Council of Europe: e-democracy, a topic of debatein the Brussels Parliament
How is democracy defined in an era marked by a digital revolution? The Brussels Parliament discussed this topic during an international workshop in the margin of the Belgian Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. On 1 April 2015, the regional Brussels Parliament welcomed delegations from the member states of the Council of Europe to discuss e-democracy or ways to support and reinforce democracy by means of communication and information technology. The workshop, named “The digital tools of local democracy”, was organised by the European Steering Committee on Local and Regional Democracy and Governance (Council of Europe). Charles Picqué, President of the Brussels Parliament, was the keynote speaker and reminded the participants of the principles of e- democracy or electronic democracy. E-democracy:
- is based on the democratic, social, human, ethical and cultural values of the society in which it is implemented ;
- is one of the many support strategies for democracy and the sharing of democratic values, supplementing the traditional democratic process ;
- is closely related to good governance, which is characterised by the democratic exercise of power, is efficient, effective, participatory, transparent and responsible, open to the informal political debate and the intervention of non-governmental stakeholders ;
- must respect and implement the fundamental freedoms, human rights and the rights of minorities, including the freedom of information and access to information.