The non-profit political action group Citizens Foundation became the first Icelanders to win the European World e-Democracy Awards.
Hosted by the World e-Gov Forum, “a worldwide and free network, open to all the state or private leaders and experts of the field of e-government and e-democracy”, the awards recognise pioneers in the field of encouraging citizens to take part in the democratic process through the internet.
There were a number of winners this year in different categories, but the Citizens Foundation took the European Award this year, marking the first time any Icelander has won the honour:
Like every Icelandic, Gunnar Grimsson and Robert Bjarnason, founders of citizens.is, took part online in the writing of a new constitution, a Premiere for the oldest parliamentary democracy in the world. Citizens.is develops platforms that encourage the dialogue between citizens, like for example the website of the “Shadow Parliament” or the “Better Reykjavik”.
The Citizens Foundation describes their mission as to “develop the open-source democracy tools needed for democracy to bloom in groups, cities or countries. The democracy tools from the Citizens Foundation have been used in demanding real life situation with thousands of users and exceptional results that changed peoples lifes.”
As the award presenters mentioned, the Citizens Foundation has created among other things the website Better Reykjavík, which enabled voters to get better informed about the individual politicians and parties running in municipal elections, as well as The Shadow Parliament, which better enables citizens to interact with members of the Icelandic parliament.