Last October, the city of Mulhouse (Alsace, eastern France) was the first French city to join the program Territoire Hautement Citoyens (Highly Citizens Territory - THC) initiated by the French association Démocratie Ouverte (Open Democracy). This program aims to implement an open governance model at the local level in France and begin the journey towards Open Government.
Launched in January 2012, Démocratie Ouverte was the first initiative in France to promote the concept of Open Government. The association was created by French, Tunisian and Canadian (Québécois) citizens, due to the absence of France from the Open Government Partnership program, launched in 2011 by 46 countries. Their objective was to connect states that wish to engage on Open Government.
Behind this concept, the idea is to give citizens new ways to participate in democracy in their countries and promote the development of open, transparent and collaborative governance at a municipal, regional or even national scale. It also aims to restore public trust in politics.
Make citizens more involved in their local political life
THC is the latest project of the Open Government Open Democracy Association and a variation of the Parliament and Citizens program. This latter is a platform that allows citizens to collaborate with French parliamentarians in developing legislation in France. THC aims at encouraging commitment to collaborative and democratic approaches to make citizens more involved in their local political life.
According the association website, THC is based on the principles of Open Government Partnership. “Each local entity, member of THC, is committed to develop and implement an action plan to adopt a more open form of governance. It accepts to be subject to an independent assessment of its governance.”
Démocratie Ouverte contributed to the creation of other projects: Ambition Numérique (Conseil national du Numérique - Digital National Council), which is collecting citizens' ideas for developing a digital law in 2015; Clicknsign, which brings citizens closer to the European institutions; and questionnezvosélus.org, which allows citizens to interact directly with their elected officials.
Open Government Partnership: