Home > Uncategorized > Digital Transformation and Tools for Local Authorities – Closing Conference (press release)

The Institute of Research & Training on European Affairs – I.R.T.E.A. successfully organized the International Conference “Digital Transformation and Tools for Local Authorities” within the framework of the project “Digital Civic Participation – DCP v.2.0”, funded by the Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values Program (CERV-2021-CITIZENS-TOWN) of the European Union.

WP13-Event-Description-Sheet DCP-International-Conference-Schedule / WP13-Event-Description-Sheet

Specifically, on Thursday, December 14, 2023, from 15:00 to 20:00, 59 young participants, including 9 representatives of project partners, were hosted at Amalia Hotel and attended the three panels of the Conference.

After the welcoming remarks by Ms. Papadaki, Project Coordinator and Legal Representative of I.R.T.E.A., the event commenced with the first panel titled “SMART Cities – Digital Transformation of the Local Government”. Ms. Athena Kotsona, the Contact Point for the CERV Program at the Ministry of Interior, addressed the tools, priorities, and opportunities provided by the European Commission for the development and transition of cities to SMART Cities.

Following that, Mr. Iraklis Bourantas, Co-founder and COO of Novoville, presented the innovative company that creates digital tools and platforms for cities to enhance their services and impact on citizens. Mr. Bourantas showcased Novoville’s work and captured the interest of the audience by discussing digital functions available for various services.

The first panel concluded with an interactive session between the panelists and the audience, addressing many interesting aspects of the topic.

Subsequently, the event proceeded to the second panel titled “Youth Participation and Digital Transformation”. Ms. Despoina Papadaki, as Project Coordinator and Project Manager from I.R.T.E.A.’s side, inaugurated the panel and presented the final product of the DCP v.2.0 project, the “Manual on civic e-participation tools”.

This manual, collectively created by all project partners, includes platforms and tools from partner countries (Poland, Lithuania, Greece, Italy, and Romania) and practices that have brought significant changes at the European level in general.

Next, our guest, Ms. Silvia Kersemakers, Team Leader at the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) from the European Commission, presented the ECI and delved into its digital aspect

as one of the most important digital tools for democratic participation. As an ECI Ambassador in Greece, I.R.T.E.A. later shared informational material on how ordinary citizens can collectively convey their needs and concerns at the European decision-making level.

Finally, Mr. Stefanos Loukopoulos, Co-founder and Director of Vouliwatch, a platform enabling transparency and direct communication between citizens and the Greek Parliament, took the floor. Vouliwatch was identified as one of the “good practices” in Greece in the “Manual on civic e-participation tools”, the final deliverable. Mr. Loukopoulos discussed the utility of technology for monitoring and controlling decision-making processes, also introducing the Localwatch platform for the regional level in Greece.

The second panel concluded with a Q&A session from the audience, followed by a coffee break for networking opportunities between participants and speakers.

Next, the third panel, titled “Participatory Democracy: Youth Initiatives,” took place. Ms. Papadaki presented best practices, tools, and methodologies for participatory democracy based on I.R.T.E.A. ‘s experience in numerous European programs. Subsequently, Ms. Ioanna Hatziantoniou specifically addressed one of I.R.T.E.A.’s major projects, the simulation of European institutions, EUropa Simulation – EUropa.S., celebrating 13 years of dynamic presence in academia and organizing the 2022 edition with 180 participants, funded by ERASMUS+.

This panel included an interactive workshop on its theme, allowing young participants to discuss and collaborate on expressing their ideas and opinions on participatory tools and methods as well as the ways of using and further sharing the Manual on civic e-participation tools.

Overall, the Event succeeded to reach its main purpose, which were to present and disseminate the manual on civic e-participation tools, to bring together young people, policy makers and other relevant stakeholders and work on future cooperation and implementation of the manual at local level.


For more information about the project:

I.R.T.E.A. is implementing the project “Digital Civic Participation v2.0 (DCP v2.0),” funded by the Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values program of the European Union (CERV-2021-CITIZENS-TOWN).

DCP v2.0 aims to record and analyze digital tools for participatory democracy and engagement used in EU countries, creating a user-friendly manual (Manual on civic e-participation tools) on how and in which cases these tools can be used. The purpose of the manual is to be easily accessible to all, thereby expanding the use of digital tools in decision-making processes at the local level and beyond.

The project is implemented in collaboration with the following partners:

  • Municipality of Cinisello Balsamo – Italy
  • PONT Group – Romania
  • Municipality of Klaipeda – Lithuania
  • Municipality of Starachowice – Poland

For more information or any inquiries, contact us at our email irtea.greece@gmail.com, phone +30 2130250217, or through social media channels. Stay tuned to our social media and website for updates and more activities and events!

For further reference, please consult the Agenda of the Event.

WP13-Event-Description-Sheet DCP-International-Conference-Schedule / WP13-Event-Description-Sheet