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EU - DEMO-net : The Democracy Network

A summary of the project is also available as a PowerPoint file

DEMO_net is a Network of Excellence project funded under the European Commission's sixth framework programme: Information Society Technologies IST (FP6-2004-27219). The project started 1January 2006, will be funded for 4 years and has a detailed workplan for the first 18 months.

The overarching objective of DEMO_net is to strengthen scientific, technological and social research excellence in eParticipation by integrating the research capacities of individuals and organisations spread across Europe. The intention is to advance the way research is carried out in Europe with respect to quality, efficiency, innovation and impact to overcome the currently fragmented approach to eParticipation in this important European research area. The network with this overall objective will provide a major contribution to the strategic goals set by the European Council.

Therefore the four high level objectives of DEMO_net are:

  1. To achieve a lasting integration of currently fragmented research in eParticipation
  2. To stimulate joint research in DEMO_net's agreed research areas
  3. To disseminate DEMO_net research amongst eParticipation stakeholders
  4. To provide a barometer of research effectiveness for eParticipation in Europe by establishing a corpus of lessons-learnt resource to show what kind of projects have delivered what kind of results and thereby considered effective for eParticipation.

In order to reach this objective, DEMO_net will:

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DEMO_net takes as its stating point the experience accumulated by a number of leading European research organisations that have studied the underlying principles of eParticipation and actively worked with governments across Europe in applying and evaluating eParticipation. To ensure sustainability of the research and dissemination of the results expert practitioners from government agencies across Europe are supporting DEMO_net. By bringing together a multidisciplinary grouping there is an opportunity to create and sustain a step change in the level of eParticipation research, which is directed towards achieving active citizenship and reducing voter apathy on one hand, and strengthening common efforts in advanced innovative technology development for e-participation on the other. All of which aims to enable Europe to better address its democratic deficit.

A number of key challenges have been highlighted with regard to eParticipation. In order to address these challenges, DEMO_net has established three high-level research objectives, which are:

Objective 1: Establish a corpus of material that stores in accessible form empirically based research and policy documents related to eParticipation. This will be the European baseline for research and policy-making.

Objective 2: Investigate barriers to eParticipation across Europe.

Objective 3: Establish sets of criteria which will allow evaluation of future eParticipation initiatives to be undertaken in a systematic and standardised way across Europe.

Obtaining progress beyond the current fragmented state-of-the-art on eParticipation will require a combined effort by researchers representing different disciplines and expert practitioners from government agencies. DEMO_net will provide the structural and infra-structural foundation for the longer-term collaborations which will ensure these advances.

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Contact Information:

Administrative Project Co-ordinator: Nanna Skovrup, The Digital North Denmark, Vesterbro 102, DK9000, Aalborg, Denmark.
Tel: +45 72 13 70 92; Email: nsk@nja.dk

Strategic Research Coordinator: Professor Ann Macintosh, Institute of Communication Studies, The University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK
Email: A.Macintosh@leeds.ac.uk
URL: http://ics.leeds.ac.uk/

Scientific Manager: Professor Kim Viborg-Andersen, Department of Informatics, Copenhagen Business School, Howitzvej 60, DK - 2000 Frederiksberg, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Phone: +45 3815 2400; Email: andersen@cbs.dk

Official DEMO_net website is www.Demo-net.org

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