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Project Public Participation for water protection and management

The project is designed as a trial project that explores the strengths and weaknesses of a regional and issue specific approach towards eParticipation. The project aims at supporting citizens and local actors to identify and solve important environmental problems related to the management of water and marine environmental protection in the French Riviera, Valencia and Ionian Islands regions in order to enhance their participation in the environmental legislative and decision making processes.

The local decision-makers as well as MPs will be able to ask for the citizens’ opinions in order to gather their feedback on a specific policy issue like River Basin Management Plans, Marine Strategy or Costal Zone Management.

At the same time, citizens will be better informed about the EU water and marine environment policies as well as about their national water and marine environmental policies. Thus, they will be able to monitor the implementation of the EU legislation in their country.

Furthermore, the project will create a framework for exchange and cooperation between Member States. In this way, the actions in the environmental sector will be made more coherent and the conservation of the marine ecosystems and sustainable water resource management will be supported.

The project "u@marenostrum" is co-financed within the programme "eParticipation 2008" of the European Commission.

eParticipation projects database

Project number n/a
Geographical coverage France, Spain, Greece
Budget (in €) 0
Programme eParticipation 2008
Web site

The pilot project entitled “U@MARENOSTRUM” aims to involve, thanks to ICT and GIS, citizens and local actors (association) from the Mediterranean coastal zones in decision-making processes for the adoption and implementation of water and marine environmental protection policies and legislations in the Mediterranean region in accordance with the EU environmental legislation.

The project intends to provide an open-source software solution and methodology to help the local decision-makers to improve the quality, legitimacy and transparency of their policies in the eyes of the citizens. Simultaneously, citizens will be provided with means to become familiarized and involved with the functioning of democratic decision making processes, to monitor the implementation of the EU environmental law in their regions, to identify environmental problems that need to be solved immediately, as well as providing a way to solve them.

The proposed technological platform will be a web-based Public Participation GIS created through the customization of Gov2Demoss, an open source platform that will be integrated with a GIS.

Trial applications including the validation of the project will be conducted in the Region on Ionian Islands (Greece), the French Riviera (France) and the Region of Valencia (Spain) during a period of 14 months. Three platforms are envisaged in order to be hosted in these participating regions.

The overall objectives of the project are the following:

  • To reconnect citizens with politics and policy making by strengthening and broadening citizens participation in decision making process
  • To address a key issue at EU and national and regional levels too: Environment
  • To complement and advance the eParticipation activities already undertaken by the European Union in order to identify what the future orientation of eParticipation
  • To provide both decision-makers and the public with clear and understandable information on the decision-making process for the environmental policy field
  • To familiarize citizens with the decision making process, making easy to citizens to visualize and identify the stages of decision making process
  • To enable people with the same interests to form groups which transverse geographic barriers, and help these groups to participate in decision-making on environmental issues in the Mediterranean region
  • To address with the use of ICT multilingual and multicultural problems of people wanted to be involved in the decision making process

The specific objectives of the project are the following:

  • To advance the concept of environmental democracy via the use of ICT
  • To present new ways of effectively presenting information and communicating - promoting increased transparency in tracking legislation and decision making processes
  • To introduce and test Public Participation GIS to manage geospatial boundary and statistical information that can support well-informed decisions for the management of water and marine environmental protection in the Mediterranean region.
  • To make EU environmental legislation accessible for everyone through electronic means.
  • To support citizens and local actors monitor the implementation of EU water and maritime environmental policies in the Mediterranean region.
  • To obtain public input for designing long term environmental policies, which are in line with EU environmental policies, to be implemented in the French Riviera, Valencia and Ionian Island regions,.
  • To make it possible for citizens with limited knowledge of the subject area and low-level IT skills to profit from eParticipation tools.

The platform will provide interactive documents that link specific sections of text to specific features on the maps. Residents from each region where the project is being developed will be invited to register their views about particular issues by placing flags with written comments to appropriate locations on the map of their region.

The citizens will be encouraged to participate in the discussion forums on specific policy issues of common public interest that will be proposed by the local or national authorities and that could be related with the preparation, modification or review of plans or programs relating to water and marine environment, for example developing national maritime strategies or river management basin plans.

At the same time, the end-users will be encouraged to create their own topics of discussion related to the protection and conservation of marine environment, water management and planning in the region. In order to contact and directly interact with their elected representatives and decision-makers, citizens will be able to use online petitions and letters to officials in which they can express their views, concerns and questions related to environmental issues. Furthermore, summed up results of citizen consultation will be transferred to decision-makers just before legislative decisions are to be made.

U@Marenostrum project started on January 1, 2009 and will end on December 31, 2010.

The U@MARENOSTRUM project will establish an internet platform that will represent a Participatory GIS, which will capture all the information and the local knowledge on a geographical map. The idea of Participatory GIS revolves around the concept of public participation in the use of spatial data leads to broaden public involvement in policy-planning and decision-making and raise the citizens' awareness on environmental issues. A typical example of use of the platform would be public consultations on draft river basin management plan including program of measures, marine strategies, environment legislation that is essential for sustainable water protection. 

Period [01/01/2009 - 31/12/2010]


  • Government to you (Gov2u)

    Gov2u was conceived and founded in 2005 as a non-profit, non-governmental organization by a group of visionary professionals from the fields of Legislative Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and community activism. Its aim is to develop tools that facilitate the everyday work of elected officials and offer citizens a greater stake in political discourse by enabling them to contribute their ideas, suggestions, and opinions.

    In Gov2u we strongly believe that ICT-tools have an as yet unrealized potential that - if properly used - could render legislative decision-making processes more efficient and transparent. In this way, significant value could be added to the process of democratic participation.

    Gov2u operates to provide a range of specialized services in the field of e-Government, e-Democracy and e-Participation.

    GFI - Benelux
    Government to you (Gov2u) - Greece
    Hellenic Centre for Marine Research - Greece
    Foundation Comunidad Valenciana - Región Europea -Spain
    The Community of French Riviera - France
    Directorate General for Modernization of Valencia - Spain
    The Region of Ionian Islands - Greece

    Coordinator acts as project coordinator
    Country Greece, Spain, France
    Web site
    Contact Eirini A. Souri,
    Position: Project Assistant
    Phone/fax: +30-210-6121340, +30-210-6121332