Open Data and Open Government in Vienna

For the first time in Austrian history, the city of Vienna (which also counts as one of the nine federal states) will now have a “Red-Green” government, i.e. a coalition of the Social Democratic Party (SPÖ) and the Green Party.

The coalition agreement – which was signed last Friday – includes the following article:

„Open Data“, „Open Government“

Following international models for modernizing city administrations, a symposium will be held, and subsequently experts will create a concept to evaluate opportunities and potential risks for Vienna in the fields of “Open Data” and “Open Government” – i.e. the free access to certain public (not personal) data in human- and machine-readable forms.

This new Vienna government promises to work towards the concept of a “transparent state” rather than a “transparent citizen”.

Furthermore, the coalition agreement also includes passages to promote the use of Open-Source software as well as to continue to enhance a successful “Intelligent Traffic System”.

In a very similar manner, North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) – the most populous and economically most powerful federal state of Germany – also has a “Red-Green” coalition government consisting of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and The Greens. This coalition was affirmed on July 14, 2010, and just like Vienna, North Rhine-Westphalia also commits to open government in its coalition agreement, which includes the following passage:

“New Governance in NRW”

We will therefore launch an “Open Government” initiative oriented on the goals of transparency, participation and cooperation, which will provide public data and information in a way that is free of charge and free of discrimination, as well as offer new and extensive digital opportunities for the participation of citizens in public decision making processes. In doing so, we will be mindful of security and integrity of the data, and we will preserve people’s right to informational self-determination.

Link to the Red-Green coalition agreement for Vienna (in German):

Link to the Red-Green coalition agreement for North Rhine-Westphalia (in German):

Link to a post in the “Open Data Blog” of German news site “Zeit Online” (in German):

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