New Platform to Gather Views on EU Policy

Feb 22 2012 Posted: 16:39 GMT
Researchers at the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) in NUI Galway are leading a European Union, multi-million euro initiative aimed at government transparency and giving citizens a voice in creating policies.

The project, entitled ‘Puzzled by Policy’, has now launched as an online platform, with the focus on immigration in the EU. The website is customised for Greece, Hungary, Italy and Spain, profiling users based on national and European immigration policy.

The Puzzled by Policy platform allows users to graphically compare their views on immigration with national and EU immigration policies, as well as with the opinions of relevant stakeholders. Users are then encouraged to join discussions on particular aspects of immigration policy they feel strongly about.

The platform is also available in English and discussions can be automatically translated into any language. To ensure accessibility to all users, the Puzzled by Policy widget can be embedded on any social media site, blog or website.

The Puzzled by Policy project aims to help end the detachment and disillusionment of citizens in the policy making process of the EU by improving information resources and tools.

Current ways of informing citizens and allowing them to participate can be difficult to access, time consuming to use and yield little results. Experts at DERI are deveoping IT tools to acquire, share, reuse and process vast amounts of relevant data from multiple and divergent information sources.

DERI’s Deirdre Lee, who is leading the Puzzled by Policy Project, comments:“ DERI is providing the models, technologies and tools for more effective and efficient public administration systems. This is all part of a larger move toward eGovernment, which embraces the world wide web for better governence. eGovernment offers the ability to transform not only the way in which most public services are delivered but also the fundamental relationship between government and citizen.”

With over 140 researchers, DERI is one of the world’s leading international web science research institutes, established as a CSET in 2003 with funding from Science Foundation Ireland.

Its researchers have a specific focus on the Semantic Web and Networked Knowledge, which provides the framework to link information in a way that allows us to use, analyse and retrieve this information more efficiently.


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