Government and the Internet: Participation, Expression and Control

organised by Departments of Political and Social Sciences, Law and the

Information Society Working Group at European University Institute

on 8. March & 9. March 2011, Theatre, Badia Fiesolana,

European University Institute, Florence, Italy




Day 1: eGovernment and eParticipation (14:30 - 18:00, 8. March)


This section looks at the impact of ICTs on the “tools” of government. ICTs both expand and change the ability of state and non-state actors to gather information, to process it, and to act on its consequences. This technology is impacting traditional government institutions; however, these effects are far from clear, and can manifest themselves in unpredictable ways. This part of the workshop aims at exploring the spread of e-government innovations, particularly those related to e-participation, and their impact on governance. What are the consequences and collateral effects of moving government online and what are the related trends?

Afternoon Session (Chair: Prof. Alexander Trechsel)

14:30 - 14:45 - Opening remarks by Prof. Alexander Trechsel and Prof. Giovanni Sartor

14:45 - 15:15 - Ivar Tallo: eGovernment and eParticipation

15:15 - 16:00 - Discussion on the future of eGovernment

16:00 - 16:30 - Coffee Break

16:30 - 17:00 - Dr. Enrico Francesconi: Connecting citizens with the EU multilingual law-making process
17:00 - 17:30 - Dr. Maria Angela Biasiotti: e-Government - Are Public Data really open and Clear to Citizens?

17:30 - 18:00 - Kristjan Vassil: Voting Advice Applications

Day 2: Freedom of Expression and Government Control (10:00 - 17:30, 9. March)

The morning session is being organised by the MEDIADEM project being run at the EUI, with its particular focus on new media freedom and democracy. The session will commence with a presentation from Andrea Cairola, lead editor of NEXA's recent research on free expression online. This presentation will then be discussed by Prof Tony Prosser, University of Bristol. This will be followed by short contributions from members of the MEDIADEM sub-project working group on new media before a general discussion


Morning Session (Chair: Dr. Federica Casarosa)

10:00 - 11:00 - Dr. Andrea Cairola: Free Expression Online (Discussant: Prof. Dr. Tony Prosser)

11:00 - 11:30 - Discussion: Law or Politics defining online expression?

11:30 - 12:00 - Coffee Break

12:00 - 12:30 - Dr. Federica Casarosa: The suppression of Blogs in Italy

12:30 - 13:00 - Ben Farrand: The use of copyright to quell online expression


This afternoon section tackles the issue of freedom and control on the internet. The web has often been described as an area of unrestricted freedom of communication and speech, but in recent years a huge variety of national and transnational actors have attempted or are attempting some form of regulation of the web, limiting or filtering the content of this new form of public space. What motivates these interventions, and what are the consequences for the freedom of citizens?


Afternoon Session (Chair: Prof. Giovanni Sartor)

14:30 - 15:00 - Jon Bright and Ben Wagner: Analysing the Expression Governance Process

15:00 - 15:30 - Angela Daly: The corporate response to WikiLeaks US embassy cables

15:30 - 16:00 - Coffee Break

16:00 - 16:30 - Marco Pancini via video-link: Freedom of Expression from a corporate perspective

16:30 - 17:30 - Discussion: The role of corporations in protecting online expression



Registration and Contact Details

If you would like to attend the workshop please register with: Alessandra Torre,

For other organisational requests please contact Alessandra Torre and Ben Wagner

MEDIADEM is funded by the European Commission (grant agreement FP7-SSH-2009-A no. 244365)