Local vs. national and European e-Participation

Where should e-Participation start? Matt Poelmans, director of Burgerlink (the Netherlands), favours a bottom-up approach. He says real empowering of citizens in decision-making starts from the street, with local issues. If citizens are likely to engage with national and European policies, they must get the confidence and taste for it from positive local experience. But we must see the other side of the coin as well, says Matt. Local issues are not only local issues alone. In the Netherlands, there is an interesting case when a certain local community noticed that politicians did not implement European legislation (about airport noise) and its reaction ensured full compliance.

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