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Article Open gov­ern­ment

A culture of innovation and cooperation in government.

Open Government describes a development towards more collaboration, participation and transparency in public administration. The core issues of Open Government are to improve services for citizens, to raise confidence in institutions and to create a culture of openness and citizen engagement. The strength of democracy is based on the ability to listen to and work with each other.

Civic participation has a long tradition in Germany, from participatory budgeting in municipalities to large-scale consultations by the Federal Government. Germany signed the G8 Open Data Charta in 2013 and during its implementation launched the national portal GovData.de, which provides metadata for public institutions.

Open Data is a tremendous resource and essential for a modern Open Government policy. Societies are fueled by the availability of reusable public data and innovation. That is why the Federal Government is passing a bill to realize the principle “open by default” for the first time. The bill will provide legal security for public servants and a sustainable approach to more useful open government data. The bill is expected to become law in the summer of 2017.

The idea of Open Government has progressed beyond technology. It is no longer just about publishing data. Open Government has become a driver of innovative approaches to overcome social challenges. Being open to new ideas and being willing to listen to citizens’ concerns is a central element of our civil society.

In 2016, Germany’s participation in the Open Government Partnership (OGP) was announced at the initiative’s annual summit, marking an important step for Open Government in Germany. Incorporating the new concept of OGP into traditional public administration is a long process. Every two years, national action plans will be developed in cooperation with civil society.

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