Citizens’ voice – Electronic petitions

Overview

Citizens' Voice - Electronic Petitions
Citizens' Voice - Electronic Petitions platform: https://epeticije.gov.me Photo credits: www.roditelji.me

The project came about as a result of several factors: the Government of Montenegro joining the Open Partnership Initiative, the penetration of Internet and new media, and the need to create the right environment for participation of citizens in vital political processes. Having in mind the fact that citizens’ participation is steadily moving towards the online space, and that civic activism in Montenegro boils down to signing a petition, establishment of an online petitioning platform appeared to be a good course of action.

The project will focus on creating conditions for enhanced citizens’ participation in policy making by means of electronic petitions. The project’s implementation will make Montenegro the first country in the broader region to introduce such a model of interactive policy making.

What is the project about?

The overall objective of the project is to set up a new instrument enabling the public to influence the process of public policy design by means of submitting e-petitions to the Government of Montenegro. Web platform “Citizens’ Voice – E-Petition” will enable every citizen, old enough to vote, or a foreigner with permanent residence in Montenegro to initiate an e-petition referring to any issue within the Government’s remit. Following an initial assessment of compliance with the set criteria submitted petitions will be published on the platform and thus made available for voting.

“Citizens’ Voice – E-Petition” signals a noteworthy step forward in affirming participatory democracy, demonstrating Government’s openness to dialogue and partnership with civil society and active participation of the citizenry in policy making. Relying on digital technology is expected to simplify the process of petitioning and gathering votes of support, and has been inspired by similar endeavors in the United Kingdom, the US and Germany.

What have we accomplished so far?



After several months of brainstorming about the optimum solution for a platform that will be both easy to use and secure, bearing in mind that e-petitioning requires provision of personal data, together with the Government of Montenegro we have rolled out a web-based solution for digital democracy on October 9, 2012. The launch was marked by a lot of enthusiasm and aspirations that the “Citizens Voice” would become a vibrant spot for civic activism. As the platform is essentially a tool for the citizens, we sought out their feedback and committed to fine-tuning the website so that it meets the needs of the citizens. Within a month, NGOs submitted a range of recommendations they deemed necessary. We will be assisting the Government of Montenegro in the forthcoming period with adapting the platform to the demands of Montenegrin society.

“Citizens’ Voice” is a website that enables the public to influence public policy-making process by submitting e-petitions (in local language) to the Government of Montenegro. Every adult citizen of Montenegro or a foreigner with permanent residence is allowed to file an e-petition in any field within the Government’s remit. If supported by at least 6000 citizens’ signatures, the relevant ministry will be required to turn such a petition into a formal initiative, which is then to be considered by the Government, and, if necessary, submitted to the Parliament.

Who finances it?

Donor name

Amount contributed

Government of Montenegro

USD 31,868

UNDP

USD 31,865

TOTAL

USD 63,733

Delivery in previous fiscal years

December 2012

USD 41,157

Project Overview
Status:
Active
Project Start Date:
April 2012
Estimated End Date:
December 2013
Geographic Coverage:
Nationwide/Montenegro
Focus Area:
Democratic Governance
Project Officer:
Ms. Marija Novković
marija.novkovic@undp.org
Tel: +382 20 22 55 33;
Fax +382 20 22 55 51
Partners:
General Secretariat of the Government of Montenegro
Related Documents
Project document