The public debate starts from the University of Salerno to discuss how to participate actively, reactively and proactively in Italy's restart. The first stage of the "Restart A Porte Aperte" meetings was held today on the occasion of #SAA21, a campaign conducted by numerous civil society associations that participate in the Open Government Forum to request the PAs to restart by rebuilding the framework of civic participation to promote supervision of civil society on the implementation of national plans for Open Administration and the National Recovery and Resilience Plan.
It starts from the University of Salerno in the Open Administration Week #SAA21 there first step of meetings "Restart With Open Doors", a campaign conducted by numerous civil society associations participating in Open Government Forum to request the PA to restart by rebuilding the plot of civic participation to promote the supervision of civil society on the implementation of national plans for Open Administration and the National Recovery and Resilience Plan.
With the initiative Restart with open doors. How the Open Government Forum can contribute to National Open Government Plans, organized by the Observatory for Communication and Information in the Public Administration in Italy and in Europe (OCIPA) of the Department of Political Science and Communication (PoliCom), civil society organizations open the public debate to discuss how to participate in active, reactive and proactive way to restart Italy.
After the appeals to President Draghi and Minister Brunetta for the restart with open doors we start again with the story of what the same associations participating in the Open Government Forum have done in recent years by implementing active citizenship practices: civic monitoring, journalistic investigations, educational activities on administrative transparency, accountability, public communication , advocacy, lobbying.
The meeting was opened by Prof. Virgilio d'Antonio, Director of the Department of Political Science and Communication, who stated: “I hope that with the resumption of face-to-face activities at the University of Salerno, the collaborative dialogue between the University and the world of communication associations and civil society will also resume, because this synergy can train communication professionals with adequate skills to restart our country”.
Daniela Vellutino, professor of the educational laboratory for public communication Right of Civic Access, he underlined: “Let's start from the South by speaking to university students, in particular we begin with those who study Communication Sciences, because in this historical phase, so important for their future, they are learning how to make good public communication by learning to be monitoring citizens. With their knowledge and know-how they must be able to contribute to the restart of Italy, work in the PA at the service of monitoring citizens. Quality public communication is a lever for citizenship rights and for strengthening the transparency and accountability of the PAs”.
Attended the event:
Federico Anghelé leads The Good Lobby in Italy, a pan-European organization that intends to democratize access to power by creating good lobbies of citizens and organizations that are committed to their causes and their values.
Rose Battle investigative journalist and president of the CittadiniReattivi association, a civic journalism project and an association committed to protecting citizens' right to know and demanding greater transparency from the PA. Author of national surveys that dug into public databases. Activist for the Freedom Information Act with the FOIA Italy campaign. He cares about the topic of open data.
Paola Caporossi one of the founders of the Ethical Foundation for the evaluation of public administrations and the prevention of corruption; social impact innovation and social inclusion; the modernization of public institutions; in addition to being president of the Public Rating Agency, which deals with the measurement of transparency and performance of Public Administrations and their benchmarking, as well as participatory processes, he is the coordinator of the GovLoc Lab – LUISS.
David del Monte President and founding member of info.nodes, an organization for the promotion of investigative journalism and civic activism. Until December 2020 he was executive director of Transparency International Italy. He is particularly interested in social justice and the relationship between politics and the private world.
Leonard Ferrante Project coordinator of the Common monitoring community of Libera and Gruppo Abele
Isabella Mori, director of the information and protection service for citizens, delegate for national policies on transparency and anti-corruption of the Cittadinanzattiva association which promotes the activism of citizens for the protection of rights, the care of common goods, support for people in conditions of weakness .
Rita Palumbo, Secretary General of FERPI, the Italian Federation of Public Relations, the association that has been bringing together public relations professionals for more than 50 years, and Spokesperson and Coordinator of ReteCoM, the Network for Communication and Management Associations.
The summary of the speeches:
Federico Anghelé, The Good Lobby, “We need a strong and vital civil society that is capable of exercising a role of control (and sometimes even of direction) on the institutions. We ask for transparency not because it is an end, but because it is a crucial tool in today's democracies, in which citizens expect public decision-makers to be accountable for what they do".
Rosy Battaglia, investigative journalist and president of CittadiniReattivi: “The pandemic has highlighted how transparency and access to data are essential for citizens, starting with open data on health, the environment and public spending. Unfortunately, the decision-making process around the National Recovery and Resilience Plan has shown us that we are still far from listening to what the government must give both to Parliament and also to civil society organizations that have long been officially committed to the open government process. Organizations already capable of proposing civic monitoring models on the PNRR and solutions to facilitate the processes of communication and public debate between the Public Administration and citizens. Precisely the new OGP International guidelines highlight the need for the co-creation of the next OpenGov plan which must not be a simple list of good deeds, but a model of transparency and participation practices for the whole PA".
Paola Caporossi, president of the Ethics Foundation: “Without transparency there is no recovery or development. The data that the PAs publish in Transparent Administration makes it possible to measure and compare their efficiency and administrative capacity. For this reason, simplification cannot take place at the expense of publication costs, but, on the contrary, in support of administrations that are unable to cope with them. The PAs listen to us, call us to the table of simplification and reform of the PA, because alongside the institutional leg we need the civic one, which cannot be replaced by consultants in any way.”
Davide Del Monte, president of the info.nodes association: “The next six years, thanks to the PNRR, represent an unrepeatable opportunity to grow not only the Italian economy, but also the capacity for inclusion and participation of citizens in the country's public life. The PNRR and, in particular, the monitoring activities of individual projects could be the field of experimentation for new practices of civic participation, through the involvement of associations and organizations in the process of change which, hopefully, will improve Italy”.
Leonardo Ferrante, Common School and Abel Group: “News such as today's arrest of the Mayor of Foggia for corruption, although all to be proven, highlight how much it is necessary to supervise the public administration as institutions and citizens. All the more so for the Plan. Civic skills are needed at this stage to avoid opacity, maladministration and even corruption”.
Isabella Mori, responsible for transparency policies of Cittadinanzattiva: “There can be no restart without the active participation and involvement of citizens, in the last year the paths of participation and discussion within the Open Government forum are "almost" completely missing. Today, we are here to reaffirm how important it is to provide for these spaces. If it is not the institutions that create them, we citizens will do it because on issues such as civic monitoring, transparency and participation we will never take a single step back”.
Rita Palumbo, Ferpi General Secretary “I thank the University of Salerno for the invitation, which already last year, despite the beginning of the COVID pandemic, on March 2, 2020, the same department and the same prof. Vellutino organized the first appointment of Open Administration Week 2020. Today's interesting debate revealed that in the meantime it has practically not happened that we went in the direction of transparency, civic access, accountability. The position of civic organizations to demand the monitoring of public actions is legitimate and must be supported to ensure that the institutions change their relationship with citizens. With communication it is essential to ensure that this relationship changes in a virtuous way”.