The Italian Department for Public Administration on the 10th of December will welcome the delegations of European governments and CSOs in Rome for the Third European OGP Outreach Meeting: Transparency, participation and collaboration: Public Administration opens to dialogue.
This gathering follows the first European outreach meeting in the UK in February 2012, and the recent second European outreach meeting in Croatia, where OGP action plans were discussed in detail, and priority areas of fiscal transparency, E-government and E-services, and access to information debated. The updated programme for the day can be found here.
The Rome gathering will focus, as the title suggests, on three major areas of the OGP agenda: transparency, participation and collaboration. Three panel discussions in the morning will broadly address those themes. The afternoon session will expand on another fundamental aspect of OGP, namely civil society participation and engagement in the OGP process, considering which the best way forward is.
Speakers will come from a diverse range of countries, from Norway to Serbia, from Spain to Armenia, from Denmark to Croatia and from some of the major international organizations and associations involved such as OECD, the World Bank. Clearly the current British Presidency will be present and well represented by Cabinet Office officials, and so will be the OGP Central Unit, with Paul Massen, the OGP civil society representative, intervening in the afternoon session. On the Italian side, representatives from the main institutions that contributed to the Italian OGP Action Plan will be present, together with CSOs representatives ranging from Cittadinanzattiva to Transparency International, including many open government activists and experts.
Why should we be looking forward to this meeting?
Regional initiatives of this kind are not unusual within the OGP membership. As early as March 2012 in Mexico City countries from Central and Latin America compared experiences in the development, enhancement, implementation and monitoring of OGP Action Plans. In Asia the Government of Indonesia has hosted the first OGP Asia Outreach at the 5th Bali Democracy Forum on 8-9 November 2012. African Nations are also actively participating, and they held a successful videoconference in July 2012 to discuss next steps to implement and monitor their Action Plans, and to reflect on the outcomes of the OGP meeting in Brasilia.
As Ari Greenberg (@AriPaulG) rightly wrote on the OGP website
making (European) regional meetings a custom would be very beneficial both for implementation of the existing action plans and for thinking about drafting future ones
and the Rome meeting follows this idea.
The Rome event will also touch upon the outcomes of the Steering Committee meeting in London on 4th December, which is likely to advance on important issues of governance such as the Independent Reporting Mechanism and the Strategic Plan in OGP, and will surely give many new elements for discussion.
Finally, with this particular meeting the Italian Government is listening to the ‘outer world’ in preparation for the meeting and has set up a public consultation on IdeaScale (still open!) for anyone to post ideas and suggestions for themes to be debated during the meeting, and arranged around the three major themes mentioned above.
I hope you can all participate in the public consultation and -digitally- in the meeting (that will be available on live streaming on http://www.funzionepubblica.it ) with comments from Italy, Europe and beyond, because good ideas come from everywhere!
(Hash tag for the Third European OGP Outreach Meeting in Rome: #ogpitaly)
Head of the Department for Public Administration