The EC just published the new eGov action plan. ForumPA asked me to assess it from the point of view of “open government”, in the video below. I was asked to translate it so here’s a summary:

The good
First of all, the big achievement is that the Open Declaration is mentioned as key basis for the action plan, alongside the Ministerial and Industry Declaration. This is unprecedented, and we should be proud of it.
All the principles of the Open Declaration (collaboration, transparency, empowerment) are put on top of the policy agenda, as key area of action.
Particularly important are the actions on dpen data (a EU portal and a revision of the EU PSI directive), and on citizens control over their data. This is the single action where the Open Declaration might have made a difference:

“Member States will enable citizens to have electronic access to those personal data that are held on them when available electronically and will inform them electronically whenever such data are being processed by automatic means, in a simple and unambiguous manner.”

Also, I personally agree with the focus on EU core business (single market) when it comes to online services.
 
The bad

While the principles are embracing the Open Declaration, when you look at the actual governance of the Action Plan there is no reference whatsoever to the need for a more open and collaborative governance. The governance of the Plan belongs to the EC and the Member States through a “high level group”.

The unknown
While there is a lot of emphasis on the principles of the open declaration, the mentioned actions remain generic: exchange of good practice, guidelines and studies. No really substantial decision, and no money invested. Which is to be expected, it is very difficult to design firm policies on this.

In conclusion, I think it’s a good first step, which does not lead to substantial progress by itself but opens up possibilities for progress on the Government 2.0 agenda. I think it is up to all of us to come up now with substantial and concrete policy proposals to turn principles into reality. Otherwise, European Government 2.0 will remain on paper.

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