The eParticipation Report purpose is to provide a synoptic and coherent view of where Europe currently stands regarding eParticipation. In addition, the study supports dialogue between key actors and stakeholders, particularly through workshops, consultations and good practice exchange. There is a surge of grass-root, often single issue engagement in policy making, people generally are more aware of public policy issues, and there are more outlets and channels enabling participation. Much of this is supported, and in fact driven forward, by new ICT tools. These range from the more traditional emails and electronic forums, to the Web 2.0 phenomenon of blogs, social networking, and applications which enable users to upload their own content and manipulate the content of others, as well as facilitate deliberation and debate. There is a surge of mainly bottom-up activity which some are calling a step change in the way we think about politics and policy making. One of the pressing challenges, therefore, is to align this with formal structures and processes at all levels of government. This is indeed one of the main tasks of government and politicians over the next five years.
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