Empowering democracy

Vouliwatch is a non for profit parliamentary monitoring organisation that engages Greek citizens with legislative politics and grants them with the opportunity to communicate, evaluate and hold elected representatives in the Greek and the European Parliament (MPs & MEPs) accountable.
Empowering democracy

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.  

The Τeam

Vouliwatch was launched in March, 2014 as a result of a long and persistent team effort. Its founding members comprise diverse backgrounds and careers, from national and European politics to communications arts, social entrepreneurship and digital innovation. Our joint effort aspires to combine technology with legislative politics, as a means to enhance citizen engagement and improve the quality of legislation and policy making.

In order to improve our performance and scale up, we welcome ideas from a vast network of affiliates and supporters. However, a closer cooperation with MPs, the Government and the apparatus of the Hellenic Parliament is also essential to our success. In all, Vouliwatch aspires to provide meaningful interaction between citizens and parliamentary politics in Greece as an independent member of Civil Society and a nonpartisan ally of representative and participatory democracy.

Stefanos Loukopoulos
Stefanos Loukopoulos
MANAGING DIRECTOR
Stefanos studied Politics, International Relations and International Conflict Analysis in the UK and Belgium. He has extensive experience working in the civil society sector both in London and Brussels. Prior to his involvement in the NGO sector Stefanos worked at the European Parliament in Brussels. He is an advocate of the bottom-up approach in politics, active citizenship and direct democracy.
Maria Nathanail
Maria Nathanail
HEAD OF COMMUNICATIONS
Maria has studied Law, International Law and Gender Studies, in Athens and Paris. She has worked as an NGO legal adviser, an Attorney at Law, a Press Attachee of the Athens International Film Festival and has co-founded “MakeEndsMeet Communications” creative agency. She strongly believes in the power of arts, innovation and everyday politics.
Konstantinos Mentzelos
Konstantinos Mentzelos
CONTENT ADMINISTRATOR
He has studied Political Sciences and Public Administration in Athens. He believes in the principles of participatory democracy and the control of legislative power by the citizens, whom he aspires to mobilize in this direction.
Gerasimos Livitsanos
Gerasimos Livitsanos
PARLIAMENTARY CORRESPONDENT
Accredited parliamentary correspondent since 1994. Has been active in the field since 1992 and worked in 5 newspapers – magazines, 3 radio stations and currently in the digital press. He is a regular member of the Athenian Union of Editors of Daily Newspapers.
Panagiotis Vlachos
Panagiotis Vlachos
CO-FOUNDER • HEAD OF STRATEGY
Panagiotis studied Law, European Politics and Public Administration in Greece, the UK and the USA respectively. He has worked as an executive and director of public policy and communications in private and public entities and cooperated with companies, political parties, research institutes, the Greek Government, the Hellenic Parliament, the European Parliament and the Greek Federation of Enterprises and Industries. Today he works as an independent consultant on public policy, strategy, communications and political risk, while he represents Vouliwatch in the Open Government Partnership Forum and other related international initiatives.
Antonis Schwarz
Antonis Schwarz
Co-founder
Antonis Schwarz is of Greek-German origin and studied Politics (BA Kings College London) and Business (MA IE university Madrid). He is currently heading the efforts to set up an international Parliamentwatch network with Vouliwatch’s partner organizations abroad. In the past, he has worked at Ashoka, a global organization supporting social entrepreneurs, Bonventure, the first German venture philanthropy fund, as well as Yunus Social Business, a global social business accelerator. Beyond his engagement for more citizen participation and transparency, he is also interested in scaling social/impact investing to Greece to help fight the crisis.
Become a member
Vouliwatch is an open initiative and is based on team effort. The bigger our team, the more possibilities for success we have. Contact us if you want to become a member of the Vouliwatch team.

Financial Data

  • Funding Sources

    • FOUNDATIONS €89.262
    • EU FUNDS €13.200
    • PRIVATE DONATIONS €10.407,85
    • TOTAL €112.869,85

    Expenditure

    • STAFF €71.327,68
    • DEVELOPMENT & MAINTENANCE OF WEBSITE €23.071,99
    • ΟPERATING EXPENSES & CONSUMABLES €6.195
    • TAXES €2.696,46
    • EVENTS & COMMS €2.083,09
    • TOTAL €105.374,22

Partners

Vouliwatch views partnership building as an essential tool towards furthering our goal for a better and stronger democracy. We welcome new partnerships with organisations and initiatives with similar goals and aspirations as we are eager to learn from each other and embark in cooperation projects! 

Vouliwatch in the press