e-Consultation Portal launched for citizens to take more active part in law making
The Croatian government presented the central web portal "e-Savjetovanja" for public consultations, enabling citizens to take active part in law making.
E-Consultations (e-Savjetovanja) present the most innovative part of the eCitizens project, being the unique solution providing citizens with an opportunity to directly comment on law proposals, other regulations, strategic documents etc., with all comments being immediately visible to general public.
In addition, everybody can simply track the quality of response of governmental bodies on all submitted comments and suggestions which makes the whole process of public consultations more interactive, open and transparent.
Main benefits of e-Consultations:
- Citizens are able to get actively involved in shaping new legal initiatives
- Easy access to all open consultations in one place and simple commenting on all parts of proposed legal acts
- Government is better at asking for and responding to feedback or complaints by citizens on the quality of public policies
- Citizens can easily track the quality of response of governmental bodies on all submitted comments and suggestions
- Citizens have mechanisms to monitor and oversee public works and services
By launching the e-consultation website Croatian Government also fulfilled one of the priority commitments within National Open Government Partnership Action Plan, as well as an important measure of the National Strategy for the Creation of an Enabling Environment for Civil Society Development.
Both the portal savjetovanja.gov.hr and application are unique in the world, as it brings unprecedented level of transparency of individual replies of the Government bodies to all comments received by citizens, civil society organisations and other representatives of the interested public contributing to public consultations. It provides strong impetus to strengthening the responsiveness of the Government as key prerequisite for meaningful and effective citizen’s engagement in public policy dialogue.
In 2014, Croatian government bodies launched 544 public consultations on various laws, other regulations and acts, which is an increase in 1033% compared to 2011. In four years only, we have seen more than 4000% increase in number of contributors to public consultations. Out of 15,000 comments sent by citizens in public consultations, 41% have been fully or partially accepted in 2014.
The use of the e-Consultations portal is a legal obligation for all government bodies (under Law on Access to Information, Official Journal 25/2013 and 85/2015) when conducting public consultations on draft laws, other regulations and acts.