October 14, 2015 | Stefanos Loukopoulos Dear visitor, welcome to the website of the Parliamentwatch Network! We will be posting periodic news about our member organizations and their work for more citizen participation, transparency and accountability in politics. Also, we will be hosting blog posts of individual network members. Read more about our network by clicking here. For more information on the Parliamentwatch Network feel free to get in touch with us. ————————————– News The Parliamentwatch Network is excited to announce that plans are under way for new Parliamentwatch initiatives in Cyprus, Bulgaria and Mexico. In Cyprus, MakeWaves, a NGO engaging youth will be leading the initiative and is supported in its efforts by Vouliwatch, the Greek Parliamentwatch, and Crowd Policy, an Athens-based technology advisor. The project has received a grant by the Erasmus+ program and the first kick-off meeting is scheduled to take place within the next month. In Bulgaria, the Parliamentwatch initiative is progressing steadily. According to Nico-Alexander Jahn, project leader of Reimagine Bulgaria, the website should be online in within the next 2-3 months. The concept and layout of the site puts a special focus on mobile usage. The idea is to allow users to easily post their questions, whenever they pop-up. This could be in a restaurant or bar, while discussing politics with friends, or during a news report on television. Until the launch, which is planned in early 2016, the team is working on developing the site and building a network of supporters. Later this year the team is planning a so called Hackathon to advance the development of the site into a beta version, but also to start to generate interest in the platform among young, urban target groups in the capital city Sofia. In Mexico, the launch of a Parliamentwatch initiative called www.eligeycuestiona.org is under way. This website will be implemented by a non-profit civic association (Elige y Cuestiona, Asociación Civil) created especially for this purpose. The association is lead by Ricardo Cuéllar as Executive Officer and Luis Guillermo Martínez as Technology Officer both of whom run the association on a voluntary basis. The platform is intended to focus on the local level (mayors and states´ local congresses reps) and the first step of the implementation is to launch the platform during a 1-month pilot project, on February 2016, with a relatively small group of early users (representatives) from different regions in Mexico. The project is supported by the French Parliamentwatch Questionnezvoselus.org, who shared its code. We look forward to welcoming the new initiatives into our network! In other news, on the 16th October Vouliwatch was invited for a meeting by the Greek Minister of interior. During the meeting Vouliwatch pushed for the implementation of the Greek parliament’s commitments to the OGP action plan. The minister received positively Vouliwatch’s proposals for more transparency and access to open data and he committed to pushing forward the agenda of transparency. Vouliwatch is also about to launch additional features for its MP profiles, in order to allow MP’s to proactively publish what they earn. In Germany, Abgeordnetenwatch legal battle against the German parliament is going into the next round. After the Bundestag had refused to publish the information of which lobbyists receive access to the German parliament by the political parties, Abgeordnetenwatch sued the Bundestag and was able to win the court case. The German parliament is now trying to prolong the legal battle to avoid the inevitable publishing of the list of lobbyists with access passes. To stay updated with the most recent developments of our network follow our Facebook page.