France to serve as next Open Government Partnership Co-Chair
Starting in October 2015, the government of France will follow the successful tenures of Brazil, the United Kingdom, Indonesia, Mexico and South Africa, as Open Government Partnership (OGP) Co-Chair.
Commenting on the announcement made at an OGP steering committee meeting in Mexico City late last week, French President Francois Hollande said:
This is a source of great satisfaction as well as a mark of recognition. We consider the renewal of democracy through transparency, citizen participation, and the restoration of confidence between public authorities and civil societies around the world to be a priority for France.
Commenting on behalf of the Mexican government, which currently holds the Lead Co-Chair position, Alejandra Lagunes said: “Co-chairing the OGP has been a tremendous opportunity for Mexico to work with the rest of the international community in the movement for open government. We have enjoyed working with our current government Co-Chair South Africa, and are delighted that France has been selected to follow us as an OGP Co-Chair when we step down in October 2015. France will bring enormous energy and leadership to OGP, including on helping expansion to the Francophone world and continuing to raise the bar on open data.”
The government of France will serve as Support Chair on the OGP steering committee with Lead Chair South Africa, before taking over as Lead Chair in October 2016.
Thierry Mandon, France’s Deputy Minister for Government Reform and Better Regulation, said: “As Co-Chair, France will act to help broaden the community of government reformers around the world; we consider this to be a lofty and useful goal. In order to make real change happen, open governments must be allowed to remove themselves from short-term pressures and conjunctures in order to re-introduce into the public debate longer-term issues such as ecology, climate change, or public aid for development.” Mr. Mandon represents France on the OGP Steering Committee.
Launched in September 2011 by a group of eight founding countries (Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway,The Philippines, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States), the OGP works to promote government transparency and accountability, and to encourage citizen participation in government, with the goal most notably of combating corruption and improving the lives of all people. Today the OGP is composed of 65 member countries and hundreds of NGO and Civil Society organizations from around the world. These partners work together, exchanging experience and advice, to make open government a twenty-first century norm.
Shortly after joining the OGP in 2014, France won a prestigious Open Government Partnership Award for its data.gouv.fr webportal. Launched in 2011, data.gouv.fr contains data from all French ministries as well as numerous French NGOs, research organizations and corporations and is designed to encourage citizen interaction and contribution.
“We expect to see great things from the government of France when it steps up as our next government Co-Chair. Their creativity and spirit of openness make them an ideal lead chair, and the Etalab team has clearly established itself as a hub for innovation within the French government” said Linda Frey, OGP Support Unit Executive Director.
“We are thrilled that France’s vision for the chairmanship is so aligned with OGP’s new 4-year strategy, including an emphasis on leading by example domestically, as well as increasing OGP’s visibility globally. And we are very pleased that France has committed to leverage its network of 160 embassies around the world to promote OGP and address key issues on the ground in participating countries.”
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