In Europe, the 5th Ministerial eGovernment Conference — titled Teaming up for the eUnion — is happening in Malmö, Sweden today and tomorrow. At a press conference this morning, the long-awaited Ministerial Declaration on eGovernment (212 KB) was presented to the public.

The declaration, which is regarded as “our joint policy priorities until 2015,” addresses a number of issues such as transparency, open government data, collaboration, privacy, open source etc. Here’s what it has to offer in terms of participation:

6. Through this declaration, we will build on past achievements and increase our collaboration on eGovernment. Our public administrations should jointly strive for the following policy priorities, to be achieved by 2015.
Citizens and businesses are empowered by eGovernment services designed around users’ needs and developed in collaboration with third parties, as well as by increased access to public information, strengthened transparency and effective means for involvement of stakeholders in the policy process,
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6. Through this declaration, we will build on past achievements and increase our collaboration on eGovernment. Our public administrations should jointly strive for the following policy priorities, to be achieved by 2015.

  • Citizens and businesses are empowered by eGovernment services designed around users’ needs and developed in collaboration with third parties, as well as by increased access to public information, strengthened transparency and effective means for involvement of stakeholders in the policy process,
  • […]

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Our Shared Objectives by 2015

Citizens and businesses are empowered by eGovernment services designed around users needs and developed in collaboration with third parties, as well as by increased access to public information, strengthened transparency and effective means for involvement of stakeholders in the policy process.

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13. Involve stakeholders in public policy processes. We will actively develop and promote effective, useful and better ways for businesses and citizens to participate in the policy processes. Increased public engagement through more effective methods at all levels enhances government’s efficiency and effectiveness and improves the quality of its decisions and services.

As a complement to this official declaration, the Open Declaration on European Public Services will be presented tomorrow. Here’s its take on participation, one of three “core principles for European public services”:

2. Participation: government should pro-actively seek citizen input in all its activities from user involvement in shaping services to public participation in policy-making. This input should be public for other citizens to view and government should publicly respond to it. The capacity to collaborate with citizens should become a core competence of government.

Last-minute endorsements of the Open Declaration are still being accepted.