Cities Join the Open Government Partnership

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A miniature democratic revolution is underway. Some of you are already familiar with the Open Government Partnership (OGP), or this organisation of governments and civil society organizations doing remarkable work to advance openness in government and citizen engagement. This is a task that is as necessary as it is urgent at a time when a growing number of citizens are losing hope in elected officials’ ability to understand their needs and transform them into concrete reforms.

For the very first time, local governments are preparing to join OGP. Cities will now be able to make their voices heard and, together, carry out numerous projects to promote open government.

This represents a historic achievement that shows how indispensable city participation is in overcoming the challenges of our century. We have proven this on the question of climate by organizing a Summit of 1000 mayors during the COP21. We continue to prove this every day by constantly sharing best practices and common goals with cities from all over the world.  

The Parisian Participatory Budget came about thanks to initiatives already undertaken in other countries. It is because other cities, such as Lisbon or New York, resorted to this kind of experimentation that we were able to go further in creating the most influential participatory budget imaginable, allocating 500 million euros to Parisians over the six year-long mandate. Inspired by Paris’ example, other cities like Madrid, Milan, and Stockholm have followed suit and created their own participatory budgets.

This is but one example among many that illustrates just how much cities have become masters in the art of sharing and furthering democratic innovation. As such, they all deserve a place in the Open Government Partnership. Paris is one of 15 pioneer cities chosen to work toward developing policies that promote transparency, public action, open government, public integrity, innovation and progress. Other major global cities have already expressed a desire to join the partnership.

Our city has a very ambitious agenda in this regard. With input from volunteers, our open data policies have already resulted in 6 million pieces of municipal data being published online. We regularly consult residents to address the most pressing planning questions. We encourage them to submit all of their ideas and suggestions using the participatory budget. We support Civic Tech startups that influence policy and use technology as a vehicle for reinventing democracy.

We hope  to do even more. We cannot wait to tackle this exciting project that carries such high expectations.

Authors: Anne Hidalgo
Tags: Paris