Today, the Federal Government adopted the first National Action Plan (NAP) prepared by the Federal Minister of the Interior, Dr Thomas de Maizière, in the framework of Germany’s participation in the Open Government Partnership (OGP).
Federal Minister de Maizière explained:
""The state of Western democracies is much discussed these days. Critics complain about the balance and quality of political discourse. I say: More democracy, or even better: more vivid democracy. For me, more civic engagement on the one hand and more transparency of government action on the other are key prerequisites for good community life and a vivid democracy in Germany. The OGP process is a driving force for jointly identifying and pursuing new approaches to societal challenges.""
Together with the Open Data Act effective since July 2017, OGP participation is an important step to strengthen Germany’s innovative potential. The first NAP creates the right framework conditions for further promoting open government and provides for the implementation of appropriate reform projects in various policy areas.
The two-year action plan includes 15 commitments by several federal ministries such as fulfilling international transparency standards in the fields of development cooperation and extractive industries, promoting the provision of open data by authorities, and carrying out the federal competition “Living Together Hand in Hand – Shaping Local Communities”, an initiative of the Federal Ministry of the Interior to support local integration projects.
The action plans are developed in consultation with civil-society organizations and therefore also represent a joint learning experience: NGOs get a glimpse of the challenges of government, while public administration receives valuable input for its ongoing reform process. This is a clear signal of openness and a vivid democracy, in particular given the growing complexity of public tasks. Transparency, cooperation, participation and civic engagement are not only basic principles of the OGP process but also cornerstones of our civil society.
OGP is an initiative supported by 75 countries to promote open government and modern administration. The initiative focuses on transparent processes, civil society engagement and the use of new technologies to meet the societal challenges.