Working Meeting of the Open Government Partnership Initiative Held

On 7 and 8 December 2011 a working meeting of the Open Government Partnership global initiative was held in Brasilia. It was organized by competent institutions from Brazil and USA, the countries which are currently presiding over the initiative. 120 participants assembled at the meeting, including the representatives of 42 member countries and the representatives of civil society organizations which are members of the initiative’s Steering Committee. The Croatian delegation included Ana Šimundža, Assistant to the Head of the President’s Office and Igor Vidačak, Head of the Government Office for Cooperation with NGOs.
The purpose of the meeting was to bring new member countries up to date with the expectations of the Open Government Partnership and also to acquaint them with more specific information about the manner in which other countries face the challenges of drawing up national action plans and involving civil society and the interested public in the initiative’s activities. Moreover, previous efforts of all countries in the implementation of the initiative objectives were presented and deadlines as well as the manner of drawing up national action plans of member countries were agreed. The presentation of the Croatian delegation focused on the past cooperation of the state and civil society institutions in organizing public debates as well as the first preparatory activities for the drawing up of the Action Plan. It also suggested a plan for consultations with the interested public which takes into account already well established practise and mechanisms.
All member countries, including Croatia are expected to submit their Action Plans to the Steering Committee no later than a week before the summit meeting of this initiative is to take place on 16 April 2012 in Brasilia. In order to have as high a quality document as possible drawn up, it is necessary that the adoption of the Action Plan be preceded by a process of consultations with civil society organizations and it is desirable that the draft plan be submitted to the member countries represented in the Steering Committee for comments.

Based on the discussions at the working meeting in Brasilia and bearing in mind the deadlines agreed among all countries members of the initiative, as well as the dynamics of instituting a new Government of the Republic of Croatia, it is expected that the activities pertaining to the drawing up of the Action Plan for the implementation of the Open Government Partnership initiative in Croatia will intensify in mid January 2012.