The Estonian Cooperation Assembly is creating a new Citizen Initiative Portal, which makes it possible to compose and send collective initiatives to the Estonian Parliament (Riigikogu). In November there was a name competition for the new portal. The winning name was rahvaalgatus.ee (translates as people’s initiative).
One of the direct results of the 2013 People’s Assembly was that according to the law it is possible from the spring of 2014 to give collective initiatives to the Parliament for consideration. According to the law, the Parliament will have to process appeals that have at least 1000 signatures. In a year and a half, the Parliament has received 10 collective initiatives and two of them have been made into laws.
The new portal developed by the Estonian Cooperation Assembly will make it easier to compose, send and monitor collective initiatives. According to Teele Pehk: „Every citizen can use the new portal to raise an issue or make a suggestion, to discuss it publicly, to create an appeal, to raise digital signatures for it and send it to the Parliament with one click.“ It will also be possible to monitor how the initiative is processed in the Parliament and how it may be turned into a law. In the future it will also be possible to use this portal for citizen initiatives in the local government, because according to the law 1% of the population can start a draft law.
The new citizen initiative portal will be created by the Estonian Cooperation Assembly in cooperation with the non-profit organisation Let’s Do It!, who has created the free software for community decision—Citizen OS. The portal should be ready in February. The Cooperation Assembly was also one of the main organisers of the 2013 People’s Assembly. Besides the legalisation of collective initiatives the People’s Assembly also resulted in decisions to make the party financing process fairer, to lower the caution money for registration of new candidates and in decreasing the number of people required for registering a new party by half.
CEo of the Estonian Cooperation Assembly