The promise of democracy – digital rights groups reprogram European elections
A project launched today will give voters an innovative new way to hold the European Parliament to account.However, nothing is for free – as a trade-off citizens must make a promise of their own – to vote in May’s European Parliament elections. The Wepromise.eu project proposes a “Charter of Digital Rights“. Candidates promise to uphold these principles if they are elected – and voters promise to vote for candidates that have made this promise – interactive democracy, fit for the information age.
The initiative was launched by European Digital Rights, an association of 35 digital civil rights organisations from across Europe in order to reinvigorate interaction between voters and their representatives in Brussels.
Never before has the EU faced so many challenges concerning digital policy, ranging from privacy, copyright, net neutrality and the mass surveillance of European citizens by states and corporations. Never before has turnout in European elections been so low. Never before has technology offered so many opportunities to bridge the gap between voters and their representatives.
Awareness of digital rights issues is higher than ever before. Citizens need the European Parliament to understand and address these threats and the European Parliament needs voters to vote, said Joe McNamee, Executive Director of European Digital Rights.
“We are proposing one solution to three problems,” he added. “We are helping to increase the disastrously low turnout at European elections, we are helping to educate candidates about the major digital rights challenges to be addressed in the new Parliament and we are creating clear guidelines for the next five years.”
Thanks to social media and the growing and energetic community of digital rights organisations active in Brussels, voters will be able to monitor how well the elected candidates are respecting their promises. The newly-elected parliamentarians will get ongoing analysis and advice on legislative proposals should be amended, supported or opposed in order to respect the principles that they have promised to uphold.
Voters are able to sign up from today. Authentication will be done by means of a confirmation e-mail.
Candidates will need to provide additional information, to avoid any risk of abuse of the system (please contact sign(at)wepromise.eu). The project is entirely independent of every political party.
The website is available in English, Dutch, French, German, Polish, Spanish. More languages will be added soon.
Contact: info(at)wepromise.eu – phone: +32 (0)2 274 25 70
Twitter: https://twitter.com/edri_org and https://twitter.com/wepromiseeu