The ECAS Knowledge Centre is an online collection of resources on two broad themes: EU Rights and Civic Engagement in Europe. It aims to help civil society campaigners, researchers, analysts, academics, advisors, policy makers and interested citizens navigate the large amount of information available in a user-friendly manner. It offers easy access to research, case studies, evaluations, papers, issue briefs, toolkits and more on the following topics:

Freedom of Movement in the EU
European Citizens' Initiative (ECI)

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Knowledge in Decisionmaking in Finland - Towards geater dialogue

November 13, 2017

The interface between knowledge and decision-making is broken. Societal discussion surrounding this interface over the past few years reveals several disappointments and a frustrated atmosphere. The results from a survey Sitra conducted in the summer of 2017 reinforce this notion. Problems have been identified both in knowledge production and decision-making. Resolving complex societal problems requires a more comprehensive perspective with a more dialogical approach and a broader perspective on what is considered as knowledge and expertise. Despite acknowledging the problems in the interface between knowledge anddecision-making, no determined effort for improvement has been made. Why? Where are the greatest obstacles? What type of new thinking does achieving change require?


Crowdsourced Deliberation: The Case of the Law on Off-Road Traffic in Finland

January 1, 2016

This article examines the emergence of democratic deliberation in a crowdsourced law reform process.The empirical context of the study is a crowdsourced legislative reform in Finland, initiated by theFinnish government. The findings suggest that online exchanges in the crowdsourced process qualifyas democratic deliberation according to the classical definition. We introduce the term "crowdsourceddeliberation" to mean an open, asynchronous, depersonalized, and distributed kind of onlinedeliberation occurring among self-selected participants in the context of an attempt by government oranother organization to open up the policymaking or lawmaking process. The article helps tocharacterize the nature of crowdsourced policymaking and to understand its possibilities as a practicefor implementing open government principles. We aim to make a contribution to the literature oncrowdsourcing in policymaking, participatory and deliberative democracy and, specifically, the newlyemerging subfield in deliberative democracy that focuses on "deliberative systems."


Process or Outcome? How the Citizens' Initiative to Ban Fur Farming affected Political Trust among Users of Avoin Ministeriö

December 31, 2015

In 2012, Finland introduced the citizens' initiative to boost political support among citizens byextending possibilities for popular involvement in political decision making. However, it is stillunclear whether the introduction had the intended eects. This article examines how the firstdecision by the Finnish parliament on a citizens' initiative affected political trust among userson the website Avoin Ministeriö. The data come from a quasi-experimental survey study with421 respondents before and after the decision of the Finnish parliament on the first citizens'initiative in Finland. In particular, it is examined whether outcome satisfaction or processsatisfaction were the most important factors for shaping the developments. The results suggestthat both outcome and process satisfaction matters for the developments in political trust, butsatisfaction with the process is the more important predictor. The implications for the eectsof the Finnish citizens' initiative are discussed in the conclusion.


Five Design Principles for Crowdsourced Policymaking: Assessing the Case of Crowdsourced Off-Road Traffic Law in Finland

January 18, 2015

This article reports a pioneering case study of a crowdsourced law-reform process in Finland. In the crowdsourcing experiment, the public was invited to contribute to the law-reform process by sharing their knowledge and ideas for a better policy. This article introduces a normative design framework of five principles for crowdsourced policymaking: inclusiveness, accountability, transparency, modularity, and synthesis. Inclusiveness, accountability, and transparency are overarching principles for crowdsourced policymaking. Modularity and synthesis support these overarching principles and are instrumental in achieving the main goals of crowdsourced policymaking, namely, an efficient search for knowledge and democratic deliberation among the participants. These principles apply to both the design of the process and the medium that the process takes place in, i.e., the technology facilitating crowdsourcing. This article analyzes the design of the crowdsourced off-road traffic law experiment in Finland using the five principles described above and provides a future research agenda for examining design aspects in crowdsourced policymaking.


What does crowdsourcing legislation entail for the participants? The Finnish case of Avoin Ministeriö

September 30, 2014

This study paper contributes to this research agenda by examining the developments in attitudesamong the users on the Finnish website Avoin Ministeriö (English translation Open Ministry) whichorchestrates crowdsourcing of legislation by providing online tools for deliberating ideas for Citizens'initiatives. The Citizens' initiative was introduced in Finland in 2012, but so far, there has only been afinal decision on a single Citizens´ initiative, where an initiative to ban fur-farming in Finland wasrejected by the Finnish Parliament in July 2013. The developments in attitudes among theparticipants on Avoin Ministeriö are examined following this decision with the help of a two-stagesurvey. The data include 421 respondents who filled in the questions concerning political and socialattitudes as well as political activities performed. The results suggest that while crowdsourcinglegislation has so far not affected political legitimacy in a positive manner, there is still potential fordoing so.


Crowdsoarcing for Democracy: A New Era in Policy-Making

January 1, 2012

Crowdsourcing is less a new idea than a new concept. It covers a wide array of tools that use the power and knowledge of crowds brought together through the internet. Crowdsourcing offers exciting possibilities for democracy. Citizens can take part in brainstorming, discussing, developing, and even implementing decisions that used to be the domain of political and expert elites. People's participation through crowdsourcing does not replace traditional democratic tools or experts, but complements and supports them. Participation can yield better decisions. A thousand pairs of eyes will spot potential problems easier and a thousand heads will come up with more new ideas than just a few. This benefits all.


Assimilation to a Welfare State: Labor Market Performance and Use of Social Benefits by Immigrants to Finland

April 28, 2011

This paper documents the economic performance of immigrants in a country characterized by an extensive welfare state and a short immigration history. Upon arrival, immigrants to Finland have substantially lower employment rates than comparable natives. While they experience rapid employment growth, only men from OECD countries catch up with natives. Despite the persisting employment and earnings differences between non-OECD immigrants and natives, the differences in income transfers disappear in roughly 20 years. The immigrant -- native employment gaps are larger in Finland than in Australia, Canada, or the US.

EU Rights: Freedom of Movement in the EU

Ulkomaalaislaki 301/2004

April 30, 2004

The Finnish Foreigners Act as amended by the Act 360/2007 and further amended by the Act 358/2007. The Foreigners Act is an amendment to the existing Foreigners Act 301/2004.

EU Rights: Freedom of Movement in the EU

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