Online citizen participation on parliamentary work
Online citizen participation is understood to mean offerings that enable citizens to influence political decisions with the help of the internet. The Bundestag has already been using the internet for more than 10 years to involve the population in parliamentary work. Through committees and commissions, various forms of citizen participation are being tested, ranging from interactive communication in social media and debates in online forums to consultations and collaboration on documents.
The focus of the study was the Enquete Commission "Internet and Digital Society" of the 17th German Bundestag (Internet Enquete). According to the decision to set up the commission, it had the mandate to involve the public in its work to a particular extent and to offer internet-based participation opportunities for this purpose. Based on the approaches of the Internet Enquiry, the experiences with participation offerings of the Digital Agenda Committee (since 2/2014) and the Commission on the Storage of Highly Radioactive Waste (Final Repository Commission, 5/2014-7/2016) are discussed. The youth portal mitmischen.de (since 6/2004) as an interactive online offer of the Parliament for young people and the electronic petitions (since 9/2005) were included in the investigation. The aim of the study was to analyse the novel approaches and their impact on parliamentary work as well as to formulate options for action for the further development of online citizen participation at the German Bundestag.