RAHVAALGATUS.EE (public initiative web portal)
Today, the portal, which grew out of the political crisis of 2016, has become the flagship of Estonian e-democracy, a stimulator of open governance, that helps to empower local democracy and provides an example of public sector innovation for all of Europe.
Rahvaalgatus.ee provides a gateway to Estonian legislation for the people of Estonia.
The web portal (rahvaalgatusveeb) created by the Estonian Cooperation Assembly in 2016, is a digital communication channel that connects the citizenry, the Riigikogu and local governments. It enables people to conveniently exercise their right to organise collective appeals by making political decision-making processes more transparent and dialogue more open. The success story of the world’s most prominent e-democracy has increased people’s participation in state issues even during the periods between elections and honed people’s collective proposal making skills.
Submission of collective appeals to the Riigikogu
In 2014, the Riigikogu passed an amendment, which obligated the Parliament to process appeals with at least 1,000 signatures and to discuss them in a committee of the Riigikogu. As of 2016, the digital infrastructure designed by the Estonian Cooperation Assembly enables the public to conveniently realise their right to make collective appeals kollektiivsete pöördumiste õigust[jr1] , thereby making the work of the Riigikogu more transparent and dialogue more open.
Submission of collective appeals to local governments
As of August 2020, people have been able to initiate discussions and make collective appeals to local governments on local government initiative website. This is a civil right prescribed by law, and making the implementation as simple as possible encourages the residents of rural municipalities and cities to participate more actively in the discussions and decision-making processes related to their places of residence.
According to the law, locals can submit an application to the rural municipality or city council, which has been signed by at least 1% of the residents in the local municipality or city. government.