Thursday 29 January 2009

Electronic democracy: Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly debate

This week, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (uniting parliamentarians from 47 countries of the European continent) meets in Strasbourg to debate different pan-European issues.

After a rather pessimistic speech of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe on Monday, complaining about the lack of funds for the Council of Europe and its European Court of Human Rights, debates about the war between Georgia and Russia and discussions about the International Criminal Court and the regulation of media, the Assembly tomorrow will discuss electronic democracy.

I did not have time to go through the comprehensive report, including a resolution (directed to the 47 parliaments) and a recommendation (directed to the 47 member states), but those of you interested should watch the debate tomorrow on live broadcast from 10 a.m.

But I have doubts that the parliamentarians will show much interest in this, because first of all it is Friday (time to travel home...) - and the report (as far as I could read) does not seem very innovative but rather like a stocktacking of developments from the perspective of somebody who does not completely understand the opportunities (and true risks) that electronic means offer to a modern democracy.