By Heini Järvinen

EDRi members Open Rights Group (ORG), UK, and Digitale Gesellschaft (DigiGes), Germany, have launched their campaigns for the WePromise.eu initiative for the European elections that will be held 22-25 May 2014.

During the next term, European Parliament will face many crucial decisions concerning digital policy, ranging from privacy, copyright and net neutrality to mass surveillance. WePromise.eu campaign aims at having as many digital rights friendly candidates as possible voted as Members of European Parliament in the upcoming elections, to ensure that citizens’ rights are taken into consideration when these decisions are taken. One of the goals of the campaign is also to encourage democratic engagement and participation in the elections, particularly among younger EU citizens.

The campaign is based on a two-sided promise: On the one hand, it asks the candidates to endorse a ten point “Charter of Digital Rights” that supports an open digital environment. On the other hand, citizens across Europe can in turn promise to vote for candidates that have endorsed the Charter.

Besides encouraging citizens to sign up and promise to vote, Open Rights Group’s (ORG) campaign also seeks to activate voters to present their concerns about digital rights to candidates they consider voting for. The ORG campaign site offers citizens an opportunity to contact their candidates directly by sending them an email and asking them to sign the Charter. Digitale Gesellschaft presents on their campaign page a selection of actions and tools for citizens to support the campaign and to promote it via social media.

A month to go before the elections, 188 candidates and over 2200 citizens have signed the Charter.

Open Rights Group – European elections – Vote for your digital rights
https://www.openrightsgroup.org/campaigns/sign-the-wepromise-petition

Digitale Gesellschaft – Contribute: Defend your digital fundamental rights in the EU (only in German)
https://digitalegesellschaft.de/mitmachen/verteidigt-eure-digitalen-grundrechte-der-eu/

WePromise.eu campaign website
https://www.wepromise.eu/