What’s next for the Open Government Partnership in Europe?
Earlier today I joined an international Google Hangout on open government advocacy experience-sharing, initiated by Paul Maassen, civil society coordinator of the Open Government Partnership. The conference call brought together civil society open government advocates from Ireland (ActiveCitizen.cc), Uganda, Poland, Bosnia and Germany (joining from Berlin were Daniel Dietrich of the Open Knowledge Foundation, and myself). Both the OKFN and the Internet & Society Collaboratory support the idea of the Open Government Partnership and advocate Germany’s membership in the initiative. The German government so far refuses to join, along with a club of European countries, such as Ireland, Poland, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and France, that so far do not intend to join the OGP, however this resistance is losing strength, reports from within government circles in France for example indicate that things are in fact likely to move ahead. The Polish government wants to have its action plan in place first (there is no requirement to do that).
It was interesting to meet like-minded people in other European countries working on this critical topic for our society and it is encouraging to see that Germany is not the only tough environment, and even more encouraging to see how other countries also achieve a lot with little resources and volunteer work. I was glad to participate in this knowledge exchange and hope to see more progress in open government all across Europe.