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Archived Articles 05 Jun 2008  EWR
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Estonia’s citizen’s portal allows everyone to make suggestions to the government for improving life in Estonia.

As of the beginning of June the ideas and proposals of citizens to the government are expected via the participation web at the address The participation web will continue the traditions of the current citizen’s portal Täna Otsustan Mina (Today, I Decide) or TOM.

The Minister for Regional Affairs Siim-Valmar Kiisler opened an idea contest in the participation web, where everyone can make suggestions to the state for simplifying public services.

“I am very glad that I can open the idea contest today, when talking about the participation web – it will tie together two very important topics for the future of Estonia – citizen initiative and development of the e-state,” said Kiisler.

According to Hille Hinsberg, Information Officer to the Government, the participation web provides several opportunities for having a say in the state matters. First, everyone can express his or her ideas on any issues that need fixing in Estonia. It is possible to vote and comment on the idea in the web and after that, the Ministry will disclose its official viewpoint as well.

Second, the drafts being processed by the government can be accessed in the participation web. The Ministry will publish the drafts for public discussion and interested people can express their opinions. Finally, all opinions that have been received will be analyzed and an official will provide feedback.

Considering the great international interest towards the Estonian experience in e-elections, a freeware platform has been established, which could be used outside Estonia as well. The software allows for public discussions to be held on public issues. “We have created an e-product that has been established by analyzing the experience with TOM. We added upgrades to increase user-friendliness,” said Liia Hänni, Programme Manager of the eGovernance Academy.

The software was created by the e-Governance Academy in cooperation with the State Chancellery. Product development was funded by the European Union.

Through the portal TOM, which has been operating since 2001, more than 7000 users have presented their ideas to the government and discussed various topics concerning Estonian society.

The first part of the participation web was opened in July 2007. In ten months, 18 public consultations on several drafts have been held. The topics range from the general principles of the Estonian European Union policy to the Forestry Act. Every consultation is read 3000 times on average.
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