System- und Innovationsforschung ISI
The European Technology Assessment Group (ETAG) under the lead of Fraunhofer ISI currently carries out a research project for STOA (Science Technology Options Assessment Panel of the European Parliament) with the official title: "E-democracy: Technical possibilities of the use of electronic voting and other Internet tools in European elections". After having analysed the state-of-the-art research of e-democracy in an overview phase, the in-depth analysis was structured according to the following three main research questions:
How can the Internet contribute to the development and establishment on a genuinely European public? (e-public in Europe)
What are good practices for e-participation in Europe or how can public
organisations profit from opening their processes to a wider audience by
using the Internet, respectivley? (e-participation in Europe)
Is e-voting a realistic means to increase electoral participation and
what are the concrete conditions for its success? (e-voting in Europe)
The investigations will result in three different papers which are available from December 2010. Preliminary findings show that the Internet is indeed a viable instrument to increase interest (e-public) and involvement (e-participation) of Europeans with public affairs and political decision-making. Different examples will illustrate positive participatory effects of the Internet.
However, e-voting seems to be the difficult part. Only under certain circumstances can Internet-voting increase overall electoral turnouts. Examples from countries with e-voting processes in practice should be considered with care, as the framework conditions often sharply differ from those for European parliament elections. However, there are specific uses for e-voting in other election contexts like student´s parliamants or works councils and there are long-term perspectives which will be described in detail in the forthcoming e-voting paper.
The results of all three papers will be presented and discussed in a series of workshops beginning in March 2011. Institutes involved in the project: Fraunhofer Institute Systems- and Innovation Research ISI, Germany.
Ongoing (Oct 2009-Oct 2011)
European Parliament, STOA (Science Technology Options Assessment Panel of the European Parliament)
KIT, Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS), Karlsruhe, Germany
Institute for Technology Assessment (ITA), Vienna, Austria
Introduction and presentation of STOA project
Dr. Bernd Beckert, Fraunhofer ISI, Karlsruhe.
Session 2: European perspective of e-voting
Prof. Alexander Prosser, University of Economics and Business Administration Vienna.
Dr. Anne-Marie Oostveen, University of Oxford, Oxford Internet Institute.
Susanne Caarls, Council of Europe, Strasbourg, Programme Advisor.
Deliverable 2: "E-Democracy in Europe - Prospects of Internet-based political participation". The three working papers, October 2010, 124 pp.
Summary: "E-voting arguments", 4 pp.
Lindner, R.; Beckert, B.; Aichholzer, G.; Strauß, S.; Hennen, L. (2010): E-Democracy in Europe – Prospects of Internet-based political participation. Interim Report – Phase I (European Parliament, Science and Technology Options Assessment STOA), Brussels/Strasbourg.
Beckert, B.; Lindner, R.; Goos, K.; Hennen, L.; Aichholzer, G.; Strauß, S. (2010): E-Democracy in Europe – Prospects of Internet-based political participation. Theoretical framework and overview. In-depth examination of three selected areas – Phase II (European Parliament, Science and Technology Options Assessment STOA), Brussels/Strasbourg.
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