Vouliwatch (“Vouli" means Parliament in Greek) is a non-partisan parliamentary monitoring organisation that was set up and legally registered in Athens in March 2014 in response to the rising disillusionment of a large segment of the Greek population towards parliamentary democracy and the broader Greek political system - which is characterised to a large extent by lack of transparency, accountability and corruption.
The organisation’s main goal is to bridge the gap between citizens and their political representatives whilst promoting a culture of transparency, accountability and active citizenship. In doing so, Vouliwatch makes use of innovative digital technology applications whose purpose is to facilitate the monitoring of parliamentarian’s activities (including their financial interests), the transparent communication between MPs/MEPs and their constituents as well as the recording of all parliamentary activity (legislative process).
More specifically the platform offers the following options to users:
Public questioning (“Ask your MP/MEP”): In a moderated platform, citizens can publicly ask questions and receive public replies by MP’s and MEP’s. To prevent misuse of the platform, all citizen questions and politicians’ answers are crosschecked according to a published code of conduct that is aligned with the principles of open government ethics.
Votewatch: This application allows users to keep an eye on the voting behaviour of each MP while informing the public on the details and background information of each legislation put forward for voting.
“Policy Monitor” (“compare party positions”): The Policy Monitor is a digital tool which allows our users to learn about and compare what the main political parties positions are on given issues. It also gives them the opportunity to comment on these positions and suggest to political parties different approaches.
Vouliwatch has managed in a very short space of time to establish itself as the leading advocacy and campaign organisation in Greece that focuses on issues relevant to transparency, open government and the freedom of access to information. In particular, Vouliwatch is a member of the Open Government Partnership (with an active role during the recent consultation process for the drafting of the country’s OGP commitments for 2016-2018), the United Nation’s Coalition Against Corruption (UNCAC) and of an informal network of European NGOs campaigning for the right to access to information.