Advocacy Officer at the Union of European Federalists (UEF) and was previously a researcher for the European Institute for Asian Studies (EIAS). She has extensive experience as an active member of numerous organisations and youth projects, especially in raising awareness on EU issues among citizens.

DAN photoWorkshop: ICT tools to enable grassroots citizens’ initiatives

Dan Patzelt 
TV cameraman, social entrepreneur

Dan Patzelt, a TV cameraman whose hobby is “increasing the quality of life of his peers.” TV work schedule is unpredictable, however smartphone mobility, cloud computing and permanent Internet access allows him to coordinate a NGO. Along with his associates, he addresses issues in different fields of society: environment, education, and health care. Dan’s work and efforts have been appreciated until now with seven awards. The secret that he shares with those interested in how he manages to do so many things is: “5 minutes a day for a cause, it is rather nothing.” He believes in this, because he is convinced that the quality of his life depends on the quality of the life of his peers. This is why he and his associates struggle to increase the quality of life of the whole community.

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